All this week: Reporting Michael Brown!

MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 2014

In search of journalistic values: Michael Brown’s death is a major event. All this week, we’ll be discussing the way our major news orgs have reported, or have failed to report, the unfolding chain of events.

According to our civics texts, we need good journalism at times like this.
In our view, the journalism hasn’t been especially good to date.

Final note: We're postponing our award-winning series, The Houses of Journalist County.

We still plan to present that award-winning work, with its links to inspiring photo spreads. But these events come first.

89 comments:

  1. Bob, you are getting great journalism at a time like this. And extremely courageous journalism as well. There is nothing more important right now than having cameras on the scene as a heavily militarized police force faces down an unarmed citizenry.

    But of course, you'll pick and choose what you consider to be the "worst" of on-scene reporting from the comfort of your Baltimore digs, then you'll bring out the famous Somerby broad brush.

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    1. God bless the police officers forced to deal with the savage element of looters and violent felons who have come to believe they can walk into someone's home or store and take what they like, and brutalize the clerk or homeowner when necessary. They must have the tools they need to combat this menace. Braindead and immoral wealthy liberals sentence lower class law abiding citizens to imprisonment in their own homes so that they may relive their 60's rebellion against the pigs.

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    2. God bless the citizens of Ferguson who stood guard at that store.

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    3. Honestly, you make it sound like the protesters are sitting there indian style holding hands and singing kumbaya and the police just decided to break that up with tanks and tear gas. There has been looting and at least one building got burned down. What exactly should the police reaction be to that. Maybe if they said please all the looting would stop??

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  2. I am certain the Houses of Journalist County will be as relevant to the work of the journalists as the swimming pool was to the story of the officer involved in this story in St. Louis County.

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    1. You mean the swimming pool molehill of a mention that Bob tried to fashion into Mt. Everest?

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  3. Thank you first commenter. The troll comments had become almost 100% sarcastic.

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    1. They are such douchebags. And not too smart.

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  4. After your lovefests with the Katrina rumour mongers and the Zimmerman defense team, I can wait.

    Please stick to topics such as education, where you have something to contribute.

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    1. The truth hurts. Michael Brown was a violent felon and no one who saw the convenience store video and concluded their daughter could not safely walk down the same street as him at night, thinks his self-destruction is tragic, except in the sense that his parents and other liberals failed yet another black man by not teaching him he is not entitled to steal from and violently attack others.

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    2. 426: good thing the conservatives were there to save him.

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    3. You forgot "thug" 4:26. Obviously, every unarmed black teenager who dies turns out to be a "thug".

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    4. My son is on the short in stature side and works part time at a convenience store. He saw that video and his mother agonizes now about what she's going to tell him about living in the world as a smaller young man with people like Michael Brown targeting him for violence.

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    5. My son is also on the short stature side. He's been trained by his store not to jump in front of a 6'4" petty thief. He's too young to work at a liquot store though. He's a year older than the late Mr. Brown.

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    6. Right. Only "people like Michael Brown" steal cigarillos from convenience stores.

      Oh, how dreadful for you poor baby boy to have such racists for parents.

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    7. My son might some day work at or own a convenience store and the world would be well rid of anyone who would commit violence against him should he attempt to stop them from stealing from him or his place of employment.

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    8. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Put out free donuts for the cops. There will always be at least six in the place.

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    9. My son might some day be walking down a street in a suburb of a large city and the world would be well rid of anyone who would blow the top of his head off should he attempt to walk down a street.

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    10. Very true 6:14, unless he was attacking a police officer reprimanding him for walking in the middle of the street, a reaction motivated by his own knowledge he had just committed a violent felony.

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    11. You have to laugh at the determination with which violent felon apologists avoid inclusion of known facts that undermine the martyr status of their celebrated thug du jour.

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    12. Robbing at 18. By that age shouldn't he have known better? Strong arm a weakling then strut down the middle of the street. One way or another he was going to attract police attention.

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    13. Discharging your weapon down a city street at noon on a Saturday at age 28.

      By that age, shouldn't the cop have known better?

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    14. Anonymous August 18, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      Stop holding out. Show us the facts which prove your claim Michael Brown was a violent felon.

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  5. In a parallel, the lawyer for the family of Trayvon Martin also put out provocative, false public statements that were given wide publicity. The publicity is good for the lawyer, as it makes a big verdict or settlement more likely. And, it's good for the media, because they get a more dramatic story to peddle.

    OTOH these inflammatory reports encourage riots that cause widespread damage. Storeowners are harmed by the looting and damage to their property. Because of the riots, stores will be less likely to open in black neighborhoods everywhere, and prices at those stores will be higher.

    Bad feeling between the races is encouraged by this sort of bad reporting. After the Trayvon Martin killing, there were numerous attacks by blacks against random whites and Asians. In some cases, the attackers specifically mentioned Trayvon. Chances are that the Trayvon publicity encouraged some other attacks as well.

    Note that these attacks continue. There were two such attacks in New York City just in the last week. In one, an elderly man was knocked down for no reason. In the other, the victim was a pregnant woman. See http://nypost.com/2014/08/14/pregnant-woman-sucker-punched-in-knockout-game-attack/ and http://nypost.com/2014/08/12/shocking-knockout-attack-on-elderly-man-caught-on-tape/

    I wonder how many assaults will be provoked by the media's bad reporting in Ferguson.

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    1. You're absolutely right, David. Obviously this cop shot Brown dead in three minutes for jaywalking solely because of all the bad reporting in the Trayvon Martin case.

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    2. Brown attacked a police officer because someone taught him he was entitled to do so because slavery.

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    3. Talk to any black kid about "the talk" their parents give them about dealing with a cop.

      White boys generally don't get "the talk" because their parents aren't worried about a cop shooting them.

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    4. 523: close but no cigarillo.

      According to Dinky (and the little cartoon birds flitting around his head while speaking to him), the "knockout game" originated because of "these" inflammatory reports by Trayvon Martin's attorney.

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    5. White boys get "the talk" about areas in their own cities they may not walk freely in and must avoid because they are populated by gang banger thugs

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    6. That's terrible. White boys go to the trouble of having their own cities but they have to avoid certain areas.

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    7. Ah yes. The urban legendary "knockout game."

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    8. Anon August 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM -- what are you going to believe -- what liberals say you're supposed to believe or your lying eyes? http://nypost.com/2014/08/12/shocking-knockout-attack-on-elderly-man-caught-on-tape/

      Or, go to https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=knockout+game+videos&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS497US497&q=knockout+street+game+videos&gs_l=hp..1.0i22i30l2.0.0.0.11083...........0.fumkj0_seu4 for links to lots more videos

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    9. Ironic coming from you, David. And by all means, I'll believe the New York Post.

      You truly are that dumb, aren't you?

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    10. Savage unprovoked beatings otherwise known as the knockout game are urban legend? Try "epidemic" among violent thugs with no father.

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    11. Try getting your news from somewhere other than Newsmax, Drudge and Breitbart.

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    12. 5:23, I don't think anyone is suggesting a cause-and-effect between Trayvon Martin media coverage and the Brown shooting. The parallel is the irresponsible (planted) coverage that put forth that Zimmerman had supposedly fired a warning shot, then demanded Martin beg for his life before "executing" him with a second shot ... and now disproven claims than Brown was shot in the back. Irresponsible isn't strong enough. Perhaps our glam media isn't above "stirring the pot" for ratings.

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    13. "The parallel is the irresponsible (planted) coverage that put forth that Zimmerman had supposedly fired a warning shot, then demanded Martin beg for his life before "executing" him with a second shot . . ."

      Bullshit. Utter, complete bullshit. You are going to call the media "irresponsible" for a story you just pulled out of your ass?

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  6. There is no sense in waiting for the facts to be sifted out, as we apparently already know exactly what happened

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    1. Yeah, a racist cop shot a kid for walking in the street.

      ALL Somerby's savviest commenters know that!

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  7. "All This Week: Reporting Michael Brown Because I Need the Clickbait"

    Welcome back, Zimmerman Defense Team!

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    1. You clicked on it. And I'm guessing that you haven't been following his stories about education.

      Chump.

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    2. No, I have been following his various "series" with all the "supplementals" on education, including the one that concluded a little resegregation never hurt anyone, as long as the parents move to Paris and teach their kids Croatian.

      Bob is good for a daily laugher.

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  8. Along with reporting inflammatory, false information, the media is using inflammatory spin.

    The Associated Press Stylebook states that in reports referring to a person’s age, the figure for the age number should be used. It also states that reports should “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.”

    Why, then, are AP reports on the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown solely referring to him as a “teen” and “teenager”?

    “Don’t know’ if Missouri teen shot with hands up,” reads one AP headline from Monday. “County autopsy: Unarmed teen shot 6 to 8 times,” reads another.

    And an excerpt from yet another AP story, emphasis added: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew but ordered the National Guard to step in to help restore order. Holder over the weekend ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on the teenager, Michael Brown.”

    http://www.mediaite.com/print/why-does-ap-refer-to-michael-brown-as-teen-despite-style-guide/

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    1. Boy, you caught 'em red-handed, David. How dare they call an 18-year-old a "teen"? Pretty soon, the New York Post will be reporting random attacks on white people solely because the AP is ignoring its own stylebook.

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  9. Michael Brown's body hadn't hit the concrete yet, and Bob was already rubbing his hands together with anxious glee, anticipating the reverse race baiting to come. How long until Bob passionately wonders aloud, "Can't a cop just shoot his gun a few times without left wing race-hustlers attacking him for it?"

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    1. Seems like Bob waited for the facts to seep out before rushing to judgement.

      Chump.

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    2. Seems like Bob waited for the first autopsy report to show no wounds in the back before he could start imagining scenarios in which a kid shot six times in broad daylight at noon on Saturday for jaywalking could be "legal."

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    3. "For jaywalking" lolz

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  10. Thanks for doing this Bob. The amount of bullshit going on with the Brown situation is really pissing me off.

    It reminds me of how Trayvon was this nice little kid and the fat psycho Zimmerman stalked and murdered him, then it turned out that Zimmerman was almost certainly getting his ass beat by Trayvon when he shot him.

    Given what we know about Brown, there's an obvious possibility that he did, in fact, attack the cop. Whether the shooting was justified is a technical question about police standards, but it's obviously not the execution people claim.

    And for the record I'm opposed to the war on drugs, the indiscriminate incarceration of blacks, the lack of social services provision to the black community, especially jobs programs, and the habit of white Americans to take a suppression-only approach to the black question. But this shit is ridiculous.

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    1. Apologists for the likes of Brown and Martin are an especially deranged breed that determinedly assumes a submissive sitting duck position thugs will violently exploit. They are in desperate need of psychological intervention.

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    2. Yes, we've since discovered what a fine man of upstanding character and impeccable judgment "Fatass" George was. He was clearly and without doubt the victim. Bob himself said he was just out for a walk! And the race baiters kept victimizing him, even afterwards! It makes my blood boil, let me tell you. Fortunately, there are fine people like yourself and Bob, people who "aren't racists, but..." dedicated to seeing that justice is done for the helpless victims of circumstance like George "Fatass" Zimmerman.

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    3. "...what we know about Brown there's an obvious possibility..."

      And what we know about the police in Ferguson. What are the obvious possibilities about them?

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  11. In some circles Thug is chic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RddqlctLnk

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  12. Hilarious effort by the cable networks to gin up some riots and police brutality in Fergusen night after night. It's just embarrassing. One protester did get grazed by a rubber bullet and a photographer coughed a couple times from teargas

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    1. Rubber bullets? Tear gas? Yeah, nothing to see here. Move along.

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  13. This site is irrelevant.

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    1. I'll say. Bob is old enough to remember the '60s. He even tries to prop up his "progressive" creds by saying he was in the streets protesting the Vietnam War.

      Today, we have the highway patrol captain blaming "outside agitators" and "the media" for fomenting the troubles in Ferguson.

      Same playbook used against the Freedom Riders, King and the SCLC in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma, and against the dead students at Kent State.

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    2. The '60's gave us Reagan according to Bob.

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    3. "This site is irrelevant."

      Then go away, douche bag.

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    4. Come on, 10:16. Douche bag yet again. Even a repetitious writer like Somerby knows to intersperse an "oligeanous, oily old coot" among his insults every now and again. You make it seem like you don't know douche from squadoosh.

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  14. Earlier today the New York Times told us the young felonious Brown had not been shot in the back. Now we learn he was under the influence of marijuana. The New york Times has already told us recently what that means when it took a look at Colorado.

    "But the state is also coming to grips with the darker side of unleashing a drug as potent as marijuana on a horde of tourists of all ages and tolerance levels seeking a mellow buzz.

    In March, a 19-year-old Wyoming college student jumped off a Denver hotel balcony after eating a pot cookie with 65 milligrams of THC. In April, a Denver man ate pot-infused Karma Kandy and began talking like it was the end of the world, scaring his wife and three kids. Then he retrieved a handgun from a safe and killed his wife while she was on the phone with an emergency dispatcher."

    Clearly all those cops in Ferguson could be better deployed in a seek and destroy mission against illegal drugs.

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    1. "Now we learn he was under the influence of marijuana."

      Ummmm, excuse me, but we learned no such thing. We learned he had pot in his system. He could have smoked it a month ago for all you know.

      But don't let that stop you from speculating. After all, we all know how violent people get when they smoke pot.

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    2. As I just said, this violence among pot users was recently documented in the New York Times in the quote above.
      According to Somerby, the one and only fact we knew about this case yesterday morning came from the New York Times. Now we have two facts:

      Not shot in back
      Pot user.

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    3. Two more facts:

      12:01, Cop stops two kids for walking in the middle of the street.

      12:04, One of the kids is dead, shot at least six times.

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    4. "this violence among pot users was recently documented in the New York Times in the quote above."

      BWAAAAHAHAHA!

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    5. Yesterday Bob wrote: "In a case where we don’t have a whole lot of facts, we finally got one basic fact in this morning’s New York Times."

      So yesterday we learned he was not shot in the back. In this post we learn he is dead. This follows closely on the reported death of "the west."

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  15. scenario 1 - the cop sees two kids walking in the middle of the street, he overreacts and curses at them, the kids don't like it and say something back, cop gets out, physical altercation follows, cop opens fire. scenario 2 - kid strong arms a box of cigars from a convenience store, cop hears description over dispatch, cop spots kid matching description with box of cigars in hand, cop stops kid to question, kid resists, fight, cop opens fire...feel free to fill in scenario 3, 4, 5, 6...XXX. truth is no one on this blog really knows what happened. Please let's remain calm and let the facts come out before deciding.

    "why didn't the cops release information sooner?" i hear this alot. I dont' find this odd. cops often do not disclose information about an ongoing investigation. What i find odd is that everyone buys the story of the friend without question. You can't deny that his story can possibly be biased by his friendship with the victim, and the fact that he was possibly involved in a strong arm robbery with the kid minutes before.

    also, if you feel strongly about the issue, by all means excercise your right to peacably assemble in accordance with local rules and regs. This is your right. If this turns into looting and arson, you are a criminal, and the cops are justified in using whatever tools are at their disposal to disperse the crowd and maintain order, that's what we pay them for.

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    1. "cop hears description over dispatch, cop spots kid matching description with box of cigars in hand,"

      Even the Ferguson cops aren't trying to sell that "scenario' any more.

      As for the police tactics, it reminds me of my fourth grade teacher. She couldn't identify the kid who threw the spitball so the entire class got punished.

      Same with the cops. They come up with a "criminal element" and everybody gets teargassed and moved upon with automatic, military grade weapons and vehicles drawn.

      On a nightly basis.

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    2. i think we are beyond the level of spitballs. and the larger point is there are a countless number of scenarios that could have happened, why everyone automatically believes that one side or the other was wrong is baffling. let the investigation run its course.

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    3. from CBS news "Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire."

      again, let's not pretend that this is just a peaceful protest.

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    4. Well, we know the local investigation is certainly proceeding apace. It took six days for them to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting and come up with the robbery story. The investigating prosecutor has already attacked the Governor for disrespecting local police.
      Moving right along!

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    5. Again, let's not take Capt. Ron Johnson at his ass-covering word. There are loads of media on the scene recording it all. Last night, he displayed ONE bottle that he said was a Molotov cocktail, and two handguns confiscated in a conceal-carry state.

      "Rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails" were also the excuse used to try to cover up the National Guard indiscriminately opening fire at Kent State as well.

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    6. 10:28, it took a Missouri Sunshine Law request to even get the cops to release the incident report which should have been a matter of public record that day.

      And of course, once that was forced out of them, out comes the robbery report, which even they admit had nothing to do with the reason Wilson confronted Brown.

      But the Zimmerman Defense Team around here sure connected the dots the cops wanted them to connect right away.

      After all, it's the story they want ever so badly to believe.

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    7. why is it so important for them to release the officer's name? is it possible that they were truly worried about his safety? nah, must be a cover up.

      And wasn't Ron Johnson brought into handle the situation because it was thought that the Ferguson police chief wasn't up to the job? now johnson is "ass-covering". who will be acceptable to handle the situation.

      maybe, just maybe, there is a criminal element in the crowd with guns and rocks and molotov cocktails. should the police wait to identify exactly who in the mob of people in front of them is throwing the bottle or shooting the gun before they take action. i am sure there are rules of engagement so that if even one rock or molotov cocktail is thrown at the officers they are then allowed to use force to disperse the crowd.

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    8. How many tear gas canisters and flash grenades have the cops fired off during this whole hot mess? Let's line those up against ONE Molotov cocktail and TWO handguns taken from a car that Johnson proudly displayed.

      Then tell me which side is the more violent.

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    9. how many molotov cocktails, rocks, or guns is acceptable before the police are allowed to take action to disperse the crowd? I say it should be 9 molotov cocktails, 54 rocks, and 12 handguns, with 45 rounds shot off...then i would be fully behind the police's use of force...

      i am not trying to win the "who's right or wrong" contest, or the "which side is more violent" contest. I was simply making a point that there are likely rules of engagement where crowd control is concerned, and i would imagine that once molotov cocktails and rocks are being thrown, let alone guns being fired, that the cops are trained to then use whatever force necessary to disperse the crowd and take control. this is what we pay them for.

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    10. Yes, let's wait until all the facts are out.
      But while we're waiting, let's try the victim in the court of public opinion.

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    11. the public is trying both the victim and the cop.

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  16. I don't know what these new kids in Missouri are thinking, Haven't any of their parents told them about Watts? Nothing was accomplished.
    Heck it isn't even predominately black any more.

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    1. Has anybody told the cops about the Kerner Commission?

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    2. Didn't they write the most famous findings of fact since the Warren Report?

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    3. By all means, let's dismiss all those nasty, inconvenient facts that don't fit the story you want to be told.

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  17. I certainly hope TDH mentions the irresponsible coverage provided by Jake Tapper and Don Lemon over at CNN. I hope he does this instead of covering the stuttering Puppy coverage at MSNBC.

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    1. I hope that from the comfort of his home in Baltimore, Bob finds nits to pick in all the coverage from reporters on the scene who are sucking in tear gas nightly.

      I'm sure he won't let us down.

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    2. Let's not forget, after coming under rock fire last night from angry First Amendment celebrants, Chris Hayes bravely turned to his assailants across the chain link fence ans shouted:

      "Wha...wha...wha...what's happening down the street, man?"

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  18. Aside from the ridiculous white female undergrads and grey ponytailed 60-year-olds seen in the protesting crowds of Fergusen, most don't enjoy any kind of gratification by rolling over on their backs so thugs may do as they please to them and their families and their convenience stores and their police forces and their neighborhoods.

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    1. Well, there's one vote for "keeping blacks in their place".
      Anybody other takers?

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