CNN, resembling Fox!

THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2021

Resisting arrest, Black Lives Matter: To what extent are our "cable news" channels turning into competing regions of the dimwitted principality known as Dogmastan?

Last night, we watched more of the ugly, remarkably selective work in which Tucker Carlson often traffics. Today, though, we want to focus on two recent presentations over on CNN.

Can you believe the things you hear on that devolving channel? In all honesty, no—you can't. Let's start with something Randi Kaye said to Anderson Cooper this past Monday night.

Kaye was delivering a report about the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin. As she reviewed the events of the day George Floyd died, she made a very odd statement:

KAYE (3/8/21): Police officers had responded to a call about someone passing a fake $20 bill and found 46-year-old George Floyd sitting in his car. Police would later say he physically resisted arrest. Those surveillance video from a nearby restaurant appears to contradict police claims. 

Prosecutors say Floyd told police he was claustrophobic as they tried to put him in the police car. Soon, Floyd is on the ground, handcuffed with an officer's knee forcing his face into the pavement.

Just so you know—police officers are almost always said to be lying in this region of Dogmastan.

In Kaye's account, the police had said that George Floyd had resisted arrest. She then played a very brief bit of videotape in which no such behavior was occurring.

According to Kaye, this brief snatch of surveillance video "appears to contradict" those claims. The police had been lying again! It's often that way in Our Town.

It's astounding to think that Kaye would go on TV at this point and revisit this bungled old claim. By now, everyone from Derek Chauvin's prosecutors on down has explicitly acknowledged the fact that George Floyd, for whatever (deeply unfortunate) reason, did in fact resist arrest and struggle with the first two officers on the scene—with a pair of rookie cops.

This fact became abundantly clear when extensive bodycam footage was released several months after the fatal incident. By our lights, the fact that Floyd resisted and struggled has no particular relevance to the question of Chauvin's subsequent conduct, but it's completely silly to keep claiming, or to suggest, that Floyd didn't resist at all—to keep suggesting that the rookie cops were lying about that, as Those People always do.

How silly is it to say, at this time, that Floyd never resisted? Later in that very same segment, Antonio Romanucci, the Floyd family's lawyer, said this to Cooper:

ROMANUCCI: If we freeze-frame George on May 25, 2020, in that police encounter, we know that he was unarmed. He wasn't violent. Once he was handcuffed, he wasn't resisting any more. What else is there? There isn't much else there. 

After he was handcuffed, he "wasn't resisting any more?" That too strikes us as a bit of stretch, but even the Floyd family's lawyer doesn't claim that the late George Floyd never resisted at all.

In the immediate aftermath of Floyd's death, CNN jumped the gun with the claim that Floyd hadn't resisted. That inaccurate claim was based on a very small initial snatch of tape. 

A few months later, the fuller picture emerged. A full year later, Randi Kaye is still going on the air and presenting the pleasing old story.

That's the sort of thing which happens when "cable news" begins to turn into dueling versions of Mandated High Dogmatics. Last night, we saw Chris Cuomo and Dana Bash playing a similar game.

Earlier in the day, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.) had made an unflattering comment about Black Lives Matter. Before beginning to fume and rage, Cuomo played this weirdly truncated snatch of tape:

GROTHMAN: Black Lives Matter had in this last election. I know it's a group that it doesn't like the old-fashioned family. I'm disturbed that we have another program here, in which we're increasing the marriage penalty.

Cuomo began to fume and rage about what Grothman had said. Obviously, it was racist. Joining in, Bash seemed to say she "had no idea" what Grothman was talking about,

If that's what Bash actually meant to say, we find her claim hard to believe. Cuomo continued to rip and snort, eventually offering this:

CUOMO (3/10/21): Two members of that party—one comes out and says that giving voting rights to everybody, and making sure those votes are counted, is the devil's work. Another guy comes out and says that Black Lives Matter, which is just a euphemism for Black people, don't like our idea of family. 

No one says anything to shut any or either of them down. That's where we are.

According to Cuomo, Grothman was speaking about black people in general when he made his remark about Black Lives Matter. He'd been sliming black people in general. "That's where we are," Cuomo angrily said.

Except, in fairness, that probably isn't what Grothman was saying. Whatever one thinks of Grothman's remark, a widely-discussed, long-standing context seemed to surround what he said.

Duh! For several years, Black Lives Matter included a plank on its "Things We Believe" page in which the org said this:

"We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."

As everyone in the news business surely knows, that (somewhat fuzzy) plank had been endlessly criticized by conservatives. The criticisms often substituted heat for light, but the criticisms didn't come out of nowhere—and these criticisms were aimed at BLM and its allegedly Marxist leadership, not at black people in general.

(What made BLM's leadership allegedly Marxist? At one point, one of the org's three cofounders said that she and one other cofounder were "trained Marxists.")

At some point, BLM apparently decided that it was being harmed by the criticism of the "nuclear family" plank. Last September, it removed the fuzzily-worded plank from its site without offering an explanation.

At Fox News, they've heard about this. At CNN, they haven't heard—or they're just playing it dumb.

That fuzzy plank no longer exists, but the history of this fairly stupid discussion does. Unless you live in Left Dogmastan, where the corporate hirelings will only tell you the things you want to hear, much as they do on Fox.

Grothman was mouthing off in a way we'd regard as basically dumb. Cuomo and Bash then came along and topped him, with help from Natasha Alford. 

Two nights earlier, Kaye had the rookie cops lying again. Increasingly, this is the way the game is played in various failing regions of war-torn Dogmastan.

Carlson was a disordered disgrace on Fox last night. But all of this is very much the way our discourse is going.

Dogmatics are good for corporate profits; they also dumb everyone down. Did you see our report this morning'? This is the way the wind blows.

According to major experts: According to major experts, your lizard will say that The Others are worse. In our view, that's hard to measure, but go ahead and ask yourself this:

In what way would that be the point?


23 comments:

  1. "CNN, resembling Fox!"

    You wish, dear Bob. When your liberal-hitlerian cult is gone, then perhaps it will be. Or, it'll be taken over by some other zombie cult.

    "Cuomo began to fume and rage..."

    Speaking of Cuomos, what is your expert opinion of Andrew Mario's Son Cuomo, dear Bob? Is he "some sort of mentally ill"? Or is he crazy? Is he a lunatic? Or merely a psychopath?

    Since you, dear Bob, is a world renowned authority on such matters, we would really like to hear your super-esteemed judgement, please. Please? Pretty please?

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  2. From CNN's coverage (5/29/20):

    "But surveillance footage from the nearby Dragon Wok restaurant shows the first point of contact between Floyd and officers. While there are several minutes where Floyd's interactions cannot be seen from the camera's vantage point, the footage does not appear to support the assertion that Floyd resisted arrest.

    In the video, two officers approach Floyd and two passengers in a vehicle parked outside the restaurant, located across the street from a convenience store where the alleged fraud occurred. Officers appear to handcuff Floyd, though the exchange is partially hidden behind the vehicle. Floyd appears to fall before an officer lifts him up and leads him onto the sidewalk, where Floyd sits down against a wall.

    Eventually, the officer helps Floyd to his feet before both officers escort Floyd across the street to their SUV. Floyd appears to fall again before a second police vehicle blocks the view of the surveillance camera. At no point in the video does Floyd appear to struggle against the officers.

    Police said in their statement this week that officers "noted (Floyd) appeared to be suffering medical distress" and called an ambulance."

    Somerby implies that the surveillance video was truncated to show just an exculpatory part, but as this CNN report notes, the preceding portion of the video only shows that it is not possible to see what was happening because the car blocks the action in the portion that Somerby complains was edited out. So, this is not deceptive editing, but editing to focus on the relevant part of the surveillance footage, the part that shows no resistance.

    It is possible that Floyd was resisting before he was handcuffed and moved away from the car (which blocked vision of what was happening), but wouldn't such a struggle be more obvious? I also find myself wondering whether asking an officer what was going on, and protesting one's innocence verbally is considered "resisting"? These are things an innocent person would do. Is that considered non-compliance?

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/28/us/video-george-floyd-contradict-resist-trnd/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Somerby has focused on some extremely trivial nitpicks to attack CNN today. A host says she doesn't know what Grofman is talking about. Another host shows an edited bit of film. So what? These hardly show anti-police bias, much less the kind of "dogma" Somerby is accusing CNN of. These are random statements and choices made repeatedly in the course of a show that Somerby is over-interpreting to make a point. If these are the best examples he can find of CNN's dogma, then he has no point.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "CNN, resembling Fox!"

    CNN does not resemble Fox. OANN and Newsmax resemble Fox (and vice versa). Fox is horrible whereas CNN is occasionally irritating, but mostly OK.

    This is like saying that a mouse resembles an elephant.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's actually a fact that cops report higher feelings of threat depending on race. It directly corresponds to the risk of death of people interacting with them.

    The sequence goes:
    Black- highest risk of death, highest threat
    Hispanic - second highest etc
    White - lowest etc

    "When considering why initial rates of force were higher for
    Blacks and Latinos, we suggest that racial stereotypes may, at least
    in part, play a role during these initial actions. Racial stereotypes
    associating Blacks and Latinos with danger may bias perceptions
    at the beginning stages of an interaction, making the suspects seem
    more threatening or in need of force to control. Indeed, psycho-
    logical literature has demonstrated that stereotypes bias percep-
    tions by filling in ambiguous information to be in line with the
    stereotype, which can ultimately affect decision making (e.g.,
    Correll, Park, Judd, & Wittenbrink, 2002)"
    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=6312638150782579380&hl=en&as_sdt=0,14

    ReplyDelete
  6. What is Somerby's excuse for this one?

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/3/11/2020547/-San-Diego-cop-says-he-didn-t-point-gun-at-8-year-old-but-video-says-otherwise

    ReplyDelete
  7. If we step back even a little further back, a question arises: why was Floyd being arrested in the first place? Is passing a counterfeit bill even a crime? Is it something that a simple citation can be issued? Why were the cops trying to arrest Floyd in the first place. Maybe that's even more at the heart of the matter when we talk about "Black Lives Matter" and the police abuse in the predominantly black neighborhoods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, easy to see the counterfeit bill as a pretext.

      Delete
  8. “Grothman was mouthing off in a way we'd regard as basically dumb. “

    Sure it’s dumb. Grothman is a giant buffoon.

    But why isn’t it also racist?

    I mean, who doesn’t immediately think of a prominent black activist group when complaining about an expansion of the earned income tax credit in the COVID relief bill? Haven’t we all gone there?

    ReplyDelete
  9. “police officers are almost always said to be lying in this region of Dogmastan.”

    Mr. “I hate inaccurate paraphrase” does an inaccurate paraphrase.

    Who woulda thunk it?

    ReplyDelete
  10. “By our lights, the fact that Floyd resisted and struggled has no particular relevance to the question of Chauvin's subsequent conduct,”

    Bob, Bob. Tsk tsk.

    You were so close, but no cigar.

    Surely the defense will justify Chauvin’s decision to put his knee on Floyd’s neck by claiming that Floyd was resisting and needed to be subdued?

    Just phoning it in today, I see.

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