FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021
In search of division and fear: We watched snatches of CNN for four hours last evening.
We started with Wolf Blitzer in the 6 P.M. Eastern hour and continued along from there. It's very hard to find the words to describe what we saw.
On the one hand, what we saw was grossly "irresponsible." But what we saw on CNN went several light-years past that.
In fairness, we only watched Anderson Cooper for a matter of moments. When he affected the familiar low voice designed to tell us how much he cares, we quickly flipped away and ventured over to to Fox.
At that destination, Tucker Carlson spent his first ten minutes playing tape of lunatic statements people have made on MSNBC in the past few days.
Eventually, we hope to post examples of those statements. For today, we want to start with something we saw on CNN last evening during the 7 P.M. hour.
At 7 P.N., CNN airs Erin Burnett OutFront. The program's web site says this:
Designed to showcase Erin's unique style—casual, smart, and confident—OutFront stays ahead of the headlines, delivering a show that's in-depth and informative.
Few descriptions could be less accurate. The web site offers amazingly little videotape of Burnett's uniquely smart work, but it does offer an 11-minute videotape which bears this headline:
Erin Burnett's journey to find her roots
So it goes at this silly site. On balance, OutFront is a gong-show in the guise of a "cable news" TV program.
Last night, as we watched OutFront, we saw a model of the way people can get misinformed. Beyond that, we saw a model of the way people can get very scared.
We saw an example of corporate behavior which ought to have people frog-marched off to jail. Having said that, we'll also say this:
We know of no good way out of this growing mess. This mess afflicts the endless array of good, decent people found all over Our Town.
Last evening, the various stars of CNN were trying to make us think that they care about "racial justice." They were striking this pose very hard.
Tomorrow, we'll show you why we're disinclined to believe such representations, all across the mainstream press corps board. But last night, this posture led to a type of "news report" by CNN's Omar Jiminez.
Jiminez is 27 years old. Balancing that, he's conventionally telegenic.
Last night, he was pushing a dominant standard theme. That standard theme was Cops Gone Wild In a Very Particular Manner.
As the evening unfolded, CNN would focus on one teen-aged shooting death, even as the channel disappeared other such deaths. Near the end of his report, Jiminez aired tape of a woman who made a striking statement. But at 7:05 P.M., he started his report with this lachrymose representation:
JIMENEZ (4/23/21): Sixteen-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant was shot and killed by Officer Nicholas Reardon after she appeared to lunge at another young woman with a knife.
In Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the morning after the Chauvin verdict, Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies serving a warrant.
A repeated American pattern, leaving some fearful.
He started with one teen-aged death, then proceeded from there.
Jiminez didn't define the "repeated pattern" which was "leaving some fearful." By now, he doesn't have to do any such thing.
By now, the official Storyline is strongly in place. Everyone knows what it is.
For the record, it's hardy surprising to hear that someone was shot and killed by police officers on the day after the Chauvin verdict.
A CNN viewer might have gotten the impression that that fact was surprising. For better or worse, it isn't surprising. It doesn't even come close.
For better or worse, here are the facts. CNN, which works from emotion and human interest, rarely bothers reporting such facts:
Over the course of the past seven years, roughly three people per day have been shot and killed by police officers across the United States. We refer to the data compiled by the Washington Post's award-winning, but declining, Fatal Force web site.
Roughly three people per day get shot and killed by police officers in the United States! Below, we'll show you the way these killings have broken down by "race" over the past seven years—since Fatal Force began its work at the start of 2015.
At present, corporate entities like CNN are pursuing their corporate profits by discussing only one class of decedents in these fatal shootings. This is astoundingly incompetent and irresponsible journalistic behavior. But in the course of this corporate behavior, a lot of people are left extremely fearful—and may become extremely underinformed.
Good, decent people are left grossly misinformed. As Anderson Cooper takes part in this process, he adopts the familiar tone of voice which lets us know how much and how deeply he cares.
As noted, Jiminez started his presentation by referring to a "repeated pattern." He then played videotape of a "community member" voicing his fear of police.
The CNN transcript doesn't say what "community" was at issue. But as he continued, Jiminez spoke to a second person, a human rights activist from Minneapolis:
JIMENEZ: It's a pain reverberating across the country, especially in the Minneapolis area.
MEL REEVES, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (videotape): We can't even get an arrest from the last one. The questions for all my neighbors are, what are we going to do? And then, what is the government going to do to stop this once and for all? This is tiring. I'm a fairly old guy now. I've been doing this for a long time and it's the same story over and over and over again.
Mel Reeves is a good, decent person. "It's the same story over and over and over again," CNN viewers were told, though no one said exactly what the "story" actually was.
Soon, we got to the heart of the matter. At the heart if the matter we found a woman stating a strong impression, and we found a statement of fear:
JIMENEZ: What was this like? What are you going to remember most?
ELIZA WESLEY (video): I hope something good comes out of it. I really hope this is a changing point, a turning point. I hope Minnesota does the world proud.
JIMENEZ: There's a pride in concluding one fight, but also reminders of so many more that remain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (video): We're going to do everything we got to do to keep the justice for us. For us. They see bad ill about us over here. But if it come to you and if you see the people, it gives you a whole different perspective. It does not happen to everybody, it happens to us. And we're going to do we got to do.
"It doesn't happen to everybody, it [only] happens to us."
By "us," we take it as obvious that the speaker meant "black people." Without any question, that's the impression a viewer will get watching CNN. Also, that's the impression a person might get from other major news orgs within Our failing Town.
We were struck by what that woman said.
"It only happens to us," she said. And please remember:
It isn't just that the woman said it. Journalistically, here's the more significant fact—CNN chose to put that statement on the air, as the culmination of a prime time news report.
That woman stated her strong impression. Over the past ten years, that impression has been sold wherever the news orgs of Our Town have gone about the business of pretending that they care..
That said, does it only happen to one group of people? How accurate is that impression? We thought we'd do something you'll never see done on CNN:
We thought we'd go ahead and show you some actual data.
Jiminez started his report by acting as if it's surprising that someone was shot and killed by police the dat after the Chauvin verdict.
In fact, people are shot and killed by police on a very regular basis. But how about in Minnesota? Does it only happen to one group of people in that wobegone state?
According to the Fatal Force site, eight people have been shot and killed by police officers in Minnesota so far this year. Below, we're going to say their names. Among thos eight names, you've heard exactly one:
Fatal shootings by police officers in Minnesota, 2021 (to date):
Bradley Olsen, April 18
Daunte Wright, April 11
David Savela, February 27
Shannon Savela, February 27
David Conwell, February 25
Dominic Koch, February 21
Joseph Heroff, February 21
Brian Andren, January 8
You've heard the name of one decedent. That one decedent was "black."
According to Fatal Force (and a bit of further research), the other seven were all "white." You haven't been told about them.
Does it really "only happen to us?" If we're talking about fatal shootings by police, the answer seems to be no. Indeed, a similar pattern obtained last year, although the rate of fatal shootings in Minnesota was substantially lower last year.
Last year, only eight people were shot and killed throughout the course of the year. None of these names has ever been mentioned by CNN at all:
Fatal shootings by police officers in Minnesota, 2020:
Dolal Idd, December 30
Estavon Elioff, December 5
Anthony Legato, October 9
Kirby Hengel, September 29
Arlan Schultz, July 13
Austin Heights, April 18
Keith Haux, March 8
Kent Kruger, February 27
According to Fatal Force, only the late Dolal Idd was "black." The other seven decedents were all "white."
It only happens to us, the citizen said—and CNN aired her comment. They didn't specify what she meant—but then, this is all novelization. This is preferred Storyline, Storyline all the way down.
Given the sloppy way Jiminez assembles his reports, there's no way to know what that woman actually meant. But we've been warning you about something for at least the past year:
Given the astonishing way news orgs in Our Town now perform their duties, we'll guess that many people have no idea about the actual state of play with regard to police shooting deaths. We say that because, under current protocols, Our Town's news orgs will only report "black" deaths:
They disappear all others.
They disappear Hispanic deaths. They disappear Asian-American and Native American deaths.
In recent years, the Washington Post has tried to call attention to a particularly egregious local shooting death involving a young man whose ancestry was Middle Eastern.
That incident had it all. It had videotape of a plainly unnecessary shooting, and it had the plain appearance of subsequent police misconduct.
The Post tried and tried to start a discussion about that local incident. Our Town's "press corps" wasn't buying. Amazingly, but undeniably, deaths like that don't count.
It's hard to believe that journalists can behave in so stupid a fashion. That said, the people in questions aren't really "journalists." As we'll briefly note below, it's not even clear that they're people.
At any rate, these idiots currently report and discuss—and pretend to care about—only one class of deaths. This is amazingly stupid work, and then too it's borderline evil.
People end up extremely scared when the events of the world are parceled out in such an astonishing way. Children become extremely scared. People end up grossly misled. People end up misinformed.
The Coopers, the Cuomos, the Burnetts and the Blitzers are all sunk in the sin of this game. We could barely believe the conduct we saw last night, over and over again.
We're not sure we've ever seen conduct to match last evening's. We expect to spend next week on various elements of this rapidly escalating insanity. For today, we'll offer you this:
The Washington Post has perhaps begun to slack off a bit with its Fatal Force site. But since it began in 2015, the site has recorded a total of 6,224 fatal shootings by police officers.
The site has been able to record the "race"/ethnicity of 5,677 of those decedents. The numbers break down like this:
Fatal shootings by police officers, 2015 to present:
White decedents: 2,883
Black decedents: 1,501
Hispanic decedents: 1,054
"Other" decedents: 239
The percentages look like this:
Fatal shootings by police officers, 2015 to present:
White decedents: 50.1%
Black decedents: 26.4%
Hispanic decedents: 18.6%
"Other" decedents: 4.2%
Jiminez will sometimes correctly note that the number of black decedents is "disproportionate." In the most literal sense, that is perfectly accurate—but it's only the starting point of a larger, difficult analysis.
CNN is too lazy, and too howlingly incompetent, to even attempt to conduct that analysis. Put another way, CNN is an entertainment / propaganda / profit-seeking entity. It's barely a news org at all.
A classic horror film was played out on CNN last night. We refer to The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which the bodies of normal humans are taken over by entities which are grossly non-human.
That film betrays a secret fear that we may not be who and what we say we are. As the millionaires of CNN air their ridiculous "stories" each night, the good and decent and regular people become more and more misinformed.
Last night, we saw Benjamin Crump make one of his typical factual howlers as he was "interviewed" by Burnett. In her uniquely smart way, Burnett just sat there and took it. As the "interview" ended, she addressed her guest as "Ben."
We saw Cuomo say that he was going to ask Ma'khia Bryant's mother why her daughter had been in foster care. After a commercial break, the "interview" started. Cuomo turned tail and ran away from his daring pledge.
Concerning Cuomo, understand this:
He interviewed the mother of a teenage girl who was sot and killed by a police officer. He did so to let us know how much the family grieves.
He didn't interview the parents of Peyton Ham, a teenager who was shot and killed one week before. Those parents said they were "shattered" and "heartbroken," but under Cuomo's current arrangements, parents like them don't count.
Their son's name has never been mentioned on CNN. Astoundingly, this is the way the body-snatched currently choose to perform.
People are badly misled by this conduct. People become very scared.
That said, there are two others things which happen. We the people lose the chance to seek reform of our institutions "black and white together." Also this:
People who watch Fox News each night keep seeing videotape of the lunatic comments made by Our Town's cable stars. They see tape of those comments every night—and yes, the comments are crazy.
Our Town has been assailed by this sanity-snatching for the past ten years. Even after a decade of information-snatching, we were amazed by what we saw last night.
In the coming week, we'll discuss as much of this lunacy as we can. But we'd almost describe what we saw last night as something resembling a "press corps riot." One thinks of the summer of '68, when Chicago's police did run wild.
Despite their unique smarts, these people should all be marched away. Truthfully, though, tell us the truth:
Truthfully, are they people? If so, on what meat do they feed?