Three takeaways from CNN!

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2021

Goodbye, elementary competence: Anderson Cooper came on the air last night wearing his serious look. Right out of the gate, he managed somehow to say this:

COOPER (11/19/21): Good evening.

Tonight, the impact of the not guilty verdict and killings that never should have happened. There is no debate about that, and tried under local and national pressures that amplified every aspect of the case in the dual tragedies at the heart of it.

First the killing of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer, then the violent unrest which followed, that drew then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to the scene with an AR-15 style rifle, which he ended up using to shoot and kill two men and wound another.

Two tragedies that brought us here made Rittenhouse a right-wing folk hero, social justice villain, and fueled no end of debate over vigilante justice, gun rights, race, and policing. In short, everything jurors were supposed to ignore as they consider the evidence and apply the law and reach their decision.

So said the plainly serious Cooper. Perhaps you've spotted the error. 

At this point, reporter Sara Sidner offered a basic report about the verdict. At 8:05, Cooper came back on the air and said this:

COOPER: Sara Sidner, appreciate it. 

By the way, in the intro, I said Jacob Blake was killed by police. That's inaccurate. He was shot and partially paralyzed. 

Joining us now, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates; CNN political commentator Van Jones; CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Paul Callan; and CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

"By the way," Cooper said, Jacob Blake hadn't been killed after all. His statement had been inaccurate, Cooper now disclosed.

Cooper seems to spend the bulk of his time writing books about the Vanderbilt side of his family. We sometimes wonder how much time he chooses to spend assembling basic information about the topics he discusses, or pretends to discuss, when he's on the air.

In this instance, he'd been reading copy prepared by someone on his staff—someone who apparently thought that Jacob Blake was shot and killed last summer. For whatever reason, Cooper didn't correct the groaningly inaccurate copy as he read it from prompter.

Everybody makes mistakes. Cooper's misstatement could perhaps be seen as nothing more than that. 

That said, Cooper wasn't the only major figure who made that startling misstatement in the wake of yesterday's verdict. Terry Moran of ABC News said the same thing in that network's instant live coverage.

You can see him say it here, 40 seconds in:

"Well, [the verdict] is very significant, first for the community of Kenosha. This city was traumatized by the police killing of a black man, Jacob Blake."

As Moran was introduced, we were told that he had "been on the case from the beginning here." Somehow, he seemed to think, "inaccurately," that Jacob Blake had been killed.

For the record, it wasn't just Cooper and Moran. Later,  the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Sean Patrick Maloney, issued a statement in which, "by the way," he made the same "inaccurate" statement. 

In part, Maloney said this:

"It is disgusting and disturbing that someone was able to carry a loaded assault rifle into a protest against the unjust killing of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man." 

Later, Maloney's groaner was corrected. Don't ask us how we know these things, but as it turned out, the claims made by our unnamed source were in fact perfectly accurate.

Everybody makes mistakesbut on our three major cable news channels, "mistakes" are almost surely part of the basic business model. With that basic fact in mind, we were struck by a presentation Sidner made during yesterday's 2 P.M. hour, not long after the verdict was announced.

On balance, Sidner has long struck us as a sober, competent person. For unknown reasons, she now, perhaps a bit belatedly, began listing "some of the things that we learned in this case while the trial was going on that was not public knowledge or was not widely known publicly."

Full disclosure! A lot of things were "not widely known publicly" while the trial was going on! That was especially true for people who were getting their "information" from Sidner's own corporate channel, or from MSNBC. 

In part, Sidner was now correcting standard misstatements which had been made, again and again, on CNN itself. Her fact-check had perhaps been delayed, but here's part of what she now said:

SIDNER (11/19/21): I do want to talk to you a little bit about some of the things that we learned in this case while the trial was going on that was not public knowledge or was not widely known publicly.

[...]

We also learned that the AR-15-style rifle that Rittenhouse carried that day in the streets was legal for him to possess, the judge saying that it had to be a certain measurement for it to be illegal for him to have hold of.

And so that was dropped right before the jury went to start deliberating in this case. The prosecution's comments on that, they didn't seem to know that the measurements made a huge difference here...

We also learned that Kyle Rittenhouse's father and other family members lived here in Kenosha, and that he was actually here in Kenosha the night before he went out into the street. There has been a lot of politicians, and there have been a lot of folks on social media, saying that he came over with his gun "crossing state lines" with that gun. That is not the case.

We learned that in this trial, that, indeed, the gun was actually here in Kenosha at the family of a friend's house who bought that rifle for him, and that he ended up with it that night, not taking it across state lines to come to the protest, but taking it from his friend's family's home.

Stating the obvious, it wasn't the judge who said the gun "had to be a certain measurement for it to be illegal;" it was Wisconsin state law. Concerning what the prosecution "didn't seem to know" about that, a great deal more could perhaps be said, and on occasion has been said—but only over on Fox.

That said, we were especially struck by Sidner's comments concerning the endlessly repeated talking-point about Rittenhouse "crossing state lines."

In fact, Rittenhouse "crossed state lines" every time he drove from his mother's house in Aurora, Illinois to his father's house in Kenosha, 17 miles away. Concerning such facts, we'd note this:

You're actually allowed to "cross state lines" in the United States. As a senator, Joe Biden "crossed state lines" every day on his way to work in Washington. 

Back in the day, we ourselves "crossed state lines" every time we gave an award-winning performance at the Washington Improv. To share in the greatness, click here.

People "cross state lines" every day of the week! But in the attempt to send Rittenhouse to prison, the utterly stupid and meaningless phrase came to be invested with a criminal-sounding feel. For that reason, it was repeated again and again and again and again by the ugly, stupid mobs who prowled the streets of cable news on our own tribe's alleged behalf.

The fact that Rittenhouse "crossed state lines" has exactly zero relevance to anything that happened on that unfortunate night. Sidner said that "a lot of politicians and a lot of folks on social media" had been mouthing some form of that pointless point. 

She didn't say that her own corporate channel had crawled with this stupid behavior. 

Sidner gave her own colleagues a pass. Then too, there's what we saw on MSNBC a bit more than four hours later.

Last night ,we made ourselves do it! We forced ourselves to watch the first half hour of Joy Reid's nightly program, The ReidOut. 

Professor Johnson was hosting last night. Reid appeared as a guest from an undisclosed remote location. 

In the lengthy conversation which opened the program, one person after another mouthed the utterly pointless claim about Rittenhouse "crossing state lines." It was one of the strangest and dumbest discussions we've ever seen on cable.

Due to the slacker culture at MSNBC, we won't be able to show you transcripts until next week. But we were left with a basic question after watching this deeply human, deeply irrational imitation of discussion:

To what extent can the human race actually claim to be rational / sane? Also, what can we say about corporate executives who put product like this on the air?

We'll return to Professor Johnson and his guests at some point next week. In fairness to Reid, she's still searching for "the real hacker"—for the person who issued those homophobic posts under her own name.

The conversation on Reid's program struck us as barely sane. For today, we want to cite a third presentation from CNN. We refer to another presentation from Cooper's program last night.

This presentation went to the heart of another standard point—a talking-point in which Rittenhouse was said to have "brought a gun to a protest." Apparently willing to silence himself no longer, legal analyst Paul Callan at long last offered this:

CALLAN: You know, juries look for heroes and villains when they're looking at a criminal case, and you're going to find in favor of the hero and against the villains.

Well, you know, this case—they all look like villains on this terrible night in Kenosha. It was a dark, dystopic sort of scene where people were burning things, breaking things, and he puts himself in the middle of all of this.

Rosenbaum threatens to kill him, threatens to rip people's hearts out, and then jumps in his direction. He shoots Rosenbaum. He is next encountered by, you know a man with a handgun who says he's a medic, and that's Grosskreutz. 

Grosskreutz, as he was lowering his hand, aims the gun at the head of our defendant in this case. Somebody else strikes him with a skateboard, using it like a baseball bat. And there is even somebody named "Jumpkick Man" who the prosecutor tried to minimize his role by saying he only kicked him in the head.

So where are the heroes and where are the villains? They're all villains. Nobody believed—he didn't belong in the street that night, and these other people who were doing damage, they weren't true protesters. The protesters had been there the two previous nights. This was a night of villainy really in Kenosha.

In Callan's view, Rittenhouse "didn't belong in the street that night." But Callan made an additional claim. He said the dystopian crew who went after Rittenhouse "weren't true protesters."

He said there actually wasn't a "protest" being conducted in the streets of Kenosha at midnight that night. He said that Rittenhouse had actually placed himself among a group of people who were out there "doing damage."

Soon, Jeffrey Toobin interrupted with a deeply absurd objection. But at long last, CNN viewers were being offered a somewhat fuller account of what had happened that night.

Our question:

Did Rittenhouse bring that gun to "a protest" that night? Is that a full and reasonable description, or is it perhaps a bit of a deception?

Callan's statement starts to close a certain gap. It starts to close the yawning gap between what viewers  of Fox News have been told about the events of that night, as opposed to what we in our own failing tribe have been told by the corporate hounds from Hell we've been trained to trust and believe.

Callan omitted a great deal more information about the events of that night. His presentation came about ten minutes after the frequently hapless Cooper managed to correct the claim that Jacob Blake had been shot and killed.

For people in our own failing tribe, the coverage of the Rittenhouse trial provides a rare opportunity. It gives us the chance to come to terms with a startling fact:

In certain circumstances, viewers of Fox are actually given more information than we liberals are! In certain circumstances, we're misled by our corporate tribunes even more than The Others are misled by theirs!

The group on Reid's show were barely sane last night. This provides us with a chance to learn many things about the ways propaganda leads to war—and, in the wider sense, about our own pre-rational human race.

In closing today, we offer you this. This is what Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted after the verdict came down:

"This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest."

Nadler wasn't simply trashing the work of a jury, as our tribe now routinely does. He was repeating some of our favorite points! 

According to Nadler, Rittenhouse had "crossed state lines" to go to the site of a "protest." Judging from his peculiar tweet, it would have been OK  if Rittenhouse had lived in Wisconsin. But he had crossed state lines!

There was that talking-point again, offered in the hope that we could find some kind of way to send a teenager to prison for life!

Does Nadler's account tell us what really happened that night?  Whatever you think of Rittenhouse's conduct, we'd say the answer is no. 

We'll help you see the things you weren't told all through the course of next week. Full disclosure:

Despondent experts say this sort of intellectual squalor isn't going to end. This is the way our brains are wired, these glum famous scholars insist.


59 comments:

  1. ""By the way," Cooper said, Jacob Blake hadn't been killed after all. His statement had been inaccurate, Cooper now disclosed."

    He was only paralyzed. How blithely Somerby dismisses the consequence of police abuse of power.

    For Somerby, this is only an excuse to knock Anderson Cooper. He clearly doesn't care what happened to Blake, except as a cudgel to attack the press.

    Whatta guy!

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  2. "It is disgusting and disturbing that someone was able to carry a loaded assault rifle into a protest against the unjust [wounding] of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man."

    FTFY -- does that make Rittenhouse's behavior more acceptable?

    Does a black person have to be killed before there is concern about police abuse of power?

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  3. "but on our three major cable news channels, "mistakes" are almost surely part of the basic business model"

    How can Somerby think that about the business model when in all three cases the mistake was corrected? The business model should have left the mistake intact, if it were making such mistakes on purpose.

    Why does Somerby think that only black deaths should be protested, not disabling, life changing injuries or even the routine inconvenience of over-policing of the black community?

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  4. "We learned that in this trial, that, indeed, the gun was actually here in Kenosha at the family of a friend's house who bought that rifle for him"

    How does this change anything about the serious crimes that Rittenhouse committed? Why wasn't Rittenhouse's father charged for permitting his son to seek out and shoot rioters with such a weapon? It may be legal to own such a gun (which Rittenhouse did not do) but it should not be legal to deliberately take such a gun to a civil disturbance with the intent to shoot people with it.

    Does Somerby reveal the fact that Rittenhouse had stated before the riot that he wanted to go shoot people? That wasn't permitted by the judge as evidence, but it nevertheless occurred.

    When Somerby lists these omitted details, he should include that one.

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  5. "Stating the obvious, it wasn't the judge who said the gun "had to be a certain measurement for it to be illegal;" it was Wisconsin state law. Concerning what the prosecution "didn't seem to know" about that, a great deal more could perhaps be said, and on occasion has been said—but only over on Fox."

    The gun charge was dropped on a technicality. Does Somerby think the dimensions of the gun changed anything about its ability to be used to kill people?

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    1. "The gun charge was dropped on a technicality"
      The "technicality" simply was that carrying that gun was not against the law. Didn't the prosecutor know the laws of his own state? Why did he make an obviously invalid charge against Rittenhouse?

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    2. The technicality was that the dimensions of the gun Rittenhouse used did not fit the exact dimensions specified in the law. Otherwise the gun was of a type that should have been against the law.

      This is the same problem as the one with designer recreational drugs. The law may specify a specific chemical makeup, so the manufacturers of the drug alter it slightly so that it doesn't fit the specs in the law. That makes the drug technically legal, until the law can be updated. Unfortunately, it is hard for the legislation to keep up with the changes made to evade the law.

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  6. "In the lengthy conversation which opened the program, one person after another mouthed the utterly pointless claim about Rittenhouse "crossing state lines."

    1. Rittenhouse did cross state lines.
    2. He may not have brought a gun and he was driven by his sister, not his mother (who didn't know where he was), but he expressly went to Kenosha to participate in the riot.
    3. He was not there attending any family reunion or gathering. He planned to go there as a "medic" in order to gain attention of militia members.
    4. None of these details has any material bearing on the crimes committed by Rittenhouse, except that the facts about motive that were disallowed by the judge permitted a not-guilty verdict.
    5. Rittenhouse lied under oath about facts related to his life, his actions and motives. This is borne out by things he himself said before the killings and after his trial. Sonerby, of course, has no interest in those mistaken facts.

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    1. You and others here keep saying "crimes" committed by Rittenhouse, but he was found not guilty by the jury. The case against him was weak. Read the description of the events from Atty Callan. I read two articles discussing the background of the case - one in the New Yorker, the other in the New York Times, which both were consistent with what Atty Callan says in TDH's post. For some reason so many "liberals" including all the anons here are out for Rittenhouse to be jailed for the rest of his life, they hate him so much, never mind he is a kid. You go over the top in being biased, ignoring obvious facts etc. Saying this isn't saying Rittenhouse shouldn't have been there. But the case against him was a weak. It shouldn't be a surprise he was found not guilty. Try being rational and objective.

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    2. Shooting an unarmed man is a crime, whether a cop does it or Rittenhouse. The inability of an ineffective prosecution to make a strong enough case changes nothing. This will now move into civil court, where Rittenhouse may be made to pay for crimes (just as OJ was, eventually).

      I hate the injustice of this situation, where Rittenhouse was acquitted because of a biased judge and a jury "sympathetic" to the alt-right. Liberals are concerned about what he will do next, and what his buddies may do, not whether he is sent to jail. It is important that vigilantes not have license to shoot people and then claim they were defending themselves (against unarmed men). There is nothing irrational about that concern.

      Your mischaracterization of how liberals feel about this verdict is noted.

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    3. This is why liberals are concerned:

      ""In one Telegram channel for the far-right Proud Boys, some noted they had taken the day off work to await the verdict," reported Odette Yousef. "'There's still a chance for this country,' wrote one. In another channel, a member stated that political violence must continue. 'The left wont stop until their bodie(s) get stacked up like cord wood,' he wrote."

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    4. Shooting an unarmed man in self-defense isn't a crime, dear Corby. So, please be careful: it sounds like your ignorance could cost you dearly.

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    5. He shot two unarmed men and one armed man who was trying to keep him from killing more people. It wasn't self defense. And yes, that is a crime.

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    6. Every liberal is in danger of being shot by a Right-winger.
      All they have to do is say they were in fear, so their accusation that everyone else is a snowflake, AND the well-known fact that every Right-wing accusation is a confession, puts a target on every liberals back.

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    7. When women fight back against abusive husbands and injure or kill them, they are tried and put in jail. It doesn't matter that they say they feared for thrir lives and had proof of ongoing abuse over years, and a genuine fear that their husbands will kill them, as theatened. These women go to jail. But not Rittenhouse. How do you suppose that makes women feel about American justice?

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    8. "he expressly went to Kenosha to participate in the riot."

      I love that word "participate". The arsonists who torched 100 cars were "participating". Rittenhouse, who attempted to put out the fires was also "participating." Same word, but very different conduct

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    9. He expressly went to Kenosha to protect racial hierarchies.

      Fixed it for you.

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    10. @Corby 7:53 PM,
      The assumptions living inside your skull, dear Corby, have no effect on real life.

      In reality, every incident is investigated, brought to court, and decided by 12 randomly selected citizens, according to the laws enacted by state legislators. Or, more often, an agreement is achieved by plea bargain.

      It's an imperfect system, obviously, but it's unlikely to change any time soon.

      Or, do you have something against your fellow citizens who serve as jurors? Or, against the laws? Do you believe that wimmin and other 'identities' you happen to sympathize with should receive special considerations? That the defenders you dislike for political or 'identity' reasons should be dealt with more harshly than others?

      What is it you want, exactly? Do you want to be the absolute ruler of the universe? Sorry, but that's not going to happen.

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    11. Mao,
      I don't see the police in your explanation.
      Did you de-fund them?

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    12. He also left out the fact that the judge is supposed to be impartial and not an obvious Trump supporter working hard to get Rittenhouse off.

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    13. "Rittenhouse, who attempted to put out the fires was also "participating."

      There is no evidence that Rittenhouse helped put out the fires.

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    14. Corby, I don't think you have any idea what evidence the jury heard, and you don't seem to care. All you have is the dogmatic, propagandistic story line that has been advanced by propagandists. You state, "shooting an unarmed man is a crime." Obviously, it often is, but it is not per se a crime. It depends on the circumstances. In Rittenhouse's case the evidence was that Rosenbaum (just released from a psychiatric hospital) was chasing him, screaming obscenities at him, threw something at him, and lunged at him when Rittenhouse shot him. The crowd chased Rittenhouse, he was hit by a skateboard, someone landed a flying kick on him when he was on the ground, and Rittenhouse shot McInnes.The last guy who was shot and wounded was pointing a gun at Rittenhouse. It was a chaotic scene. Rittenhouse was only 17 years old. You might wasnt to read the article about the situation published in the June 28, 2021 New Yorker, if you had any interest in the facts. I think your objection to the judge is that he wasn't biased, not that he was. You hold yourself out as some type of intellectual, but there is no critical thinking, no realization that there may be another side to the story, no objectivity. It's painful to read your comments. You only care about the conclusion, not the facts.

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    15. So, screaming and lunging justify shooting in your world? Rittenhouse, who is supposedly taking a nursing course, better not be assigned any mentally ill patients or distraught family members, or anyone who might be confused, demented or upset by their illness. He might shoot them.

      After shooting the obviously mentally ill man, Rittenhouse was chased by people who were trying to take his gun and stop him from shooting others. The mentally ill man was unarmed, but so was the next guy that Rittenhouse shot.

      A criminal who has just shot someone does not have a right of self defense against those trying to prevent him from shooting more people.

      Rittenhouse's age doesn't justify anything he did.

      My objection to the judge is that he was clearly biased in favor of Rittenhouse in all of his rulings.

      I don't hold myself out as any kind of "intellectual" but disagreement with you doesn't mean I am not thinking carefully. I disagree with nearly everything you say here. That doesn't make me less objective. It means I disagree. You don't seem to be able to tolerate disagreement without namecalling. You also don't seem to have any response to the many facts that have been presented here, such as the ones that disconfirm Rittenhouse's presentation as a witness. You prefer to attack people rather than facts, admittedly easier since the facts do not support your version of what happened.

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    16. Corby, did you read the New Yorker piece? Do you know all the evidence that was presented to the jury? Do you honestly think you are objective about this? Your version here of the facts is extremely slanted. You state that you object to the judge because "he was clearly biased in all his rulings." That's a conclusory statement, with no examples. You don';t like it when right wingers make dishonest arguments, but you're blind to the fact that is what you do constantly. You state that a "criminal who just shot someone does not have a right of self-defense against those trying to prevent him from shooting more people>' This statement is wrong on many levels. Your use of the term "criminal" is a loaded and conclusory. One person who was chasing him knocked Rittenhouse to the ground hitting him with a skate board. Another person jumped in the air and kicked him when he was on the ground. I cited several facts - you disagree with every one of them? Arguing with you is like arguing with a rabid trump supporter - it's a post-reason world.

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    17. AC/MA, I have read other sources besides the New Yorker. I wasn't a juror and I don't know all of the evidence that was presented, and neither do you.

      If you do not admit that the judge was biased (with his Trump campaign song ringtone, his banning of MSNBC and disregard of Fox's documentary, his unwillingness to allow evidence helpful to the prosecution about Rittenhouse's motives and previous statements) then we have nothing to talk about.

      Just because you disagree with something I say, because it doesn't fit with your right-wing sources, doesn't make my statements dishonest or untrue.

      I am not in court. I can call Rittenhouse a criminal if I think he is one. I cannot see how anyone can conclude that a 17 year old who goes to a demonstration with a gun in order to shoot people (by his own admission) can be considered anything other than a criminal when he carries that out by shooting an unarmed man.

      Of course that man (who Rittenhouse shot and killed) knocked him to the ground with a skateboard and tried to take his gun. Rittenhouse had just killed an unarmed man in cold blood and was walking down the street with his weapon and the potential to kill other people. The man with the skateboard was a hero for trying to stop Rittenhouse, not vice versa. Of course someone else kicked him. He still had his gun. He had it when he left the area, walking through the police lines without being stopped.

      Do you think that a mass killer such as Rittenhouse should have been permitted to go on killing people without anyone trying to stop him? On what planet?

      And you accuse me of being "post-reason"? Now Rittenhouse is being lauded as the one who has finally given permission to the rest of the alt-right to start using its guns. That is not a post-reason world. It is a world in which the left can be hunted by armed men with guns, simply for expressing their views in public (as is their constitutional right). It is a world in which the right can shoot unarmed people who they target for their views, with impunity and without consequences. That is the world this judge created with his support for the alt-right.

      My hope is that the justice department will invetigate and sort out what should have happened to Rittenhouse as a result of his actions. This is no different than the situation where armed men in the south shot liberals and civil rights activists with impunity, everyone knew who did it, but the jury would not convict anyone, so the Department of Justice had to step in and restore justice for all people, including those targeted by Southern vigilantes (KKK and other night riders and murderers).

      I doubt you argue with many rabid trump supporters. You guys would have too much in common.

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    18. The prosecutor presented a frame by frame analysis of the moment Grosskreutz was shot. The gun Grosskreutz was holding was not pointed in the direction of rittenhouse until after his right arm was blown off at which point he had no ability to squeeze the trigger.

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    19. New Yorker Magazine is behind a paywall.

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    20. anon 1:10 (a/k/a Corby) - at least Corby you have clarified one thing, that you alternatively post here as an "anon" - makes sense, there couldn't be a second person with such an addled style of reasoning. It seems a little dishonest to post as Corby plus posting as an anon, as if it's 2 (or more) doing the posting. For what it's worth.

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  7. "Rosenbaum threatens to kill him, threatens to rip people's hearts out, and then jumps in his direction. He shoots Rosenbaum."

    Somerby has disappeared the fact that Rosenbaum was mentally ill. No one else shot Rosenbaum, despite his actions, and no one else was concerned by him. Just Rittenhouse.

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  8. Paul Callan suggests the penalty for property damage should be death.

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  9. "He said the dystopian crew who went after Rittenhouse "weren't true protesters."

    The "dystopian crew" went after Rittenhouse to stop him because he had just shot a man in cold blood.

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    1. Actually, they went after him as he was running away toward the police, running for his life. The mob wasn't trying to stop him. They were trying to attack him.

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    2. Rittenhouse was trying to protect himself from living in a country where black people have equality.

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    3. That poor young innocent lad. Just walking down the street minding his own business and suddenly for no apparent reason a mob tried to attack him. Good thing he had his AR-15 assault rifle locked and loaded with 30 rounds full metal jacket ammo. Good thing young Florence Nightingale was prepared for these unprovoked attacks.

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    4. David:

      The "dystopian crew" went after Rittenhouse to stop him because he had just shot a man in cold blood.

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    5. @7:00 AM - your sarcastic description is actually what happened. People in the crowd attacked Rittenhouse, despite no provocation on his part. Or, perhaps one could say, that Rittenhouse provoked them by being there are being armed. However, those were legal activities by Rittenhouse.

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    6. I consider shooting an unarmed man to be a provocative act. YMMV

      When Rittenhouse shot a mentally ill man because he was behaving in a deranged way, he killed a man in cold blood. A so-called medic with EMT training (which Rittenhouse lied about having) should have recognized what was happening. His lying and lack of experience contributed to his mistaken belief that the man was dangerous to him (despite his being armed while the other man was not). It is not legal to shoot someone just because you find him scary. If that were true, women would shoot men all the time and smaller guys would shoot bigger ones, especially drunks and aggressive assholes. But it is not true that you get to shoot someone simply because you have a gun but still find them scary or menacing. If there is someone mentally ill who is ranging or throwing things, you do what every other person does -- walk away from them. That is what a law-abiding person does. Rittenhouse, however, because he brought a gun and put himself into a riot, shot an unarmed man. Everything that happened after that was legal on the part of those trying to detain and dearm Rittenhouse, who had just killed an unarmed man (do I need to point out again that Rittenhouse was armed while his assailant was not?).

      It is not legal to shoot someone who is unarmed and then walk away and expect that no one will try to apprehend you. Why do you guys here keep trying to excuse this behavior?

      This jury verdict implies that the only life and the only fear that mattered was Rittenhouse's. Do other people not have rights, in this case to not be shot by a moronic kid with a weapon he shouldn't have (recall that he was 17 and there was a law against a minor having such a weapon, even if the judge decided not to enforce it).

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    7. David, the AR-15 was purchased illegally, and Rittenhouse as a matter of fact had no legal right to strap that weapon on and parade down the street in public with that weapon. The judge completely ignored the spirit of the law that allowed underage persons to carry a long weapon meant for hunting such as a hunting rifle or shotgun. Not a military assault weapon. Just the very act of knowingly carrying that weapon in public which he did not legally own and was underage to carry makes all the rest of his actions his responsibility.

      It is funny how the party claiming they demand personal responsibility always find a way of wiggling out their own self created jams.

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  10. "In certain circumstances, viewers of Fox are actually given more information than we liberals are! In certain circumstances, we're misled by our corporate tribunes even more than The Others are misled by theirs!"

    Tsk. Well, dear Bob, replace "certain circumstances" with "every time", and you have a correct, albeit it unnecessary mild, statement here.

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    1. I'm glad someone is reporting that Rittenhoouse is a HUGE snowflake, who feared for his life because black people wanted equality.

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  11. How hard is it for Somerby to understand that when a protest starts as a protest and evolves into a riot, the people doing the rioting are not the same people who were doing the protesting? Other people come and take advantage of the situation to look and damage property. The police typically focus on controlling the protesters and ignore the others, resulting in way more damage and looting than might otherwise occur if the police were not preoccupied. Police let this happen, just as they let Rittenhouse walk away from his crimes and welcomed the presence of armed vigilantes at what began as a peaceful protest.

    Somerby's presentation of the situation is as flawed as Fox's and he ignores as many truths as he accuses the left of doing. The left is not calling Kenosha a peaceful protest -- they are calling it a protest that became a riot.

    Protesters don't go to protests to engage in property damage and looting and rioting. They go to express their 1st Amendment rights to free speech because of some incident they think requires change. Militia members, alt-right boogaloo enthusiasts and disgruntled men with grievances engage in looting, rioting, shooting, burning cars, and other property damage. These are not the same people as the protesters.

    There has been plenty of examination of why Rittenhouse went to a riot (instead of staying away or watching it on TV). His motives may be similar to many men who think such an event is an opportunity to engage in violence and break things. That is a problem that is neither acknowledged nor dealt with in our society. Why are these white and black men so upset that they go into the streets to engage in such acts?

    Fox doesn't care. Their audience members egg on the others to commit such acts, as they did on 1/6. That was a riot goaded by insurrectionists and coup plotters. Does Somerby think the protesters planned or plotted this riot? Evidence suggests it was encouraged by militias and the alt-right, not the left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think the protest "evolved" into a riot. I think a bunch of people planned and conducted a peaceful protest. Another group of people planned and conducted a riot.

      Delete
    2. That's what happened in the George Floyd Summer.
      A bunch of people planned and conducted a peaceful protest. Another group, the cops, planned and conducted a riot.

      Delete
  12. "In certain circumstances, viewers of Fox are actually given more information than we liberals are! In certain circumstances, we're misled by our corporate tribunes even more than The Others are misled by theirs!"

    Somerby believes this because he thinks that what is said by Fox is true whereas what is said by MSNBC is not. He is wrong about that.

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  13. "According to Nadler, Rittenhouse had "crossed state lines" to go to the site of a "protest." "

    Nadler was speaking in a general sense, not about Rittenhouse specifically, but didn't the protesters at the 1/6 riot carry guns across state lines and stash them in a hotel, close at hand, in anticipation of the rally? Yes, they did. Somerby's pretense that because Rittenhouse got his gun from a relative, that makes what he did less of a concern, is ridiculous. There have been a spate of crimes committed by right-wingers involving taking guns across state lines for the purpose of engaging in violence. Somerby's pretense that because Rittenhouse wasn't among them, that Nadler's concern is wrong, doesn't hold water.

    Note that Somerby does not identify Nadler as a Democrat and member of the House from New York. Nadler says:

    "Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest."

    He does refer to the impact of "this verdict" but he never mentions Rittenhouse in what follows, which is a generalization of the problems raised by the verdict, not a description of what Rittenhouse did.

    Most Democrats agree with Nadler. Somerby is not liberal, so of course he sides with the miscreants who think it is OK for teens to use guns at protests, to protect us all from those dirty hippies (who Callan calls a "dystopian crew"). It seems clear that Rittenhouse was attracted by the opportunity to engage in violence and was himself on the dystopian side. He clearly was not a "true protester" himself, nor a medic, nor trying to keep the peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby defies labels because he insists on some level of accuracy in the media.

      Also he believes in critical thinking.

      When highly paid media stars fail to inform and fail to think, then they disgrace themselves and demean their audience.

      Delete
    2. Who doesn't believe the press should be accurate? (Besides Tucker Carlson)

      For someone who believes in critical thinking, Somerby does very little of it.

      Highly paid media stars are human beings. If they occasionally slip up, especially if they correct themselves, people should cut them some slack. Somerby's examples of media slip ups are far from disgraceful or demeaning -- they are trivial and reflect worse on Somerby than those he attacks.

      Delete
  14. It’s too bad there’s no video with the link to the article of Bob’s Improv act.

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  15. Bob, you keep stating that Rittenhouse was from Aurora, Illinois. That's incorrect. He is from Antioch, Illinois. It's on the Illinois/Wisconsin border. Aurora is a western suburb of Chicago, as the crow flies, about 55 miles from the Illinois/Wisconsin border.

    ReplyDelete
  16. “simply trashing the work of a jury, as our tribe now routinely does.”

    Such a loaded phrase “trashing the work of a jury.”

    A reminder that Somerby wrote multiple posts trashing, er, questioning, the jury’s verdict in the Brock Turner case. A sample of this:

    “In March 2016, a unanimous jury ruled that he committed a sexual assault. Tomorrow, we'll examine the slightly peculiar, challenging logic behind that jury's verdict.”

    “we'd always been puzzled by the logic of the Turner jury's unanimous guilty verdict:”

    “After the trial, one juror emerged to explain the logic of the jury's unanimous guilty verdict. We'd say that logic makes a type of perfect sense.

    We'd also say that logic may be a bit strained, for a reason we haven't yet mentioned.”

    (http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-age-of-novel-at-trial-logical-puzzle.html)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every Right-wing accusation is a confession.

      Delete
  17. Here is a description of some other ways that the judge showed bias:

    "The first of those many things happened months ago in February when Judge Bruce Schroeder denied the motion by prosecutors to have Rittenhouse rearrested for violating the terms of his release. He had left the court with a false address and his bond was raised by $200,000, according to a report by The Washington Post. So Rittenhouse broke the rules and didn’t have to face any consequences? Sounds about white.

    In March another bad sign came when Judge Schroeder delayed the trial date for Rittenhouse by seven months. Like not only was this an uphill battle, it was going to be long as hell until we got there. The Associated Press reported that the trial was set to begin on March 29, but it was postponed until November 1 with a status hearing set for May 17."
    ...
    "Judge Schroeder decided to be the first person to steal headlines when he sided with Rittenhouse’s defense lawyers and told prosecutors that they cannot use the word “victim” to describe the two people the gun-boy murdered. But, he did allow the defense to call the victims “rioters,” “arsonists” or “looters.” Wow.

    A juror on the case decided to be next in line when he decided he wanted to be a comedian in the middle of a murder trial. But the thing is, the joke was about the Jacob Blake shooting. According to a report by CNN, a juror told a joke to the deputy along the lines of “why did it take seven shots to shoot Jacob Blake” and ended with “because they ran out of bullets.” Not funny and super insensitive. The juror was dismissed.

    Rittenhouse’s moment was next when he cried while giving his testimony. Dramatically, I might add, and Judge Schroeder called for a break. What a nice guy."
    ...
    "Lebron James decided to jump in on the Twitter discourse and clown Rittenhouse for his dramatic sobbing in court. Like many people in the Black community, he got a couple of laughs out of it. And naturally, conservatives got angry about it."

    "Unfortunately, the testimony from the lone survivor of the shooting became an afterthought in this trial. Gaige Grosskreutz took the stand to describe what it was like to watch Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old at the time, reload his rifle in front of him. Scary. Why didn’t his testimony go viral?

    Just a couple of days later, the defense filed a motion for a mistrial after the prosecution and judge went at it. Judge Schroeder took the mistrial motion under advisement, which would’ve ultimately allowed Rittenhouse to get off according to Reuters. Which he eventually did.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Remember when Judge Schroeder’s phone went off during the trial and the ringtone that played was “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood, the theme song for Trump Rallies?"

    "What about when Judge Schroeder took a break for lunch referencing the food he was ordering saying, “I hope the Asian food coming... isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor.” I guess Judge Schroder thought he was a comedian like the juror who was dismissed. Even though the joke was racist and not funny at all.

    What about the fact that Rittenhouse was allowed by Judge Schroeder to pull his jurors out of a hat. Like a damn game of bingo."

    "Earlier this week, Judge Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18 as stated in NBC News. Even though Rittenhouse was a person under the age of 18, with an AR-15. "

    These are the things The Root, a black publication, wrote about. How do you suppose the trial looks to them? Hint: not like justice. They said the kid got off without even a slap on the wrist.

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  18. "How do you suppose the trial looks to them?"

    To them? Are you implying, dear dembot, that these particular dembots are somehow different from other dembots because of (allegedly) high amount of melanin their bodies?

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    Replies
    1. No, I am saying that as members of an oppressed subculture in our society, they have skin in the game.

      Delete
    2. In the game of rioting or game of shooting rioters?

      Delete
    3. In the game of convicting the people who shoot unarmed people in the streets.

      Why should someone have to spell this out for you? Have you no decency?

      Delete
    4. Are you saying that the dembots you quote shoot unarmed people in the streets?

      Delete
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