From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #75
November 22, 2021
Facts #5 **
WHEN THE MEDIA DOESN’T
CHECK THE FACTS
In this deep dive into facts, what they are, how to identify a true fact from a false one, how to establish factual evidence, there has been playing out on the media in the past couple weeks a real mis-use of “facts” and generation of non-facts. Some of the media, not all of it, has played really loose and wild with facts, others have offered lies as “facts” with a straight face. In the last administration, the media “fact checked” everything President Trump said. Today they have given that up and do not even attempt to fact check President Biden.
Here’s a fact to start with. On Friday, the jury in Kenosha Wisconsin returned a “not guilty” verdict on all five counts against Kyle Rittenhouse. After 26 hours of deliberating, they decided on the basis of the facts and the evidence presented that Kyle had shot three people in self-defense. That event occurred in August of 2020 when a young teenager came to Kenosha where his dad lived the day after riots and burnings of buildings to give medical aid and to protect a friends. Once there, he was asked to help protect a friend’s car dealership from the violence and rioting.
The amazing thing about facts is that they are pretty easily established when you have a video record. And that’s what the jury had. So the case for self-defense was pretty easy given that you could see Kyle running away from the mob and being chased and then defending himself. There was also video of him falling to the ground, being beaten on the head with a skateboard.
When Gaige Grosskreutz pointed a gun at his head, Kyle shot him in his hand. This is man who also testified and said, yes, Kyle did not shot until he had pointed the gun at his head. He was supposed to have been the prosecution’s star witness, but that statement certainly establishes self-defense. This was a hard fact from a participant in the riots.
Then there are the facts about who Kyle shot. When he was being chased by a mob and he turned and shot his pursuers, who exactly was chasing him? One was Joseph Rosenbaum, an ex-con who had been sentenced to prison for 10 years, a convicted child rapist. Another was Anthony Hoover, another criminal who had been convicted of domestic violence. He was the person who beat Kyle on the head with a skateboard. These facts were established in the trial. That doesn’t sound like they were innocent victims let along good people.
But against all of those facts— facts established in the courtroom is the fact that the mainstream media had been presenting lies and false propaganda from the beginning. Even in August 2020 Joe Biden jumped the gun and called him a “white supremacist.” There was no evidence of that and none surfaced in the year since that statement. But the media picked it up calling him a racist and terrorist. But without any factual evidence, that’s just name-calling. There are no facts that provide any evidence of that.
The bizarre and crazy thing is that the media called him a racist even though no black people were involved in the drama at all. It was a white teenager against three other white men. As a fact, all of the people Rittenhouse shot were white. None were black. To frame it as a racial event completely distorts the story.
Without any facts to support them, MSNBC ramped up the charged of “white supremacists” on Friday after the verdict. They thereby perpetuated the fake news and ignored the justice system. MSNBC had also been forbidden to enter the court house on the last day due to misbehavior of one of their reporters had run a red light when chasing the jury bus.
At least Biden, when asked about the trail, he had enough sense to say, “The jury system works and we will have to stand by it.” Good for him.
Here’s an example of the media playing really loose with facts. On Friday ABC news announced that the riots had started because the police had “killed an unarmed black man,” Jacob Blake. But, of course, that denies the actual facts of the case. First, the police did not kill anyone— Jacob Blake is still alive— to this day! And he was not “unarmed,” he had a knife and he admitted that he did. It seems that the media just cannot face the facts as facts and let the evidence speak for itself.
What is not factual is name-calling. People tend to do that when they don’t have the facts on their side. Yet sticking a label on someone does not make it so. Kyle was not a white supremacist, vigilante, racist, terrorist or any of the other names that the media has tried to put on him. What’s pathetic is that the media misrepresented these things for over a year which essentially had been “media brainwashing” of the public. In smearing and vilifying him, they used speech to incite anger and rage. If there ever was “fake news” this was it.
I use this example about some of the media because it is so obvious and shows the critical nature of being able to intelligently and critically deal with what we call “facts.” It should be a big warning about the things that the media presents as “the facts.” The time has come when all of us have to do fact checking ourselves.