I am thankful this week that we live in a country in which trials like the Kyle Rittenhouse trial can be open for public scrutiny. Otherwise, I would have thought based on initial reporting that this 17-year-old kid was a slam-dunk Nazi who killed two men during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Jumping to condemn, presidential candidate Joe Biden called him a “white supremecist” — based on bad reporting by the national media and his own lousy politics of race. Without knowing any of the real facts, Rittenhouse was judged a bad agent who needed culling from the herd.
As the trial progressed, however, complete with video and all, it became clear that the initial reporting and first judgement was way, way wrong. Kyle Rittenhouse wasn’t a vigilante hunting down Black Lives Matter protesters. This was a dangerous mob riot. All of the victims were white, not black. Rittenhouse wasn’t on the hunt, he was clearly on the defense, scrambling for his life.
Again, the video was crystal clear on this.
Rittenhouse, according to the evidence, was not a white supremecist, or a Nazi or a member of any kind of fringe group. He showed up at the scene to protect property. Things got out of hand and he ended up having to use the gun to escape his own death.
You can argue about the details in this case. You can criticize Rittenhouse for putting himself in this situation. You can even say that if Rittenhouse was Black, he’d have been convicted by this jury. Legit items worthy of good debate.
But if we’re to be honest this trial showed that having cameras in the courtroom gave us all an opportunity to see what really happened.
Good on the American justice system. Bad on the American progressive media who got it dreadfully wrong and perpetuated a phony narrative, which had it resulted in a guilty verdict, would have produced a true miscarriage of justice.
President Biden should apologize (he has not and he will not) and every major news organization should find a way in prime time to do some real navel gazing on their horrifically erroneous reporting.
THE TWO BIDENS
Right after the Rittenhouse verdict of “not guilty,” President Biden was asked on the fly what he thought about it. He said: “Look, I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it.” That’s what I would call the “normal” Biden.
But hours later the White House issued this formal statement, which read in part: “While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.”
That’s the “progressive” Biden — a figure that appears to be orchestrated by others and seeking to divide Americans based on race.
ONE MORE THING
• Husband: “I want you to have this bracelet. It belonged to my grand- mother. Wife: “Why does it say ‘Do Not Resuscitate?’”
• The newspaper reported eyewitnesses saw a dwarf climbing down the prison’s walls. I thought to myself: “That kind of reporting is a little condescending.”
• If you want to make your wife feel special, place her picture in the kitchen with the label “Employee of the Month.” Follow me for more relationship tips.
• Doctor: I’m going to deliver your baby.” Parents: “Actually, we’d prefer our baby keep his liver.”
— Sign of the week.
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. As always, thank you for
reading this local newspaper. Until next week, please be kind to all you meet, laugh a little and always question authority.
(Sherman Frederick is a Nevada Hall of Fame journalist and co-founder of Battle Born Media, a news organization dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)