Rittenhouse Judge Schroeder Bans MSNBC from Courtroom in Violation of the First Amendment

The trial of teen vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse has produced some bizarre and legally questionable moments. Many of those moments relate directly to the behavior of Judge Bruce Schroeder whose rulings have overwhelming favored the defense and been openly hostile to the prosecution.

Kyle Rittenhouse, Judge Bruce Schroeder

On Thursday this tendency of Schroeder to put his right-wing prejudices on display crossed another line of propriety for a jurist. Responding to a report that a reporter allegedly working for MSNBC News was following a bus that was transporting the jurors, Schroeder interrupted the proceedings to make this alarming declaration:

“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial. This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who is following a jury bus, that is an extremely serious matter will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”

This is indeed a “very serious matter,” but not for the reasons that Schroeder suggests. There are several problems with how the Judge reacted to this report. First of all, in his statement he admits that he “I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is.” But he issues his prohibition against MSNBC News anyway. What if the truth is that the reporter was not from MSNBC? What if there was nothing untoward taking place? Then Schroeder punished the network despite it having done nothing to warrant it. That is the definition of government censorship and violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

What’s more, Schroeder may have gotten the network wrong. Reports variously describe the reporter as having been associated with MSNBC or NBC, two different networks. So it’s pretty sloppy of the Judge to impose such severe penalties when he doesn’t even know who the suspected offender is affiliated with. In addition to that, it is ridiculous to ban MSNBC from the courtroom when reporters from NBC, who were not covered by the order, are still permitted to cover the trial. They can then appear on MSNBC to give their account of the proceedings.

Finally, Schroeder took the extreme measure of banning the entire MSNBC network, rather than just the alleged offender. At best he could have argued that the reporter who was involved should have his courtroom privileges suspended, not for the duration of the trial, but until the facts were ascertained. But Schroeder didn’t take that rational step. Instead he punished everyone at MSNBC, despite the fact that none of them had done anything wrong. It also needs to be remembered that the reporter in question wasn’t found to have done anything wrong either. NBC News released a statement saying that…

“Last night, a freelancer received a traffic citation. While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them”

Rittenhouse’s defense attorney has already filed a motion for a mistrial, which Schroeder has yet to rule on. But if anyone is entitled to a mistrial, it’s the prosecution. And Schroeder should be cited for judicial misconduct. He has shown bias throughout this trial. And his disrespect for the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of the press makes his malfeasance on the bench all the more reprehensible.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
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SRSLY? Trump Threatens to Sue Pulitzers to Revoke Awards for Factual Russian Collusion Stories

Being the reigning heavyweight champion of the World of Whining, Donald Trump bears the burden of defending his title every day. And he wrestles with this responsibility as furiously as one would expect of a bona fide malignant narcissist. He wakes every morning with a commitment to feeding his insatiable ego.

Donald Trump

Among the most demanding tasks Trump faces is his obsession with the fallacy that he won the presidential election in 2016 all on his own. Never mind that he actually lost the popular vote by more than three million votes. Trump is still fixated on the verified charges that Russia aided and abetted his campaign. Those charges were documented by exhaustively investigated stories in both the Washington Post and the New York times. Both papers won Pulitzer Awards for their reporting.

Recently Trump has been expressing his notoriously unhinged outrage at the Pulitzer Committee’s decision to honor the journalists whose work revealed how deeply the interests of Trump and his campaign were intertwined with those of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Putin, when asked directly at a press conference with Trump standing next to him, admitted that he wanted Trump to win and helped him do so.

On Wednesday Trump sent a letter to the Pulitzer Committee demanding that they revoke the awards given to the Post and the Times. His request was triggered by reports that some of the material in the infamous Steele Dossier was provided by sources who were just indicted for lying to the FBI. Setting aside the fact that no one has been convicted, those indictments do not address nor refute the vast majority of what was reported in the Pulitzer winning articles. But that didn’t stop Trump from asserting a series of flagrant falsehoods in his letter to the Pulitzers. For instance, Trump’s letter began by stating that…

“…it has recently become apparent that the subject articles were based on incontrovertibly false information provided by dubious sources who were maliciously attempting to mislead the public and tarnish our client’s reputation.”

There’s a lot of wrong in that sentence. First of all, the articles were not “based on” the Steele Dossier. In fact, they were hardly mentioned. In the twenty articles that made up the series of awarded reporting, the Dossier was referenced in only two of them. And in both of those it was characterized as “unproved” and included Trump’s denials. One article noted that…

“…the [Steele] dossier produced last year alleged, among other things, that associates of Trump colluded with the Kremlin on cyberattacks on Democrats and that the Russians held compromising material about the Republican nominee. These and other explosive claims have not been verified, and they have been vigorously denied by Trump and his allies.”

The article also made clear the that Steele Dossier was not a significant source, saying that…

“U.S. officials took pains to stress that his report was not a U.S. government product and that it had not influenced their broader conclusions that the Russian government had hacked the emails of Democratic officials and released those emails with the intention of helping Trump win the presidency.”

The same is true for the other article that referenced the Dossier. It reported that…

“…the dossier had not been corroborated and that its contents had not influenced the intelligence community’s findings.”

Consequently, there are no grounds for defamation as alleged in Trump’s letter to the Pulitzers. For one thing, the Pulitzer Committee didn’t make any of the allegations that Trump is whining about. Those allegations were in the articles, and they were responsibly and factually reported. Nevertheless, Trump’s letter included his false assertion that the Pulitzers were somehow liable, and an impotent demand for redress, saying that…

“The Pulitzer Prize Board is actively advancing the false narrative contained therein and promoting defamatory statements against our client. […] it is hereby demanded that the Pulitzer Prize Board take immediate steps to strip the New York Times and The Washington Post of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Pulitzer Prize Board’s failure to do so will result in prompt legal action being taken against it.”

Trump’s legal assault on the Pulitzer Committee is purely a function of his bruised ego and thirst for revenge against the media that he regards in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” It has no legal merit whatsoever, particularly since it is aimed at the awards committee, rather than the journalists. Trump is just exhibiting his raging jealously at never having received any of the awards that he craves, whether they be Pulitzers or Nobels or Emmys or the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit edition. [Editor’s Note: Apologies in advance for that visual] However, he does like making up phony awards and giving them to himself…

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.