The acquittal of the teenage vigilante, Kyle Rittenhouse, revealed some painful truths about the American justice system. Apparently a minor crossing state lines with an unlawfully possessed weapon to confront people protesting racial injustice, and killing two of them, is self-defense and perfectly legal. Hmm. Good to know.
Right-wingers across the country are celebrating the pretend cop and medic, Rittenhouse, as a hero, despite his having murdered two unarmed men who were engaging in a lawful protest. Which is peculiar because when Ashli Babbitt was killed by an actual police officer while she was violently storming the Capitol, and threatening the lives of elected representatives and the Vice President, and trying to illegally prevent Congress from carrying out their constitutional duties, the same rightist politicians and pundits assailed it as an assassination.
However, an appearance on CNN by Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, revealed something else that should raise serious concerns. Without any public disclosure, Fox News had abandoned any sense of of impartiality (as if they ever had any) by embedding itself with the Rittenhouse team days before the verdict. Even worse was that the reason Richards gave for granting Fox News that unprecedented access was to finance Rittenhouse’s defense. Richards made his remarks in the following exchange with CNN’s Chris Cuomo (video below):
Cuomo: Word that you guys had a film crew embedded with you from Fox News, from Tucker Carlson. I want to know why that decision was made.
Richards: I did not approve of that. I threw them out of the room several times…and I’m not suggesting that Fox or some other network…I don’t think a film crew is appropriate for something like this, but the people who were raising the money to pay for the experts and to pay for the attorneys were trying to raise money and that was part of it. So I think…I don’t want to say evil, but a definite distraction was part of it. And I didn’t approve of it, but I’m not always the boss.
Cuomo: Who were the people who were paying?
Richards: The people who were raising money. It was…this defense was crowd funded.
Cuomo: But who were the people making the calls about who got to have access to the process?
Richards: Kyle’s family and his adviser.
So while Tucker Carlson and the rest of the Fox News roster were lauding Rittenhouse as a paragon of White privileged, Second Amendment deliverance, they were also on the ground in Kenosha documenting their newfound protagonist and ratings magnet. And they were paying him for the privilege. Carlson began promoting his crocumentary within hours of the verdict, complete with Rittenhouse’s first post-acquittal reactions. “They’ve been there for days,” Carlson bragged, “putting together an installment of our Tucker Carlson Originals series on this case.” And he also announced that he would be airing the first Rittenhouse interview on Monday. How much do you suppose he paid for that? Carlson’s “Originals” was also responsible for his pro-insurrection propaganda piece, “Patriot Purge.” Or as CNN’s Jim Acosta called it, “Proud Boy Porn.”
The revelations by Richards expose Fox News unethical participation in a propaganda campaign on behalf of an accused murderer while his trial was still in progress. And since the Rittenhouse family was getting paid by Fox, it’s fair to assume that there was agreement on how the case would be presented. What’s more, it raises additional questions about Judge Schroeder’s decision to ban MSNBC, a Fox News competitor, from the courtroom. How convenient was that?
The verdict in this case is going to result in people being “angry and concerned,” as President Biden said in his statement that also called for people “to express their views peacefully.” On the other hand we have Donald Trump telling Laura Ingraham on Fox News that…
“I don’t know Kyle. I watched him testify, which was very unusual that somebody would testify. I thought it was brave. I thought it was great that he testified.”
It’s cute that Trump thinks it is “brave” to testify, something that he refuses to do, or permit any of his accomplices to do. He won’t even allow the release of documents pertaining to his involvement in inciting the January 6th insurrection in Washington, D.C. The only thing we can conclude from that is that Trump is admitting that he’s a coward.
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A Tucker Carlson TV crew has been embedded with Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards tells @ChrisCuomo that he was against it: "I did not approve of that. I threw them out of the room several times…" pic.twitter.com/IrQwyLmID5
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 20, 2021
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.