Accuracy in Media

Or, they ought to. Some have. In a manner of speaking, and very guardedly. Don’t blame the Democrats for perpetuating black poverty. Don’t blame Obama, either. Heavens, if an individual or official did that, a brick outhouse would drop and crush the fellow. It’s happened before. It’ll happen again as long as Obama is still in power.

Note that I didn’t say, “As long as Obama is still in office.” There’s a significant difference in the terms. Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, and that whole motley, malevolent crew regard their offices as seats of unrestrained power, unchecked by the Constitution and by Congress. And the news media seem to want Obama to go the limit, to reach the goal posts and do his pitiful victory dance again, nine-iron in hand.

Reading Cliff Kincaid’s Family Security Matters article of August 18th, “Media Blame Police for Race Riots,” it occurred to me that there ought to be an article titled, “Police Blame Media for Race Riots.” So, here it is.

I can’t top Daniel Greenfield’s sardonic article, “How to Write About Israel” column of August 18th. It is a veritable instruction and policy manual for liberal and clueless “journalists” on how to misrepresent Israel and the facts behind any conflict between it and its attackers. It’s a playbook, an absolutely mandatory script to follow, lest one be relieved of employment or be reassigned to cover pet parades in Oshkosh or a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster in the Dead Sea.

At one point in the Fox News video of the chaos, the riot-geared police can be seen backing off, passing a shoulder-to-shoulder mass of photographers with their cameras, rows thick, perhaps several score of them, some possibly standing on bleachers in the rear to give them better shots of the police firing into the menacing crowd of “peaceful” protesters.

The question is: Why aren’t the “protesters” attacking the newsies? Because the protesters are on TV now, on camera. They’re hamming it up for the news media, putting on their best “America’s Got Chanting Angry Mob Talent” performances. Were it just a news scribbler and his flash camera photographer from the Daily Ferguson Flier, the rioters and their provocateurs wouldn’t be out in such numbers, if any were out at all, and certainly wouldn’t be egging the police on to fire into the crowd and crack heads with their batons. (Oh, horrors! The police are so brutal, not the rock-throwing punks! They’re black, and can do no wrong, you racist!) But the news media has pumped up the riots for national and international consumption.

There is no video of Darren Wilson shooting Michael Brown, in the back or anywhere else on his ample anatomy. No video of Brown trying to grab Wilson’s gun and slamming the cop’s door on him. No sound bytes of the cop’s gun going off in the car after Brown tried to wrest it from the cop, nor of the cop telling Brown to freeze as he walked away from assaulting a policeman. There is just thevideo of Brown manhandling the store clerk and walking away with stolen merchandise minutes before Brown had his altercation with the cop. That was incriminating enough.

There are several witnesses who substantiate the officer’s rendition of what transpired from the time the police car idled by to tell Brown and his friend to not walk in the street to the time Brown lay dead, a “victim” of his own arrogant folly.

Attorney General Eric Holder has gone to Ferguson to make sure Brown remains a “martyr” who died waging his own brand of “jihad,” and was not just another dime-a-dozen thug who miscalculated and got what he deserved.

In the meantime, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who tweeted that she had spoken to witnesses who corroborate Officer Darren Wilson’s rendition of what happened, has been relieved of duty. Daniel Greenfield, in his FrontPage column of August 19th, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch Purges ReporterWho Spoke to Witnesses Corroborating Ferguson Police Story,” asked:

Since when does Twitter count as a newspaper’s standards for publication? Plenty of New York Times reporters tweet their views and opinions and parts of developing stories. Plenty of reporters have been behaving in a wildly unprofessional manner over Ferguson, on and off Twitter. They’ve been acting like a lynch mob.

Byers was reporting conditions on the ground on Twitter in much more neutral and professional terms, but at the same time the conclusion could have been drawn that she was sympathetic to the law and order side of the angle, not the rioters and looters that her colleagues preferred.

Christine Byers was actually quoting what police told her about the violence. That may have been a no-no. Pulling her silences the police and lets Obama, Sharpton and Co. play their games.

This is the new journalism.

Well, not so much “new” as shop-worn. We saw it over and over again in the MSM’s coverage of the Gaza War, from the Frostbite Falls Bugle to the New York Times to the Washington Post to the Sacramento Bee.

I’m going to take the liberty of paraphrasing some of Greenfield’s paragraphs from his edifying article, “How to Write About Israel.” The lessons to be gleaned from that marvelous commentary are equally applicable – and are being applied even as I write this – to the Ferguson, Missouri “war zone.” I hope he forgives me.

Writing about Ferguson has become a booming field. No news agency, be it ever so humble, can avoid embedding a few correspondents and a dog’s tail of stringers into the town and its environs, to sit outside of undestroyed, un-looted shops, clicking away on their laptops, meeting up with other leftists and the oppressed protester or grieving mother of the week.

Ferguson is hot (well, it is August) with the suggestion of violence brimming under the surface, except when it’s no longer a suggestion but a volcanic eruption. Ferguson should be described as a “troubled town.” Throw in occasional ironic references to civil rights and Martin Luther King, Jr., and end every article or broadcast by emphasizing that peace is still far away.

Weigh every story one way. Depersonalize the cops and shopkeepers, personalize blacks. One is a statistic, the other a precious snowflake. A blacks-only looting and torching a Korean-owned store is always in retaliation for something, but a shopkeeper’s defending his property with a gun is rarely a retaliation for anything. When shopkeepers repel a mob by simply waving their guns from a rooftop, suggest that this latest action only feeds the “Cycle of Violence” and quote some official who urges the shopkeepers to talk and negotiate with those who would harm them – whether or not there actually is anything to talk about. Well, maybe free Swisher cigars for the overweight among the mob, with unlimited EBT card use at the counter.

Center everything around reconciliation and “reaching out.” If the shopkeepers have any credible complaints (probably racist) about the rudeness and character of their customers, do your best to avoid learning about them. Assume that all shopkeepers – Korean, white, black, Hispanic, whatever – think the same way. Every concession of theirs, made in a state of terror, is a referendum on the “peace process.”

Convey to the reader that there is something disturbing about the tenacity with which the store owners and shopkeepers cling to their businesses, while making it clear that they will have to be economically cleansed from the town for there to be peace. Many are already ruined and won’t be back, but don’t mention that. Do not use the word “economic cleansing,” use “expropriation in the name of social justice,” it sounds cleaner. Mention something about the Indians and slaves. Talk to the black youth and contrast their fresh faces with their unwillingness to make peace with their Korean, black, Hispanic and white neighbors who have harmed and insulted them in uncountable ways, such as expecting them to pay for what they want without walking out of a store in a huff.

Visit with politicians and black activists and other racial activists, such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Democratic Governor Nixon’s envoy, and other out-of-towners, and maybe with a committee representing besieged Ferguson shopkeepers. If the latter make jokes (which is unlikely), describe it as a transparent and offensive effort to curry favor with you and influence the freedom of the press.

The police are even worse. Press them about their rules of engagement with suspects, their profiling policies, their constant harassment of blacks who absent-mindedly pilfer stores or have a record of shoplifting and threatening store clerks, and so on. Get them to admit that they’re all secret members of the KKK or some other racist outfit. If the police give you the bum’s rush and ask you to leave, write about it being an embedded hostility to the press and a denial of law enforcement transparency.

Property owners are even worse. Press them about the all the misery and deprivation they’ve caused in town. Then get your Washington and Springfield contacts to introduce you to friendly left-wing pols who will commiserate with you about the state of the peace process and the leap of faith that needs to be taken to make peace. Get a quote from them about the next generation of potential protesters, and describe them as saddened by their government’s unwillingness to allow thugs and looters to roam free in town and in their stores. Express exasperation about the police’s violation of the freedom of association during a riot or other social crisis that calls for “military” gear and other scary symbols of oppression.

Don’t be fooled by the shopkeepers’ committee suddenly and collectively holding up their hands with nervous smiles and saying as one, “Don’t Shoot. Don’t Loot.” They’re simply patronizing you and mocking those with legitimate grievances. You’re a journalist and deserve better treatment than that.

Write about how all the guns make you uncomfortable, but that you’re not uncomfortable with rocks and Molotov cocktails and crowbars and guys running around wearing masks and babushkas over their faces pretending be ISIS “martyrs.” Close with an old man who expresses hope, however inarticulately (you can clean up his English later, if you know how to) that one day peace will come to this troubled town.

Then go home to your usual stomping grounds and your Starbucks lattes and comfortable apartments or homes and clean working environments where the most dangerous thing to sail past your head is a rubber band shot by a pranksterish colleague in another cubicle.

Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.

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