|A blast from the past...|
In case you missed it, yesterday Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald last year. Last night Chicago PD released the dash cam video showing the incident and the death of McDonald. Of course this touched off protests in the streets over the shooting death. While we haven't seen violence to the extent we did in Ferguson, the Chicago PD is warning officers to be wary of gang violence. There were also several arrests, and protests at times shut down various interstates throughout the city.
One year ago I wrote a Facebook post about the role of the media in the Ferguson case. My main point was that the mainstream media as a whole breathlessly covered the protests because they wanted to advance a narrative. I think that still holds true today, although the coverage of Chicago seems more calm than Ferguson. Did the media actually learn their lesson? I wouldn't bet on it.
Here is my Facebook post in its entirety:
It's no secret that much of the mainstream media is dominated by, at best, people that are left of center politically (or crazy and incoherent like Al Sharpton). As a result, we get media coverage that is skewed to the left. Now many of these same left-leaning people have been taught that the US is a horrible, rotten, but above all, racist country. We were founded by a bunch of old white slave owners, and the country was built on the blood of the native people and the backs of black slaves. Not only that, but the <insert minority community here> are due reparations for the crimes committed against them. They've been taught this since college at least (and probably before).
Just look at how the Michael Brown shooting was reported. Immediately we were subjected to the narrative of the Gentle Giant (TM) walking home innocently down the street. A WHITE police officer accosted this young black child for no reason, and when the unarmed Gentle Giant ran, he was ruthlessly gunned down. To be sure we heard about how this little boy had just graduated high school. He was excited to be heading off to college in the fall, probably more excited than anyone had ever been in the history of the world. We saw the pictures of a (very) young Michael Brown having fun with his family. And yes, the media made very sure to let us know every chance they got that this was an UNARMED young black child that was gunned down in the prime of his life.
What we DIDN'T hear about was Officer Wilson's side of the story. We didn't hear about how this Gentle Giant had grabbed for Wilson's gun. We didn't hear about how, after having already been shot, the Gentle Giant charged the officer. We didn't hear about how this young man was likely high, and had robbed and assaulted a convenience store clerk just minutes before. We didn't hear about how Officer Wilson was injured in the fight. We didn't hear about this because it didn't fit the narrative.
There were protests after this incident. There would be protests no matter where something like this occurred. But with the peaceful protestors came the thugs, the agitators, and the demagogues. These people treated the Ferguson protests as an excuse to cause mayhem...and the media celebrated these people. They propped them up as revolutionaries. The thugs were crusaders fighting for justice for Michael Brown. Yes their methods were messy, but only because they were fighting a corrupt, racist justice system that served only to protect the white establishment. They were heroes, you see.
Need further proof? Look at the media coverage from last night leading up to the grand jury ruling. The media went from being objective reporters to active participants. In fact they were egging the rioters on. One CNN reporter referred to the possibility of no indictment as the grand jury's "Nuclear Option". Is it any wonder that the situation in Ferguson spiraled out of control the way it did?
The media wanted this. They wanted this more than they ever wanted anything.