The news hit late last evening. An attacker drove into a crowd at a Christmas parade in Wisconsin. It seemed pretty obvious pretty immediately that someone had done this in response to the Rittenhouse trial.
That does appear to be the case. Reuters is currently referring to it as the “parade incident” instead of an attack.
When Dylan Roof walked into the church in Charleston, SC and the congregants prayed around him before he killed them, Roof wanted to provoke a race war. He is not alone. It seems assorted voices from the New York Times to MSNBC want to as well.
The level of misinformation, disinformation, and lies about the Rittenhouse matter continues to be stunning. Multiple prominent celebrities, reporters, politicians, and others claimed after the trial that he had traveled across state lines. That was true, but also because had a job there (editor’s note: my mistake and needed to clarify that). They claimed he wasn’t lawfully allowed to carry that gun. That wasn’t true. They claimed he had no ties to the area. That wasn’t true. They claimed he attacked first. That wasn’t true. They claimed he provoked the attacks on him. That wasn’t true. They claimed he was tied to white supremacists. That wasn’t true. The Independent, a prominent news outlet, claimed Rittenhouse killed black men. That wasn’t true.
Anyone who watched the trial saw a young man from the area trying to protect businesses in the area he worked. He was targeted by several white guys after Kyle Rittenhouse had helped put out a fire. They gave chase. One set upon him with the wheels of a skateboard. Another pulled a gun on him. Rittenhouse fired at them to protect himself.
The men who set upon Rittenhouse were not in Wisconsin that night to do good, but to do harm. They were participating in the riots and destruction. Rittenhouse was there to help save businesses, property, and put out fires.
Sure, you can argue that maybe he should not have been there given he was not law enforcement, but he was there. He had as much right as the rioters to be there and he was there for good. That is not disputed at the trial, by the way. Even the prosecution’s own witnesses undermined the prosecution’s case.
But afterward, members of the media, particularly on MSNBC, continued to mischaracterize the trial and inflame racial tensions to the extent some people clearly believed Rittenhouse had gunned down black men.
For a couple of years, major voices in the media have been fanning the flames of racial antagonism in the United States. They may not have gunned down a church in Charleston, SC, but they’ve been provoking others into violence.
MSNBC has been one of the most irresponsible news outlets in America on this front. The rhetoric of both hosts and guests has been incendiary, premised in a lot of misinformation, and designed to outrage. MSNBC is owned by Comcast and it is past time to wonder if Comcast is okay with its employees fanning the flames of hate in America, sowing lies, spreading misinformation, and provoking others to violence.