Our Horrible Media: Thursday follow-up

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on April 22, 2021

It's not getting any better. Our horrible media continues to lie, obfuscate and betray the public.

Our Horrible Media: Ma'Khia Bryant Follow-up

It's now been nearly 48 hours since 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant attacked two other girls with a knife and was shot mere moments before plunging a knife into another girl. Yesterday's post is but a brief survey of the media's malfeasance; it is by no means an exhaustive listing of all of the piss poor journalism on the incident.

Despite their claimed desire to report the truth, most media outlets are only interested in doing that when it serves the narrative. A narrative can be a useful and valid reporting tool, connecting disparate events as part of a larger issue or controversy.

But the mainstream media flushes its credibility down the drain when it attempts to force events into their pre-conceived narrative when they don't belong. The Ma'Khia Bryant case is similar to the George Floyd case in only the most superficial way, but when the media is armed with the "racist cops kill innocent blacks" hammer, everything is a nail.

Over at MSN News, which republishes/rebrands stories from other media outlets, you have this dishonest head on an CNN story.

An echo of yesterday's coverage, we get "holding a knife." The "police say" and "bodycam video shows" that she was attacking two other girls with the knife, not merely holding it.

I found this curious and troublesome, so I went over to CNN to find the original story.

This fails to note that the shooting was in defense of another, but this is a secondary story focusing on Ma'Khia's family's response. With that in mind, I don't think there's anything wrong with this version of the headline.

As so much of the media continues to behave badly—and this includes numerous interviews like this one with Ibram X. Kendi where there is a failure to pushback against what's being sarcastically called the new "let the kids knife-fight" movement—there are some bright spots.

One of the surprising positives was this brief discussion between CNN's Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo last night.

Add to that this from The Washington Post's Radley Balko, which is also should be the standard method for journalists deleting incorrect Tweets.

Our Horrible Media: Hacked Materials Follow-up

As I noted in a brief update at the bottom of the of the original post the next day, Utah's ABC4 News reporter Jason Nguyen removed the Tweet promoting his "investigative report" on a local paramedic who had donated $10 to Kyle Rittenhouse's defense fund. Later that morning on Twitter he stated that he had received threats and was stepping away from social media on the advice of law enforcement.

A couple of hours after that, Nguyen locked down his Twitter account completely.

As of today, there is no retraction, no explanation, no apology or any acknowledgement of the public condemnation Nguyen and the TV station received for their report.

Over in Norfolk, Va., the police chief and city manager there have decided that Police Lt. William Kelly will receive a golden parachute following the disclosure that he donated $25 of his own money anonymously to Rittenhouse's defense fund. Kelly was identified after he used his departmental email to register the donation and the GiveSendGo website which hosted the fundraiser was hacked.

The statement from City Manager Chip Filer doesn't reference what should be the city's only concern here, Kelly's use of his official email, but instead Kelly's comments attached to the donation that he a) did nothing wrong, and b) had the support of rank-and-file police.

I have reviewed the results of the internal investigation involving Lt. William Kelly.  Chief Larry Boone and I have concluded Lt. Kelly’s actions are in violation of City and departmental policies. His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable.

Public employees do not lose their First Amendment rights when they take a public sector job. Kelly never meant his comments to be publicly attributed to him, therefore he wasn't using his position or authority as a lieutenant in the Norfolk Police Department for his own ends.

The WAVY report states that Kelly, an 18-year veteran of the department, can appeal his firing. Whether he does or doesn't, the city of Norfolk can expect a lawsuit; one they almost certainly will lose.

Our Horrible Media: Georgia Elections Laws

I started this series with the media's rush to follow President Joe Biden's false claims that the voting reform law in Georgia was "Jim Crow 2.0) like lemmings off a cliff. In the weeks since, despite the best efforts of too many in the media, business and politics to demonize the GOP-led state government, there have been a handful of intrepid reporters who have taken a look at voting laws in other states and found them far more restrictive and cumbersome than the new Georgia law.

Over at The Atlantic, Russell Berman does an excellent job pointing this out, with the bonus that this appears in a publication that is likely to reach those in charge of these draconian, blue-state laws.

However, for those interested in less partisan, more honest media reporting, they won't find that in Berman's piece. While chastising GOP efforts to make voting more secure with things like Voter ID requirements (one voting reform that receives overwhelmingly bipartisan support), Berman adopts the language of Democratic politicians that these are "voter suppression" efforts.



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April 2021



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