So, Jake Tapper got a bunch of praise for his reporting from Ferguson last night.
Twitter was waxing lyrical about him.
Why? Mainly because he described what he was witnessing.
It struck me that when we start commending any member of today’s MSM for simply reporting what their eyes are seeing, it’s a hell of a sign of how little we expect from them.
In fairness, he editorialized too, which was the main reason for the praise:
“Nobody is threatening anything. Nobody is doing anything. None of the stores here that I can see are being looted. There is no violence.”
“These are armed police. With machine – not machine guns- semiautomatic rifles, with batons, with shields, many of them dressed for combat. Now why they’re doing this, I don’t know. Because there is no threat going on here. None that merits this.”
“There is nothing going on on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram. Nothing. So if people wonder why the people of Ferguson, Missouri are so upset, this is part of the reason. What is this? This doesn’t make any sense.”
Yes, we’ve been hearing and reading reporting similar to – and often way more powerful than this – mainly of the citizen kind, since the day Michael Brown was murdered, but better late than never from someone in the MSM.
Are you sensing a but?
It’s a big one, too.
CNN’s coverage from Ferguson all last night was intermingled with repeated references to Tapper’s Woodward and Bernstein-esque scoop: that a NEW version of events, that differed from that of the witnesses, had emerged!1!1!
(ie Darren Wilson’s version of events – Well, blow me down! – although they chose not to highlight that inconvenient snippet of info)
CNN kept reminding us, all through the night, of this ‘bombshell':
It wasn’t a scoop, of course. Tapper had simply picked up on a call by a ‘Josie’ to Dana Loesch’s show (that ‘Josie’ chose to call Loesch says it all, really) when she said she was a friend of Wilson and had his version of events.
So, that’s all it was – repeat: a friend of the cop who shot an unarmed Michael Brown six times, twice in the head, was passing on what he himself said had happened.
But this is how Tapper hyped it on Twitter:
No mention of the caller being a friend of Wilson who was simply passing on his version of events.
(If he was short of characters, he could have followed it up with another tweet – he chose not to).
Just a tease, that had his ‘That boy deserved to die!’ followers all a-tingle.
‘Josie’, whoever she is (and we know the speculation), was not a witness – she was simply repeating Wilson’s own story.
But this was the front page on CNN:
“…. with an account of Michael Brown’s death that a source said was accurate”?
This truly is Trayvon Martin all over again – just as so many in the media colluded with ‘Team Zimmerman’ and acted as his PR team, while smearing Trayvon, they’re doing the same for ‘Team Wilson’, while smearing Michael.
The source ‘with a detailed knowledge of the investigation’ did NOT, as the CNN lede suggested, say Josie’s account was “accurate” – simply, as Tapper had to clarify on his blog:
“A source with detailed knowledge of the case says Josie’s version
accurately matches what Wilson has told investigators.”
Well, yes – possibly because, you know, she got the version from Wilson.
But CNN trusted Josie to make her the story of the day. She was, they reassured us, ‘verified’.
Despite the fact her parroting of Wilson’s version of events contradicted that of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson who confirmed that Wilson did not know Michael Brown was a suspect in an alleged robbery when he confronted Michael and his friend.
“He pulled up ahead of them. And then he got a call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery. And, they gave a description. And, he’s looking at them and they got something in their hands and it looks like it could be what, you know those cigars or whatever….”
CNN even showed Jackson’s comments live. They must have forgotten them.
Looks like ‘Team Wilson’ is struggling to get its story straight – and CNN sure isn’t going to highlight the discrepancies.
Tapper made no mention of them in his initial blog post, but did say:
“CNN has methodically and deliberately vetted this woman’s account.”
There was, of course, plenty more in ‘Josie’s’ account that was risible, not least the suggestion that an unarmed black Ferguson teenager would start “taunting” and “bumrushing” an armed white Ferguson cop.
I’ve read lots about Michael Brown, nowhere did it mention he had a death wish.
But this was my favorite line from her:
“I had no idea it would turn in to this…”
She had no idea there would be a fuss about her cop friend shooting dead an unarmed black teenager.
Benjamin Crump’s response to Tapper when he brings up ‘Josie':
And here’s Tapper trying to swiftly change the subject when a freelance photographer, who was tear-gassed in Ferguson last night, mentions Trayvon Martin:
Well, after all, Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara is a CNN pundit, and was sharing his expertise with their viewers again last night, so they wouldn’t want to offend him.
(Let that sink in: CNN think it appropriate to use the attorney for the killer of Trayvon Martin as a commentator on the killing of Michael Brown)
Oh, it gets worse – read Allan Brauer here:
‘Christine Byers Tweeted What? How Authorities Use the Press to Disseminate Their Narrative’
And look who retweeted her ‘Team Wilson’ propaganda
At the last count, he helped this get RTed over 3000 times.
Again, read Allan for the details.
I think of LL’s tweet the other night:
After #Ferguson, don’t fucking tell me Twitter doesn’t matter
— Liberal Librarian (@Lib_Librarian) August 14, 2014
We are hearing, reading, seeing what’s been happening in Ferguson from reporters and photographers who cared to get there as soon as Michael Brown was murdered, and people on the ground sharing what they were witnessing.
So, the MSM can’t hide this – we see you now, Ferguson.
But none of us witnessed Michael Brown’s murder, so that’s where we need the media to do its job.
So, Twitter friends, spare me your praise of Jake Tapper – his obscene hyping of the ‘Team Wilson’ ‘Josie’ story will overshadow forever any truth-telling he did from Ferguson last night, when, I suspect, his anger was more related to the treatment of his media colleagues than of the people of Ferguson.
Despite the lengthy rant, this isn’t just about Jake Tapper and CNN, it’s about every corner of the MSM and their handling of this story.
The #IfIWereGunnedDown hashtag told it more powerfully than anyone could.
— Name Ring BELLS (@Heartbreak_Rell) August 10, 2014
Tapper deserves credit for his reporting from Ferguson last night – if it was Chuck Todd it would have been “this, like, never happened before Obama!1!1!” – but we didn’t actually need him, we already knew.
But that he used his privileged position in the MSM to so dishonestly promote that ‘Josie’ story – he deserves nothing but contempt.
And it matters. Relentless public pressure – ‘we see you Ferguson’ – along with the determination of the President and AG Holder, is the only hope of justice here. But we know what forces stand in the way.
Tapper’s ‘both sides’ bullshit helps erode that. And helps taint the mindset of possible future jurors.
By all means scrutinize Dorian Johnson’s testimony, but do the fucking same to the mysterious woman called Josie.