I haven’t written much about Ferguson since my last post, mostly because I can’t believe that in 2014 we’re reliving the 1960s.
But, this is something I haven’t done in the string of nights of unrest. I haven’t once turned on our vaunted mainstream media. No CNN, no MSNBC, heavens no Fox News. I’ve relied solely on Twitter to get information.
“But LL,” someone will say, “Twitter? People writing from their parents’ basements?”
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.
Over the past two days, the Obama Administration has scored two major foreign policy triumphs. (Yes, despite what the darker corners of the neocon bazaar may say, for the most part the Obama record on foreign policy has been quite fruitful.)
First, all of Syria’s declared chemical weapons have been destroyed. This was after the usual critics were calling Pres. Obama weak, feckless, and abandoning the Syrian people by not bombing them. (You have to bomb them to free them, of course. Lesson no. 1 in the Bush/Cheney Manual To Win Hearts and Minds.)
Secondly, Vladimir Putin ordered his version of the Senate to rescind the authorization it gave him to intervene militarily in Ukraine. (That’s the wonderful thing about being a strong man: you can tell your legislature to give you authority to invade a neighboring country, and then turn about and tell it to take it away.) Meanwhile, the West is warning Russia that harsher sanctions are still on the table should this be but yet another of Putin’s many feints. And again, this was after the usual critics called Pres. Obama weak, feckless, and abandoning the Ukrainian people by not skirting with starting World War III. (You have to destroy the world to make it free.)
Of course, if George Bush the Second had accomplished any of his objectives without impoverishing the Republic and stirring animosity abroad, every second high school in the country would be named after him. (The ham-fistedness was a feature, not a bug, however.) Pres. Obama achieved two signal achievements: getting the Assad regime to declare and allow its chemical weapons to be destroyed, and herding the European cats to stand against Putin by squeezing his economy. All without firing a shot or spending treasure. This, by any measure, should win accolades.