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.
The great irony of the USA; we will go far abroad to protect the rights of selected persecuted minorities, we will speak about fair elections, we will condemn others for their failures in human rights, while in our own country we have long been guilty of these sins ourselves. The leaders and citizens of other countries are well aware of this hypocrisy. When they sit across negotiating tables they will have as ammunition the long voting lines and all of the moves to hinder and deny the right to vote, the many tales of members of an oppressed minority gunned down in the streets, unarmed, peacefully protesting citizens being persecuted by heavily armed police (so much for our much-vaunted constitutional rights), a national media, financed and controlled by a small group of wealthy white men, and a white majority that hates and does all that it can to marginalize and destroy a small minority (that is still less than 13% of the overall population).
What can we dare to say to others when we have not cleaned up our own house, when we are guilty of the same crimes that we dare to take other countries to task? It is more than time that we truly take up all of our country’s ills and make a final push to cure them. For far too long, the sores have been covered with band aids, but it is so easy to pull them off and to see the infection underneath. When Buddhist monks, Amnesty International, and the war-torn and savaged Palestinans are compelled to reach out to help American citizens who are being persecuted from all sides, shows just how bad our unresolved racial issues are. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I love this country; I wish that my country loved me.
President Obama has meetings at the White House – he meets with members of his economic team in the afternoon – before heading back to Martha’s Vineyard where he and his family will remain for the rest of the week.
I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours. I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve children far too young. But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live
Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. Even when you don’t want to think about it because it is so much to bear, you will be forced to by merely turning on your television or answering your cell phone. Facts, myths, and flat out lies are already out there in Michael’s case. Theories, regardless of how ridiculous, are being pondered by the pundits. My advice is to surround yourselves with proven and trusted support. I have always said that Trayvon was not perfect. But no one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered. No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.
But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain.