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The Media’s Irresponsible Ferguson Coverage

There are many things that can be said about the decision by the grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and the response to it, including John’s forceful and eloquent post. I would only add that much of the press coverage last night, and throughout this entire episode, was very discouraging.

This is one of those stories in which the liberal bias of supposedly “objective” reporters comes gushing out. This was particularly true of CNN. It was painful to watch reporters, with child-like melodrama, pretend they were part of a great civil-rights story. But 2014 isn’t 1965, and Ferguson, Missouri isn’t the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Reporters and commentators tried so hard to turn this story into something it never was: a racially-driven shooting of an innocent black teen by a white police officer.

The evidence presented to the grand jury was voluminous and comprehensive, and the jury concluded Officer Wilson should not be tried. But the left, including much of the media, was determined to superimpose a racial narrative on this story. The facts of the case were not only secondary; they were irrelevant. Liberals had a tale to tell, a stern moral sermon to deliver. What we saw–not among everyone to be sure, but among too many–was post-modern journalism on display. All that matters are the “narrative identities” we create for ourselves. We can all create our own reality. Truth needs to be shaped and re-shaped in order to fit a storyline. So a shooting that was never about race suddenly became a story focused almost solely on race. Think of Anderson Cooper as Jacques Derrida.

It’s of course the case that our experiences shape how we perceive reality. We all interpret events in a somewhat different way and none of us perceives truth perfectly. But that is a world apart from a license to interpret events in a way that’s false.

The effort by the left broadly, and journalists more specifically, to turn the events in Ferguson into a morality play was a shame; and in the end, it probably helped fuel the violence we saw. (“A riot is the language of the unheard,” tweeted MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow, quoting Martin Luther King Jr.) That violence won’t directly hurt you and it won’t directly hurt me. But it has hurt the residents of Ferguson. And rather than help race relations in America, it will set them back.

What we got last night from the grand jury was justice. What we didn’t get was peace.



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3 Responses to “The Media’s Irresponsible Ferguson Coverage”

  1. ITZIK BASMAN says:

    Well said, Pete.

  2. WILLIAM CARROLL says:

    I’m just hearing tonight the grieving, merchandise selling parents of the “Gentle Giant” kicked him out of the house and his Grandma took him in until she gave him the boot. Let’s not forget the footage of this vile thug roughing up a business owner one-third his size in order to further his career as a thief. (“He was turning his life around” they all bleat.) If the MSM, Al Sharpton, and the rest of these odious clowns don’t drop this ridiculous morality play and right quick, they’re never going to get the stink off. Ferguson is no Selma and Michael Brown sure as h*ll ain’t no Rosa Parks.

  3. WILLIAM CARROLL says:

    Apparently the New York Times gratuitously published the street name and the small town where Officer Wilson and his new wife live. When will someone say to these vile leftists at the “paper of recored”. “Have you no decency? …Have you left no sense of decency”.

    The only reason to put that in the paper is the hope that some crazy will figure out where Officer Wilson lives and hopefully do harm to him and his wife. It turns my stomach that I have to occupy the same planet with people as despicable as the staff at The New York Times.




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