🧵THREAD🧵

It’s time to revisit the coverage of Kyle Rittenhouse.

With the news that he has been acquitted on all counts, don’t forget the ways that Dems and the corporate press came together to craft a false narrative in his case.

Let’s break down how we got here⤵️
We need to start with the media coverage that framed this case in the public mind.

To the press, Rittenhouse was as good as guilty when the news broke. So naturally, to @CNN, the people he shot in self defense were heroes & those defending him had “justified murder.” ImageImage
This wasn’t just limited to CNN.

@nytimes put out what amounts to a hit piece on Rittenhouse because his “social media accounts showed strong support for officers.”

They even put out a piece about how right-wingers attacking protestors was some sort of phenomenon. ImageImage
Never to be outdone, @MSNBC said the shooting was white supremacy and then went on to blame - who else - President Trump for “fueling violence,” sowing “chaos and disorder” and “encouraging vigilante justice” (peep that last guest) ImageImageImageImage
Perhaps no one in the media has spent more time sharing inaccurate information than @JoyAnnReid. This was no exception.

She lumped Rittenhouse in with “white nationalist mobs” and accused Trump of “ethnic cleansing” (!!) for daring to defend Rittenhouse. ImageImageImage
Once again, @briantylercohen hosts a show called “No Lie” and yet spouts nonsense and misinformation in a nearly unparalleled way. ImageImage
You may remember that, later on in the news cycle, President Trump spoke about Rittenhouse, suggesting he acted in self defense.

@AP took this as an opportunity to fact check that, dinging Trump for - I kid you not - defending someone who “opposed racial-justice protestors” ImageImage
Speaking of fact checks, here’s @PolitiFact claiming that Trump lied when he said Rittenhouse was trying to get away from protestors and was attacked - both details have since been confirmed by video.

Will you update your inaccurate post, Politifact? Or the gun charge details? ImageImageImage
@NPR picked up on a similar sentiment, knocking Trump for “claiming, without evidence, that it appeared the gunman was acting in self-defense.”

Now we’ve had a court of law confirm it was using videos and context many of which were available at the time. ImageImage
Again, the framing of what happened was always preposterous. Here’s @Yamiche from NPR claiming that the takeaway was meant to be “that ifs okay for a 17-year old to shoot people on the street who are unarmed, who are at a protest.”

This is impossible to square with the facts. Image
@washingtonpost and @AaronBlake made the same case. While they might’ve forgiven Trump had he only declined to denounce Rittenhouse, that he would “volunteer defenses” for someone who acted in self-defense was simply beyond the pale.

This is meant as straight news coverage. ImageImage
Also, as a call out, this type of deceptive coverage is still going on.

During the trial, @Reuters described someone who attacked Rittenhouse as the “survivor of shooting by U.S, teen” while @CBSMornings said Rittenhouse “murdered two men” (h/t @BecketAdams) ImageImage
I don’t know that one could even call this commentary from @NYMag journalism. ImageImageImage
I don’t have space for all the awful coverage, but here’s a smattering from @USATODAY (doesn’t sound like it), @CBSNews (interesting the trending Twitter topics that make headlines) and @thedailybeast (“fanatic”).

The takeaway audience were meant to have was clear.

And wrong. ImageImageImageImage
Perhaps the most famous accusations came not from the media but from elected representatives.

@AyannaPressley called Rittenhouse a “white supremacist domestic terrorist” while @IlhanMN just went with “domestic terrorist.”

I ask earnestly: is this not libelous? ImageImage
The now-President, @JoeBiden, called Rittenhouse a white supremacist absent evidence.

I want to pause to drive that point home: the most powerful man on the planet used his influence & authority to libel a teenager while said teenager faced spurious, politically driven charges. ImageImage
It’s hard to keep track of all the Democratic elected officials who baselessly accused Rittenhouse of being some variety of evil.

Here @RepSwalwell and @JamaalBowmanNY both call Rittenhouse a terrorist while @ChrisMurphyCT calls him a “deranged white nationalist” ImageImageImage
@RepDonBeyer spreads a whirlwind of disinformation here, as we now know that those killed weren’t peaceful, protestors or murdered.

@RepJeffries makes a similar category of error and then, just days ago, doubled down (and then some) with his own suggestion of lawlessness. ImageImageImage
The most unhinged content - as ever - came from lefty blue checks across Twitter.

This from @tribelaw captures much of the sentiment. ImageImage
You had to know @JRubinBlogger would be here. ImageImage
Given his track record, I think this sentiment means that @MaxBoot will be suggesting regime change in Kenosha any day now. Image
There were so many bad takes in the early days of this story. I can’t possibly get to them all, but here are a few more from:

@BetoORourke (good luck on that gov run)
@ananavarro (again with the “white supremacist”)
@AAPolicyForum (sheesh)
@greg_doucette (“white nationalist”) ImageImageImageImage
My two cents is that the world would be better if more men with guns showed up to town when the criminal anarchists descended and the police were told to stand down.

But even if you think differently, it is impossible to square this coverage with what actually happened.
All of this misinformation will only serve as an accelerant for America’s contentious conversations around race at a time when race relations are cratering.

And these brazen lies were told when a young man’s life quite literally was hanging in the balance.
My takeaway from this: I hope that Rittenhouse has a good attorney experienced in libel cases for the work ahead.

And I hope that everyday people remember the power the media & politicians have to destroy the life of an innocent man.
For what it’s worth, my understanding is that it’s really difficult to win a libel claim against the press or a public figure, even with something this egregious.

Whatever else you make of that fact, it certainly means that situations like this will continue to happen.
Also, for those who have asked about throwing me beer money, I’ve turned on tips. These have always been a labor of love but i won’t pretend they aren’t time intensive.

You can click the link on my profile (image below) to get there on mobile, and there’s also a Bitcoin option. Image
Just unbelievable framing here from the Times, as if it is some grave injustice that the prosecution in a criminal case must...meet a burden. nytimes.com/2021/11/19/us/…

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