[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
If you’re politically knowledgeable and not crazy, living in Washington, D.C. is tough.
As a D.C. resident, I’m surrounded by people who are ignorant and/or out of their minds, who believe the talking-points version of Progressivism that they are fed by most of the news media.
In just the past few days, at social occasions, I’ve overheard comments along the lines of the following:
- “The Republicans in the South today are just the old segregationist Democrats. That’s because of the Nixon Southern Strategy.”
- “After Hobby Lobby, women’s right to birth control is threatened.”
- “Photo ID laws are an attempt to keep people from voting. Vote fraud isn’t a real problem in this country.”
In reality, Republicans in the South trace their roots to the (relatively) anti-segregationist wing of the Democratic Party of the 1950s/1960s, while the so-called Nixon Southern Strategy was never implemented. Hobby Lobby has nothing to do with anyone’s right to birth control, merely with whether people who don’t believe in abortifacients can be forced to pay for them in violation of a law signed by President Clinton. Voter ID laws, such as the ones in Canada, Mexico, and Nelson Mandela’s South Africa, protect people’s rights by preventing the fraudulent cancellation of their votes; that’s one reason that most people of all ethnicities support them. And voter fraud is so common that, before it became Politically Correct to claim that such fraud isn’t a problem, political reporters like me, covering political conventions and the like, used to sit around until 2 a.m. sharing stories about it. (My first scoop as a young reporter was when I caught a local mayor rigging an election.)
Mythology is the common currency of the Left.
Now, they’re at it again.
In Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, a six-foot-four, roughly-300-pound man who had had himself photographed repeatedly flashing the signs of a murderous gang, stole some cigars. (Presumably the cigars were for refilling with marijuana; that’s the most common use by teenagers for that type of cigar, and, according to the autopsy, Brown had recently ingested the active ingredient in marijuana.) He assaulted a much-smaller man of Indian descent, and was confronted by a police officer, Darren Wilson, a few minutes later.
At that point, he was shot in the front while running away, if you believe the autopsy (showing Brown was shot in the front) and the most-quoted “witness” (who said Brown was running away).
That witness turned out to have been his accomplice in the robbery. What are the odds?? By the way, a different witness said she saw the roughly-300-pound Brown running toward the officer.
Then came the riots—usually, in the media, falsely called “protests.” The “protests” included such activities as tossing Molotov cocktails, shooting people, and looting appliance and liquor stores, with many of the “protesters” coming from as far as Oakland, California and, among them, members of the African-American counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan, the New Black Panther Party. (Sample chant: “Who do we want? Darren Wilson. How do we want him? Dead.”)
Regarding the beginning of the story, here’s how The New Yorker lied (http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/michael-brown-die-ferguson):
Michael Brown didn’t die in the dark. He was eighteen years old, walking down a street in Ferguson, Missouri, from his apartment to his grandmother’s, at 2:15 on a bright Saturday afternoon. He was, for a young man, exactly where he should be—among other things, days away from his first college classes. A policeman stopped him; it’s not clear why. People in the neighborhood have told reporters that they remember what happened next as a series of movements: the officer, it seemed to them, trying to put Brown into a car; Brown running with his hands in the air; the policeman shooting; Brown falling.
When the police, justly concerned about the possible assassination of the police officer, briefly withheld his name, there were more “protests.” (Perhaps the “protesters” wanted to know his name so they could form a human shield around him. If they had waited, they could have seen TV news stories that showed his house, the better to find his house, the better to protect him and his family.)
When the police released the video showing the violent robbery committed by the young man the activists had described as “peaceful,” members of the media complained. Some of them expressed shock at the audacity of the police. How dare they interrupt the Left in its creation of the myth that the violent robber was “peaceful”!
How would this story be covered if actual journalists were assigned to it? Any real journalist would have demanded the release of the tape from the very first. He or she would sue if necessary to get it released. Anyone who complains about the release of the tape, by definition, is not a journalist—at least, not an ethical one.
I don’t know if the police officer was justified in shooting Michael Brown. I acknowledge that the Bush and Obama administrations’ efforts to militarize police forces may have done harm to police-community relations. It does appear that the police department in Ferguson had, over the course of many years, failed to recruit officers among local African-Americans, contributing to the alienation that helped lead to the riots. (How do you enforce the law in a community effectively if you don’t adequately involve people from that community?) And, of course, Brown’s death—anyone’s death, especially the death of someone so young—is a tragedy, regardless of whose fault it was.
But the truth is the truth. Nothing justifies the active participation of major news organizations in creating a mythology. Nothing justifies Progressives’ lies.
It’s time to restore honor to American journalism and American politics, and the first step is holding the liars responsible.