NYT: Say, this Rittenhouse case does look a bit like self-defense

Give one cheer to the Gray Lady for actually recognizing the story from yesterday’s testimony at the Kyle Rittenhouse trial — and an endless supply of raspberries to the rest of the media. Defense attorneys caught star witness and purported “victim” Gaige Grosskreutz in multiple lies and got him to admit pointing a gun at Rittenhouse before being shot. This was how the media covered it:

Did we expect anything different? (As an aside: this is why Townhall Media Group spends our VIP and VIP Gold subscription revenue to send Julio Rosas to cover the trial on scene.) Imagine my surprise, then, to see this curious tweet from the New York Times, of all outlets:

That’s not a great take either, but at least it’s in the vicinity of the actual news from yesterday’s trial. It takes four paragraphs and a far-too-sympathetic framing for Grosskreutz to get to this:

As the prosecution’s case in the homicide trial of Mr. Rittenhouse nears an end, Mr. Grosskreutz, 28, calmly delivered testimony for several hours as a star witness for the state. But his testimony at times lent support to Mr. Rittenhouse’s central claim, that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Mr. Grosskreutz and two other men. The testimony underscored a broader challenge for prosecutors, who face the burden of disproving the scenario laid out by Mr. Rittenhouse’s lawyers.

Those lawyers have argued that Mr. Rittenhouse fired in self-defense during a chaotic, lawless night in Kenosha on the third night of protests and rioting after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, 2020. The first man Mr. Rittenhouse shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, was erratic and threatening to people on the street that night, the defense has said, and in the split second before Mr. Rittenhouse shot him, Mr. Rosenbaum lunged in his direction and reached for his weapon. After Mr. Rittenhouse shot him four times and fled down the street, he shot two others who were pursuing him, Anthony Huber and Mr. Grosskreutz.

“I thought that the defendant was an active shooter,” said Mr. Grosskreutz, who also testified that he came to the protests to provide medical help to people who needed it.

But the Times follows up that framing with the actual testimony that should have precluded charges in the first place:

Under cross-examination by a lawyer for Mr. Rittenhouse, Mr. Grosskreutz gave testimony that suggested his role in the events of Aug. 25, 2020, was complicated. Like Mr. Rittenhouse, Mr. Grosskreutz was armed that night, and he was asked why he had falsely told police detectives shortly after the shooting that his Glock pistol had fallen out of its holster that night — rather than saying he had pulled it out, as visual evidence showed. Under questioning, he also acknowledged that he was carrying the gun concealed without a valid permit to do so and that he had denied a request from the police in September 2020 to interview him about the shootings.

As Mr. Grosskreutz described the seconds before Mr. Rittenhouse shot him, he was shown photos that captured him pointing his gun at Mr. Rittenhouse.

“So when you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?” Corey Chirafisi, a defense lawyer, asked.

“Correct,” Mr. Grosskreutz answered.

“It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun — now your hands down, pointed at him — that he fired, right?” Mr. Chirafisi said.

“Correct,” he said.

The Times does its best to rehab the prosecutors’ case, using one witness to claim that prosecutors have demonstrated the elements of reckless endangerment. If Rittenhouse had only been charged with that, perhaps that might be news. However, prosecutors charged Rittenhouse with two counts of murder and another count of attempted murder — and the “reckless endangerment” came from Rittenhouse’s panicked fire in self-defense, a point that the Times neglects.

At any rate, count the NYT’s readers as at least incrementally better informed than most major-outlet consumers on this trial. If the judge dismisses it today or tomorrow or issues a directed verdict of acquittal, those readers will be incrementally less surprised by the outcome.

Be sure to follow Julio on Twitter for the latest actual news from the Rittenhouse trial. You can read his latest Townhall dispatch here.