Back in September when the news broke about the death of Illinois police officer Joe Gliniewicz there was a national outcry over the murder of yet another police officer and a sense of mourning shared among many people. At the time, none of the writers at Hot Air even picked up the story aside from publishing a guest editorial from Governor Scott Walker where he touched on the subject. I can’t speak for Ed and Allah, but the reason I left that one alone was that there simply wasn’t enough known at the time to draw any conclusions. The story, as it was initially reported, was tragic, but the sad fact is that police officers lose their lives in the line of duty so often when facing down violent criminals that you can’t cover every single one. And aside from a very vague description of a couple of guys, there was no definite indication of what had happened to Joe. Was he murdered because of the uniform he wore? Did he just stumble across some bad guys who got the drop on him? There was no way of knowing at the time so I simply bookmarked the story for later.
Now we know (or at least suspect beyond the point of reasonable doubt) the truth of what happened. As recently reported in outlets from the Washington Post to NBC News, local officials have determined that Gliniewicz had orchestrated what was described as a “carefully staged suicide.” Ongoing investigations had shown that the officer had been siphoning off money for his own use from the charitable organization he operated and he feared that the trap was quickly closing around him. Rather than face the music and account for his actions he ended his life.
You might think that this revelation would replace one sad story with another, leaving no reason to find any joy, but you’d be wrong. There was clearly a hint of dancing in the streets in some quarters. One of the first hints of this I received came in the form of a tweet from some egg with two followers delivered in a decidedly nasty tone.
I was able to write that one off easily enough as an anonymous troll account, but there was plenty more to come. Andrew Kirell at the Daily Beast showed up not long after with a tirade fit for a pigsty. (Some expletives deleted.)
It was a narrative perfectly suited for Fox News’s conservative commentariat. Too bad it was total bull****…
Flash-forward to this Wednesday when Fox Lake police officials revealed that Gliniewicz’s death was actually a “carefully staged suicide.” As it turns out, the long-time lieutenant had been laundering thousands of dollars from his department’s youth program for his own personal spending on gym memberships, porn websites, and mortgage payments. There were no assailants; GI Joe shot himself rather than face the consequences.
Have any of these Fox pundits corrected the record or issued mea culpas for their rush to connect this twisted story to their political narrative? Wednesday’s edition of Outnumbered, with Tantaros among its hosts, went without a single mention of the news their own network aired just an hour before.
The majority of the rant is, as you might expect for this outlet, a tirade against Fox News and their perceived “bias” in terms of law enforcement. But all through the piece you can sense the underlying glee that Kirell feels as he gets to label the man known as G.I. Joe a fraudster. He figuratively dances on the disgraced and deceased officer’s grave as if this somehow changes the entire narrative and proves all the critics of the violent rhetoric coming from the Black Lives Matter movement wrong. The Left has finally found their totem to prove once and for all that all cops must be evil, criminal bad guys and those defending them are nothing but partisan hatemongers.
I’m reminded of a story from my own town a few years ago which nobody outside of this region has heard. The newspapers broke the tale of a woman who worked at a local senior citizens center as a health care assistant, caring for the elderly. She spent some of her spare time as a volunteer at a local shelter and was well liked by everyone who knew her. It also turned out that she was bilking money out of elderly patients with Alzheimers or dementia. She wound up going to jail.
But the fact that this one seemingly good person had gone terribly, evilly wrong did not for a moment call all of the good deeds of other health care workers and volunteers into question. The vast, vast majority of them are wonderful people who bring a little sunshine into the lives of those most in need of it. The same goes for police officers. They are people, as with any other profession, and once in a while you come across a bad one. Joe Gliniewicz was a man who followed a noble calling and apparently fell from grace, bring shame on his department and his family. But he’s just one man.
In the meantime, nothing else has changed. Daron Goforth is still dead. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu are still dead. The rest of the 105 American law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty this year are still dead. Most died at the hands of violent criminals they were pursuing. And yes, some were simply murdered because of the uniforms they wore by people who hate cops. None of these facts are in dispute. Neither is the fact that people in the movement Kirell seems to love so much have been marching in the streets chanting “What do we want, Dead Cops” or the ever popular “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”
The sad truth is that nothing much has changed at all. The only difference is that we don’t typically see a writer at a supposedly respected outlet whooping and hollering on the grave of a dead police officer, even one who had fallen from grace.