I thought maybe we’d exhausted this subject yesterday but last night I camped out on Twitter for about an hour watching some of the discussions about the Rittenhouse verdict that had accumulated throughout the day and it was like watching a train-wreck happen in slow-motion. The number of people who were sharing outrageously false information about the case amazed me. I’m not talking about small details about the trial that some commenters obviously didn’t watch, I’m talking really basic facts, such as whether Jacob Blake is alive or dead. Here’s he statement that was originally put out by the DCCC:
INBOX: DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney taking a far different approach than President Biden in responding to the Rittenhouse verdict. pic.twitter.com/JKYgzjHuGw
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) November 19, 2021
Two very basic errors in the first sentence. Jacob Blake isn’t dead and, by his own admission, he wasn’t unarmed. The DCCC released a corrected statement but how do you make a mistake like that in the first place? The best you can say is that the DCCC wasn’t alone. The same mistake got made last night on ESPN:
Hey @JalenRose Jacob Blake is still alive, not dead. And he was shot by police because he had a knife, refused to drop it, and a woman he’d sexually assaulted called police asking for protection. This is embarrassing @espn. pic.twitter.com/9ykTEq88tn
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 20, 2021
Maybe he got his information from NBC Sports which published this false claim yesterday. It’s still up and not corrected as I write this. Yahoo News made the same claim:
— TheRightWingM 🇺🇸 (@TheRightWingM) November 20, 2021
This university announced a space to process the verdict. The announcement was full of errors including the death of Jacob Blake:
Fitchburg State University is offering a space to “process the not guilty verdict”
In their announcement, they divide the students of color and white students: pic.twitter.com/oKYa5KCozS
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) November 20, 2021
Miley Cyrus’ sister shared this statement about Blake’s death with millions of her followers:
Noah Cyrus shared this to her 5.9m followers, Jacob Blake isn't dead. where is the misinformation disclaimer? pic.twitter.com/0OSJ9h4jLL
— 𝔖𝔬𝔫𝔦𝔠𝔞𝔦𝔡𝔰 (@SOLIDSTATEHATE) November 20, 2021
In the wake of the verdict, this video game news site put up an open thread repeating the claim:
Jacob Blake wasn't killed by the police, for the record pic.twitter.com/boQ57zO9K0
— Tightest Andronicus (@TightAndronicus) November 19, 2021
Here’s ABC News’ Terry Moran yesterday talking about the “police killing” of Jacob Blake:
.@TerryMoran of @ABC lies in this report. Jacob Blake isn’t dead. Their hole is getting deeper. #KyleRittenhouse is going to own every corporate and social media company, reporter & politician who fabricated stories about him when this is all said & done.pic.twitter.com/BhTWL3vSUa
— Gramma 🍪🍪🥛 (@gramma_smith) November 19, 2021
This description on an MSNBC video is still up as I write this: “uncle of the late Jacob Blake…”
Here’s Maya Wiley on MSNBC last weekend talking about Jacob Blake being killed by police as the context within which the Rittenhouse shooting happened:
— Nuance Bro (@NuanceBro) November 16, 2021
This story is apparently being repeated by news outlets in Britain as well:
Add the Daily Mail to this too. In their poor coverage of this trial they also state that Jacob Blake was killed by a white police officer. If the UK MSM can't be bothered to do research to find out if a man is dead or alive what else do they get wrong? Lazy, shoddy journalism. https://t.co/xnAs9zW9Rc
— Terry JONES (@TerryJO20813271) November 20, 2021
I also see multiple people claiming that CNN’s Anderson Cooper referred to Jacob Blake’s death on air yesterday but I can’t find video of that yet. But suffice it to say that a lot of people in the media were telling people that Jacob Blake was killed by the police, which seems like a pretty basic fact to get wrong.
But it wasn’t the only basic fact they got wrong. As Matt Yglesias pointed out, lots of people were also claiming yesterday that the people shot by Kyle Rittenhouse were black:
The DCCC chairman’s statement today says that Jacob Blake was 1) unarmed and 2) killed, neither of which is true. This is sensitive stuff and folks are stomping around like drunk elephants.
— David Weigel (@daveweigel) November 19, 2021
That claim was reported by papers around the world. The Independent apparently corrected this very soon after but still:
Brazil's biggest newspaper, last week: pic.twitter.com/fcezhSig9G
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 19, 2021
Israeli media outlets were apparently also making the same mistake:
Israeli media also reporting that Rittenhouse killed two black people. https://t.co/xe2eKWbkVj
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) November 20, 2021
And a Dutch news outlet:
— Heuvelrug Intelligence (@HillridgeOSINT) November 19, 2021
Anyway, this idea was definitely circulating on Twitter yesterday. Some people were even admitting they’d only just realized the people Rittenhouse shot weren’t black.
Dear Black people Kyle Rittenhouse killed two white men, including a pedophile, this case has nothing to do with Black People. Stop allowing the liberal media to emotionally manipulate you. pic.twitter.com/w7u4dkAPUr
— Jada Powers (@JadePowers100) November 15, 2021
Finally, I think the most common refrain I heard from people upset with the verdict was that Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines. In many cases, they were probably arguing that he crossed state lines with a rifle but that wasn’t true. The rifle was always in Kenosha. He didn’t bring it across state lines. And so some people just kept repeating that he crossed state lines as if that mattered. Here’s a supercut of media talking heads repeating his (in two parts).
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 20, 2021
So many people were repeating this yesterday that it became a joke.
I’m worried that this verdict will lead to more and more people crossing state lines. Eventually it may get so out of hand that they’ll build a whole system of highways going from state to state. This is the Pandora’s Box that this case opens. Chilling stuff.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 20, 2021
Media Warns Thousands Of Americans Planning To Cross State Lines To Celebrate Thanksgiving https://t.co/e6CsqpDdg4
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) November 20, 2021
Is anyone planning to CROSS STATE LINES for Thanksgiving? Be sure to check with your on-call lawyer or choice for legal advice!
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) November 13, 2021
There’s lots more of this and all of it is reacting to approximately one zillion progressives who were talking about it yesterday as if it mattered.
So, to sum all of this up, there was a tremendous amount of misinformation about the basic facts of this case being spread by the media. That, predictably, led to lots of upset people on the left parroting “facts” about the case that weren’t remotely accurate. It would be great if someone at one of the major outlets (CNN, NY Times, etc.) would take notice of how badly the media was botching this and maybe even go a step beyond that and ask why it was happening. I won’t hold my breath for any MSM stories about Rittenhouse trial disinformation though. If they were capable of that kind of self-reflection, they wouldn’t have made these “mistakes” in the first place.