Wrong, Wronger, Wrongest


Marc Ambinder writes a mea non culpa:

Did the media get Ferguson wrong?

In August, after a Ferguson, Missouri police officer shot and killed a young, unarmed black man named Michael Brown, the reaction by local residents, civil rights activists, and the media instantly went nuclear. The DNA of our political and legal systems rest on principles of equality and color-blindness, and here was yet another example of a major genetic mutation that we’ve been unable to fix: young black men being murdered by the police because they’re young and black. Still. Even in 2014, this happened, at a time when adults are supposed to be racially enlightened.

Ferguson checked several boxes. The town was mostly black and its police department was mostly white. The basic story was black and white, too. Eyewitnesses saw officer Darren Wilson shoot his weapon, over and over, at Brown. They saw him shoot Brown in the back. They saw him shoot Brown after Brown had stumbled from the shock of the first thwack, thwack, thwack, bullets having shattered his arm.

Predictably, the police department closed ranks around its officer. They pointed out that Brown had stolen some beer from a local convenience store moments earlier. They hinted he had marijuana in his system. They tried to stomp out the credibility of a dead teenager because the optics looked so awful for them. The police’s instinctive defense backfired. The national media, especially cable news networks and enterprising liberal news websites, occupied Ferguson for days on end, looking for and finding evidence that the police were out of control, that racism was everywhere, and that Ferguson resembled forsaken third world cities where footage of confrontations between police and protestors was the norm.

That pretty much lays out the media’s preferred racial narrative, where black people are oppressed by the White Power Structure.

Let’s skip down to the fifth and sixth paragraphs:

Well — several months later, the official autopsy was found to be consistent with police accounts that the shooting came after Brown reached for the officer’s gun during an altercation. And two reporters for The Washington Post, including a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist whose reputation for holding powerful interests accountable is documented, write that “more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events on Aug. 9,” citing several sources who asked for anonymity. Forensic analysts who’ve read the autopsy largely support the conclusion that Brown had reached for Wilson’s gun.

A lot of evidence hasn’t been made public. The public is right to question the conclusion of government officials who might be sympathetic to the police. Still, at the very least, what we think we know about Ferguson is very likely not what actually happened.

This is what is known as “burying the lede” which is a journalista trick for hiding the truth in plain sight. They know that most people only skim the news, just reading headlines and the first couple paragraphs. Plus he writes those paragraphs in a way that obfuscates the real, incontrovertible fact that the media got Ferguson wrong.

Sneaky, sneaky.

Police militarization and an unequal justice system are real problems that deserve sustained scrutiny. These problems are more insidious than a rush to judgment against one particular officer, presumption of innocence be damned. So maybe the best thing to do would be to say, well, in this particular case, it turns out that the police officer might not have acted as wantonly as we thought. But it really doesn’t matter, because the response to the shooting called attention to police abuse and discrimination in a way that resonated across the world. They had tanks! They threatened to killed reporters! The truth here is less important than Truth.

For the news media, though, the “injustice is the story, not Darren Wilson” story won’t wash. Sometimes, what’s true is hard to discern. The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong. Many others will say that because there’s still so much we don’t know and haven’t read about the incident, it’s premature to conclude anything. Others will say that, regardless of whether Brown struggled for Wilson’s gun, firing nine shots at someone is never justified. Others will show pictures of tanks and tear gas, basically telling viewers that the reaction to the shooting by police was the real story all along, even more so than racism. The victim? Michael Brown? Eh.

The journey for racial justice rejects the notion that truth is an effect of power. It is based on the notion that truth transcends power. The media wants to be on the right side of history when it comes to race. Accepting truth wherever we find it, no matter how painful it is to our sensibilities, is even more important when fundamental issues of justice are at stake.

Blah, blah, blah, blabbity-blah.

This is word fog:

The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong.

Let me clean that up for you:

The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong.

Here’s the clean and clear version:

The media got it wrong.

Was that so hard?

Fucking asshats.


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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54 Responses to Wrong, Wronger, Wrongest

  1. The Klown says:

  2. Propertius says:

    It seems to me that both Left and Right have had their ideological blinders on when it came to Ferguson. It’s quite possible for there to have been a history of racial injustice in Ferguson and for Brown’s shooting to have been justified.

    This is why we have courts, juries, and rules of evidence.

    What I found so troubling about both this case and the Trayvon Martin case was how readily people were willing to sacrifice due process and their own objectivity. It’s particularly bizarre watching supposed “social justice warriors” form a modern-day lynch mob over something like this.

    • Somebody says:

      The media and the race hustlers stepped in shit with both of those cases. The sad fact is that to this day there are still a very large number of people that think George Zimmerman got away with murder, they don’t trust the jury verdict. The facts of the case never made it through the racial meme created. Eyewitnesses backed up GZ’s story the night that it all happened that’s why the police didn’t charge him that night. The decision to charge him was purely political.

      The evidence and witnesses seem to be corroborating officer Wilson’s version of events. The public and the private autopsies found no evidence of Brown having been shot in the back. Yet the whole hands up don’t shoot meme lives on. There are people still convinced that Wilson shot Brown in cold blood and nothing, certainly no facts will change their mind.

      That’s what I find so appalling is that in the face of all the facts people still refuse to accept the truth. I assure you the people sitting on either of those juries take their job seriously, they know they’re sitting on a hot button case with national media attention.

    • gumsnapper says:

      What I found troubling was how the MSM focused and obsessed on both cases and made them national stories. Murders and shootings occur everyday all over the country as do the police shooting suspects. Why was the Trayvon murder, for instance, a national story?

  3. elliesmom says:

    I had an interesting conversation with the person responsible for HR management of the crew aboard my “Mystery Cruise”. I was praising a member of his staff so he was speaking warmly. I noted that the crew seemed to come from few places in the world, notably not many were Americans, He said given that all of your necessary expenditures to live, food, shelter, and clothing, are provided as part of your job, the pay is pretty good. A lot of the crew is allowed to keep any tips they get personally. Dining staff, bar staff, housekeeping, spa services, etc. Everyone gets to share in the auto-gratuities. So if you go above and beyond for the guests, the money can be quite good. This particular line pays for a trip home for you every four months. How long you get to stay depends on how long you’ve been with the company, but the minimum is two weeks. So that’s at least 6 weeks vacation a year. The work day is not longer than 9 hours, but it might not be consecutive. You might work breakfast, have the afternoon off, and then work dinner. He said they have set up training programs in the US before, but they just don’t work out well. Working aboard a ship requires a discipline most young Americans just don’t have. He’s from Croatia himself. Most of the young people working on board were from the Philippines, Thailand, India, Croatia, and Romania. While they would accept an application from someone from “the Americas”, they don’t recruit here. I guess that makes them “anti-American”.

  4. Hell, he even gets basic facts wrong in this article. Mr. Brown is not alleged to have stolen beer, but a box of some 50 cigarillos.

    Incidentally, cigarillos are popularly used as wrappers for blunts…that would be a Cheech and Chong-sized joint. Now consider that Mr. Brown had cannabinoid in his system according to the autopsy. I think an inference can be made by the volume of stolen cigars, the results of the toxicology report, and Mr. Brown’s alleged reaction to Officer Wilson. Remember that his friend Dorian Johnson disappeared for several minutes after the shooting, and said he ran to the apartments where the pair were heading. I thought at the time that he could possibly be stashing drugs.

    I haven’t seen the toxicology report, and I don’t know if they tested for it, but I have seen first hand how people smoking “wet” or PCP-laced cigarettes and marijuana blunts act. I’ts a very volatile situation where they are very quick to anger, and lash out in a very aggressive way, even with apparent authority figures when they know their freedom (or in my case, their children) were at risk. They don’t care because they can’t; they are in the throws of reacting to the drug of the addiction to it.

    A lot of people who knew Mr. Brown in the community say they were surprised to see him act as he did in the store video, and to learn of his reaction to police, but I also wondered at the time if PCP was involved. There is no other drug like it in terms of its effects on users–and it’s very evident when people are under the influence of it. It fits the chronology of events, and I will be very curious to see if they tested for it. Especially being near St. Louis, it’s a plausible explanation, as the Midwest is currently being ravaged by PCP and heroin pipelines coming out of Chicago gangs right now.

    • The Klown says:

      Why Micheal Brown behaved the way he did is really irrelevant. We know that he committed strong-arm robbery. We know he attacked Officer Wilson. We know he was not running away when he was shot. There is no evidence other than unsworn statements that he had his hands raised as if surrendering. There is sworn testimony from Wilson that Brown was charging at him when he shot Brown.

      That alone is at least reasonable doubt.

      • While I get where you’re coming from, Mr. Attorney, this isn’t being played out in a jury trial. The prosecutor has chosen to put all the evidence in front of a grand jury and let them decide on what charges, if any, will be brought. In that situation, why Mr. Brown was acting as he was might indeed matter to said grand jury. Just sayin’. 🙂

      • Propertius says:

        And of course, we also know that Brown was nearly twice the officer’s size. Any reasonable person would be in fear for his life when somebody twice his size is beating on him.

  5. HELENK3 says:

    not only the media got it wrong but the government who had no business getting involved got it wrong.This added to the problem. backtrack and holder’s dept of crime gave the green light to riot. This is not the first time and most likely will not be the last.
    I just saw picture on facebook of the number of police officers killed in the line of duty since backtrack took office without one word from the white house but 3 government agents sent to brown’s funeral. That is something to think about. I would like to see the so called journalists ask why this is going on.

  6. Kathy says:

    Also K2–the synthetic marijuana…really screws with your brain.
    Basically, the gentle giant wasn’t so gentle

  7. The Klown says:

  8. mothy6767 says:

    Went to an elementary school Halloween dance. Cops everywhere.They have them at recess in the morning and after school. Small school maybe a little over 200 K thru 5. Glad they are there but it is disconcerting.
    On topic I am so bored by excuses for thugs or broken kids acting out with a gun. Raise your fucking kids. Talk to them educate them. Butt plug Sharpton and his antics only make things worse. Life is tough. Poor me enslaved you.
    I have known many people who did the therapy route and everything becomes about mommy or daddy when they were 6. Shrink makes 150/he and life becomes all about poor me. Waiter got my order wrong I am a victim.
    Shut up.
    Gets you nowhere to wallow in fabricated misery. Sharpton and others are the macrocosim. Go ahead spend your whole life whining see where it gets you. Everyone can find fault with their parents. Some become vampires feeding on others sensitivities(See dreams of my daddy)
    I think therapy has its place. My brat goes. She is 8 and is being raised by great gay uncle and great grand parents. Sometimes she might need to say things she will not say to me but I make sure she does not play poor me.
    It would been so easy to continue playing in New York but far less rewarding. I was an art fag in NYC without any real talent. Empty. Raising a kid is high art. She gave me my Christmas present today. A pillow that reads “I Love You More”. Every night I say how much do I love you and she squeezes her thumb and finger together and I say less she says I cannot do less. I say well less and she says good cause I Love you more.
    Sorry for streaming. Had 3 glasses of wine and I am looped but it does pain me to watch People like Sharpton feed on pain.. He is poison.

  9. 1539days says:

    I don’t think this is a polarization issue. There are those of us who believe the media, and those of us who are smart. If forced to choose between Fox News’ spin on a story and the spin of everyone else, I’ll choose Fox and I will be right more of the time for doing so.

  10. mothy6767 says:

    Another thing that passes me off is that after the dance everyone fled. Three PTA women left to clean up. PTA ladies are all kinds of crazy but come on pitch in fold up your chair clean up around you. Nope just walk out. My dad has COPD with a tank and he was helping out. One kid six grabbed a broom and drove me nuts holding the dust pan but that little man did something. Everyone else walked away from their own mess. I found it very sad. There were trash cans but garbage on the floor not from kids but the adults sitting along the wall.

  11. DeniseVB says:

    Can you imagine if Republicans said this stuff ? True story…….

  12. mothy6767 says:

    For fucks sake I rarely drink anymore but had some wine and then cracked open a bottle of very expensive champagne put in my ear buds and drank it from the bottle. I was celebrating. My baby does me proud. She is very fit although I have gotten letters from the school that she is over weight. Impossible. Has some sort of class every night except Sunday’s when she goes swimming with my oxygen tank carrying dad. Fit and so respectful that her instructors arrange for her. To do runway stuff. I of course think she is a gem. Such a kind delicate soul that never shuts up. Wakes up talking a mile a minute. Third grade and the girls who were blessed with figures and a wardrobe are starting to get catty. Very bad. I have made a concerted effort to make sure my baby girl sees more to life than a small town being a cheer leader. Tia Kwon Do teacher gave me 200 postcards to pass out on Halloween called Kick or Treat. He is giving one free month of instruction for 24.95. Great marketing idea. I am a huge fan of kids being able to release. Baby girl’s mother does not call for a year. Misses BirthdAys and Christmas has another child she kept. I CANNOT fix that. Refuse to let her board the pity train. Some stuff she will never tell me but I feel Tai Kwon Do addresses a big part.
    I am so proud of her as I said the it girls are already in third grade going catty. My little one is refusing to be a c¥¥¥. Kid is so amazing. No judgements from her ever. Guy from the Phillipines thanked me last night for how wonderful Shay is with his son. I had no idea Cesar was a child of new legal immigrants I yell at him on the monkey bars as much as any other kid.
    My point is it makes me sad to see this dependency on government because life is unfair. I grew up outhouse poor. Newspaper from the neighbors was toilet paper. I remember being so hungry that running my teeth along a raw spaghetti noodle was food.
    I went on to live in the world of prep school kids. Lost myself for a spell but I came home. I can tell you there was more love in the shacK with so many carpenter ants eating the walls than I saw at the Dakota. Affluent kids lack reality and grit.
    Sure I go over board on an 8 year old. Almost November and she has yet to wear the same outfit twice. I cannot help myself I go into buy socks and walk out without socks but tons of skorts.
    I am a freak, kid is being raised by not normal people. She has such capacity. Never ever shuts up but no hint of cruelty. New girl at school from Nepal isolated. Yep Shay schedules play dates with her. So amazed by my little person.
    Sorry to go on but I have lost my open borders liberal friends with a wetback house keeper. If not for me and my parents my grand niece would have become public property. Race has nada to do with it. Fucking expend the energy. Read to a child. Free thank you Franklin. No excuse. No poor me you had a kid step up. Oh it’s hard. Shut up. Nothing replaces a solid sincere family environment. My ex brother in law blames everyone else(baby girl”s grandfather featured as Pittsburgh’s most wanted) My sister’s next husband took in two of his cousins off the street treated them like shit and a few days later he shot a woman to death over a cigarette.
    I do not give my sister a pass. They took in a troubled child and went hard core work. He rebelled and was left alone so he fulfilled his destiny. Little puke did not just take one life he obliterated everyone that woman has known.
    I am going to retire with zero Everything has been cashed in for attorney fees. I will work any job for my kid.

    • Mt.Laurel says:

      Why in the world don’t they just confiscate and hold an auction of this is truly a collection of vintage wines? Or even plain wines. They do that for everything else.

      I am a native of PA and yes, there is a strong control on liquor/wine/beer sales to say the least. But the man knew that when he decided to run the equivalent of an upscale still.

      Note: I thought Blue Laws referred to restrictions on Sunday of any kind not just liquor? In PA, liquor restrictions are 365 days a year.

  13. HELENK3 says:

    if this is happening all over the dems are in big trouble

    • mothy6767 says:

      Sharon, my mother, has never missed a vote and works at the polling places. Never in her life has she voted Republican. This year her absentee ballot(cannot vote in person because she is working far away) is 100% republican. She was going to vote for Tom Wolfe for governor but I played a bunch of obowlas speeches and compared the two. Then I said he thinks you are stupid buying his buckshit. My mom is the only person I have ever met with I didactic memory. Beetroot four kids before she was twenty went on to get a GED a nursing degree and then with an associate’s degree made it to 6 figures. She believed in the democratic party. Thought if you worked hard they had your back. Die hard blue dog no ma’s every time I talk to her now she quotes Judge Jeanine. She is 65 and a great grandmother but she is Cray Cray when it comes to her kids and her kids kids kids and her kids kids kids kids. Dims lose her they are toast

    • leslie says:

      Thanks Helen. It gives me a small measure of hope.
      Here in IL, the younger voters are still convinced that the Dems have the “best interest” of the people in mind. They pay no attention to the empty coffers and the ineffective governor. They simply see D and R. I explained to a 30-something colleague (who plans to vote D and then move to another state after the damage is done) that she and her friends are going to hurt everyone in IL – mostly the poor – by continuing this farce if they vote for Quinn. IL will win only when Madigan (D- Speaker of the House) and his cohorts are gone from IL gov’t.

      (this may be behind a paywall. I linked to it via twitter)

  14. gumsnapper says:

    The WSJ on Democratic Party’s embrace of Al Sharpton:

    What a damning appraisal.

  15. HELENK3 says:


    between “what difference does it make” and now this one “businesses don’t create jobs” Hillary is either not running or way out in left field

  16. HELENK3 says:


    when you spend years on your knees to someone, they really do not respect you

  17. HELENK3 says:


    further penalties imposed on Dinesh D souza.

    really seem to be going after free speech now

  18. foxyladi14 says:

    stole it

  19. mothy6767 says:

    Be careful with credit. I have not used a credit card since the last century. I wanted to buy my parents a new washer and dryer. I got shut down thought it was because I had no credit history for v15 years. Nope a ton of delinquencies. All old sold to collections all small stuff 500 here 500 there. I have never had a JC Penny card but I owe them 1250 dollars on a card I never had. I use a spend card for online purchases Never my debit card. I have at least 10 collection agencies after me. One is legit I switched from T-mobile and never paid early termination fee but the others are bogus. Rock and a hard place if they use I will win as I never had the cards but it will cost me more to pay an attorney. One is for 5800 hundred from a bank . They will settle for 7 and change. I never borrowed the money but it will cost me more to fight it. I am so confused by the laws one guy told me interest can not be charged on a bad debt I said I have no debt zero none. I have no car payment no mortgage . NOTHING. Somehow it is cheaper for me to pay it off than fight.

  20. fif says:

    Why did the guy in the picture even bother to put pants on – to keep his legs warm? Don’t get it. Must be very hard to walk around like that.

  21. mothy6767 says:


    I like Underwood but I am a big fan of Rondstadt. Brat thinks she looks like Dora the Explorer. Any who She played this cover and I as it is not kid seventies she does it justice.

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