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The Media Is The Real Threat, Not Kyle Rittenhouse

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Last Friday, a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all five charges of murder and endangering public safety. Despite immense outside pressure to convict him, a jury of his peers admitted the obvious, that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he shot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz in the summer of 2020.

The verdict was a win for justice and the American judicial system. At the same time, the verdict was a referendum on the media, which worked tirelessly to mislead the country about what happened between Rittenhouse and the three men who attacked him.

And the media’s crusade continues. From Friday afternoon to Monday morning, the media warned Americans that the Rittenhouse jury acquitted a murderer, encouraged violence, acted in coded racism, and endangered a country already doomed because of evil white men.

The following are not paraphrased exaggerations, but actual published statements:

“Kyle Rittenhouse trial was designed to protect white conservatives who kill,” MSNBC immediately wrote following the verdict.

“There’s nothing more frightening in America today than an angry white man,” CNN published hours after the jury set Rittenhouse free.

“Anyone who supports Black Lives Matter should be very afraid tonight,” said overt racist Joy Reid.

Comments like these have gone on for days with the implicit goal of convincing audiences that they are in danger, that a Rittenhouse is looming around every corner, and that white supremacists are coming for them. While all those implications are a lie, they are also a distraction from the real threat: the people framing Rittenhouse as a murderer.

Danger does not merely come from acts of violence but from fear, desperation, confusion, and hate — four feelings the media incites within its audience.

To understand the media’s role in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, you must go back to the beginning, before Rittenhouse picked up the AR-15 that he had stored at his friend’s house in Kenosha. If you recall, riots had broken out and Kenosha buildings burned after the media purposely inflamed the narrative regarding a criminal named Jacob Blake in order to normalize lawlessness.

“Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” CNN’s primetime anchor Chris Cuomo preached at the time.

Rioters in Kenosha reacted to a belief that white officers committed a crime by shooting an “unarmed” Jacob Blake. The Washington Post — and you can check this — posted a viral tweet calling Blake an “unarmed” black man.

Except he wasn’t “unarmed.” Places like CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and ABC rarely informed viewers that a woman Blake had sexually assaulted had called the police when he violated a restraining order and showed up at her house and wielded a knife in an attempt to kidnap a child. Even after the police arrived, Blake still refused to drop the knife in his possession. So police shot him.

Such context would likely have caused some BLM rioters to reconsider their anger at the supposedly unjust system. It may have steered some looters away from destroying public property. But without that information, viewers felt desperate. They believed the lie about systemic racism within the American criminal justice system. Meanwhile, most BLM “protesters” took advantage of this ignorance and rioted in the city.

Enter Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who tried to protect the city, private property, and himself when law enforcement would not.

Since that fateful day when Rittenhouse shot rioters in self-defense, most journalists and television hosts have fomented a growing distaste for our country and its founding. The brighter minds in the corporate press knew from the start that a jury would likely find Rittenhouse not guilty on all or most charges, but they didn’t care. The Rittenhouse shooting gave them an opportunity to strike a fatal blow against the American way, and they weren’t about to let it pass by.

Because most in the media knew the baselessness of the charges against Rittenhouse, they decided to do two things in the hopes of securing a conviction. First, they tried to intimidate the jury into a bogus verdict. According to a police report, an NBC producer even tried to photograph jurors to bully them into voting the correct way. Second, the media lied about the case repeatedly in the hopes of convincing the public that Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t deserve to live a normal life ever again. That way, if the jury didn’t ruin Rittenhouse’s life, the media would.

And it’s doing its best to do so, even now that he’s been acquitted.

Cable news anchors continue to present Rittenhouse as — what else? — a white supremacist. On Saturday, an MSNBC host called Rittenhouse a “little murderous white supremacist” and said that anyone who agreed with his acquittal was a “white supremacist” too.

If radicals like Tiffany Cross, Joy Reid, and Rex Chapman ever had to explain why Rittenhouse is a white supremacist, they’d likely say that he’s a white guy who likes guns and supports the police. In their eyes, that is what “white supremacy” is, having white skin color and a fondness for the Second Amendment and the police. They also know that this definition will stir the emotions of Rittenhouse’s supporters, and nothing furthers emotion like painting the system as hopelessly racist.

Worst of all, the media has failed to do its job. A journalist has three key responsibilities: to inform, to ask questions, and to hold people accountable. Reporters did none of the three during the Rittenhouse case.

Both the law and the American legal system are complex. Most Americans do not understand either of them fully, which is one reason why the accused, no matter the charges against them, are entitled to an attorney. Because most Americans don’t comprehend the law and the legal nuances of, in particular, the Rittenhouse case, they look to the media for information to help them form a reaction. Yet the media deliberately failed to keep up its end of the bargain.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the 1619 Project, claims the verdict proves that “in this country, you can even kill white people and get away with it if those white people are fighting for black lives. This is the legacy of 1619.”

In actuality, the trial’s outcome proves that, despite its flaws, the U.S. offers the greatest judicial system ever created. The Rittenhouse verdict was not about race, implicit bias, undue sympathy for a young man, or a rogue judge — it was about reasonable doubt.

New York Mag summarizes Wisconsin self-defense law thusly:

In Wisconsin, as in most U.S. states, the prosecution bears the burden of disproving self-defense claims beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, at his trial, Rittenhouse did not need to prove that each shooting in Kenosha was an act of self-defense; the prosecution needed to prove that this was not the case.

Under Wisconsin law, you can kill people in self-defense if you reasonably believe that doing so is necessary to spare yourself or others from imminent bodily harm or death. This belief need not be accurate. Nor must it be reasonable from an objective perspective. It only needs to be reasonable from the subjective point of view of the shooter in the moment he or she pulls the trigger.

The jury did not find Rittenhouse to be a hero, nor did their verdict make a statement about race relations in America. That wasn’t their job. The jury’s role was to determine whether Kyle Rittenhouse intended to commit acts of violence against the Kenosha community. And it found reasonable doubt — an eminently reasonable conclusion to reach since Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse, Huber attacked him with a skateboard and then reached for his weapon, and Grosskreutz testified that he pointed a handgun in his face.

The jury could not say that Rittenhouse did not act in self-defense beyond a shadow of a doubt. That determination should be the lede, not a bottom-of-the-hour side note on NBC News. It would ease the temperature in America and create understanding and discourage outrage. You’d think the media would want cooler heads to prevail since most media personalities remain in a state of dismay because the QAnon Shaman wore a goofy Viking hat at the Capitol nearly a year ago.

Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t a threat to the country. Nor is the right to self-defense. But the media is. Corporate media actively attempts to convince viewers that they are helpless victims in an irredeemably inhumane system. Its goal is to make people so desperate that it causes chaos, and sometimes violence.

This industry is dangerous. It’s making the county desperate, hateful, misinformed, and afraid. It is to blame for the carnage in Kenosha, not some teenager acting in self-defense.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

23 Comments

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  1. So much truth in this article, and you didn’t even mention the fact that the media has intentionally either deliberately said that the victims were black (untrue) or deliberately omitted that they were white, deliberately said that he crossed state lines with a gun (untrue), was in illegal possession of said gun (untrue), that he had no connection to Kenosha (untrue), etc…not to mention saying things like “he had no business being there” while acting like the looting, arsonist, felons he shot somehow DID have a reason to be there. It’s wild. Defund The Media.

  2. How does it end? These media companies are just that.. companies. They care about 2 things. Their bottom line, and secondly destroying America. They only came about the second because of the first. It is a business decision to drive ratings and ad dollars. We all love outkick, but there is bias here too, we accept it because we mostly agree with it. Until there is media that doesn’t generate revenue or make decisions for their bottom line, this will never change.

  3. We all love outkick, but there is bias here too, we accept it because we mostly agree with it. Until there is media that doesn’t generate revenue or make decisions for their bottom line, this will never change.

    I appreciate your honesty. Of course Bobby has bias. He’s like the Tucker Carlson and Jarrod Taylor of Outkick with a Parlor/Gab style for the Alt Right. Nothing wrong with that but just be honest. Sports is not going to change because of Outkick but I enjoy the AWM fragility. Sports>MAGA

    • Hey Glenn, who is we? “We all love Outkick?”

      You have been trolling this sight for years. When the site required log in via FB, you went under your real name. If you want people to forget, don’t use the same stupid phrases, hashtags (note- this isn’t Twitter idiot) and abbreviations for every identity.

      Then you came on as Mason Mauler, now you are Balls in Your Mouth Don’t Lie.

      Anyone who wants to see what a tough guy this, short, doughy loser really is—

      https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010847500018

      You paid Clay to make him a multimillionaire (white guy), and now you pay a billionaire, Rupert Murdoch (white guy), for the privilege of posting. Oh, let me use one of your things… LMWAO.

      • As usual you are wrong AGAIN. I’m sure Glenn enjoys the extra attention and if I were him I would sue your dumbass.

        What I find funny is that you are either some stalker in (some typical sick white boy shit) or you work for or with Outkick were you actually believe this bullshit would work with people you disagree with.

        You see folks, this is example (A) of what I am talking about. Some super tripped out sick pediphille AWB bullshit that led to January 6th.

        I love it. You so fucking stupid that you picked out the wrong person you dumb fuck. What the Podcast again? I’m sure he would appreciate it. I checked out his page. It’s a brother……lol…..

        Pretty much explains your angst with the sports world.

        “You stink of fear”

        • I’m confused. In some posts you claim to be white, and in some black. The really special ones are like this posts, where you pretend you are both- in the same post . At least Rachel Dolezal and Talcum-X can keep their grift straight.

          Certainly, you are triggered and fragile- look at the use of profanity in your post. “When the facts are on your side, you pound the facts. When you don’t have facts, you pound the table.”

          My “angst with the sports world”? Please, point to anything I have said about the sports world, I’ll wait (sound familiar?). I will assume, based upon your history on Outkick, that you believe that blacks have risen to the top of the sports “meritocracy”. I guess that might bother me if I or any of my family were trying to play pro basketball.

          There are about 450 players total in the NBA out of a US population of 330 million. June 2021 stats- the median net worth of a white family is 188K, a black family 24K. White income, 76K, black 45K. Unemploymemt rate white 5.3%, black 9.7. Poverty rate white 7.3%, black 18.8.

          I think if I were you I’d be a little more concerned about the above stats, and a little less interested in washing LeBron’s balls.

      • Now he’s black after getting caught lying be was white to stir shit up.

        This guy is seriously messed up. Probably just as much of a loser as the scumbag that just killed those people in Wisconsin.

        I have his previous Kentucky address and his current Cincinnati address.

        Hey Glenn, want me to name family members?

    • Why are you here? You are obsessed with Trump. Seek help. At least you didn’t lie about the facts of the case. This has nothing to do with “MAGA” dummy – rather it is about law, order and the Constitution. You are a pathetic coward, and a racist with your “AWM” schtick. Guess Rittenhouse, a 17 year old WM wasn’t so fragile now, was he?

    • Then post a cogent and factual rebuttal explaining your position and what you are basing your opinion on. Nope. Instead you go with the predictable, juvenile “yOu’RE RaYSiSt” and “JaNUaRy 6th” responses.

      The only thing you have proven with your posts over the years is that you are the gerbil in the cage being fed by CNN and MSNBC and gleefully eating it up. Hell, you’re one of the people this article cites as believing the people Rittenhouse shot were black. So spare us the “informed, educated, objective” claims. You’d be better off claiming you’re the son of Louis XIV and Marylin Monroe.

  4. All this talk of if he was black he would have been guilty. Well a black guy in Florida (I believe) was found not guilty the same day of attempted murder for firing at police in a drug raid. So there’s that. Then you have the if he was black he’d of been shot dead by police, well a black guy just ran over 45 people killing 5 and was taken into custody ALIVE. So let’s stop with all this black white BS and just try to be good people and raise our kids to be decent human beings. Are there still some racist people? Of course there are and white people don’t have a monopoly on that, but this is not a racist country, far from it. You can be anything you want in this country if you work hard and stay out of trouble no matter what color you are. That’s just a fact jack if you choose not to believe it that’s on you. God bless.

  5. Black and brown people talk about White fragility and privilege because they themselves feel inferior to White people. They hate people who want to better themselves through education, ambition, and hard work. That’s why they hate Jews and Asians as well. There isn’t a black or brown country that I can think of that’s worth a shit. That’s why they’re all running here.

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