By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
With Ferguson in flames and mobs running rampant, it became apparent to everyone—except the liberals and libertarians—that the media-hyped “militarization” of the police was not the problem. Instead, the problem in Ferguson was, and is, a criminal element doing drugs and determined to engage in anti-police violence. The additional problem is outside agitation.
Police Officer Darren Wilson testified before the grand jury that Michael Brown, who was under the influence of drugs, was possessed like a “demon” and came after him before being shot and killed. Brown had just robbed a convenience store of swisher sweet cigars, used to make marijuana-infused “blunts.”
Yet, The Huffington Post is out with its story, “Republicans Are Blocking The Only Congressional Response To Ferguson,” suggesting that the only responsible solution is to take even more weapons out of the hands of police officers.
Not to be outdone, BuzzFeed has run a story, “Washington Bails On Demilitarization After Ferguson,” about how the politicians have supposedly been derelict in their duty in not passing legislation to neuter police forces across the country.
This writer, Evan McMorris-Santoro, laments “the quiet collapse of a bipartisan response to Ferguson,” a bill introduced by liberal Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson (GA) and Republican libertarian Rep. Raul Labrador (ID). The bill, H.R.5478, titled, “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act,” had only 46 sponsors, the vast majority of them “progressive” Democrats who want to disarm local law enforcement.
But the BuzzFeed story does have some eye-opening elements, such as the fact that libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) had wanted to join the anti-police crusade on Capitol Hill and had reached out to the discredited writer Radley Balko for help.
AIM ran several stories about Balko’s wildly inaccurate accounts of supposedly “militarized” police violating the rights of citizens with impunity.
The BuzzFeed account said that Rand Paul had been counting on “powerful libertarian-leaning voices in the GOP like the Koch Brothers” to force Congress to change the program that permits local police agencies to receive military help to confront local drug gangs, criminals, terrorists and mobs.
But it wasn’t to be. This effort at transformational “change” has fallen flat, in the wake of more riots in Ferguson.
Rather than being excessively “militarized,” it has become apparent that the local police in Ferguson were desperately in need of outside help and they got it—in the form of the National Guard. Still, the police and troops couldn’t protect the city from the outside agitators and assorted communists.
Even the reliably and hopelessly liberal MSNBC now sees the handwriting on the wall. The story, “Debate fades on militarization of law enforcement,” is on Rachel Maddow’s blog and quotes liberally from BuzzFeed. Common-sense legislators responding to the need for law and order will not join the liberal/libertarian crusade to undermine the police at this critical juncture.
The coverage helps us better understand the nature of the liberal media.
Most people look at riots in the streets and want the police to protect the law-abiding and arrest the lawless. The liberals in the media see the police as the bad guys.
One of the worst offenders in the media is the “former” communist Van Jones, now a CNN commentator. Jones was a member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a group which controlled numerous front organizations such as Bay Area Police Watch.
In announcing that the grand jury had exonerated Officer Wilson, prosecutor Robert McCulloch took aim at the media, noting that a big challenge to the investigation was “the 24-hour news cycle and its appetite for something, anything, to talk about.”
At the beginning, we were informed by the media that Brown had been shot in his back, and he had put his hands up in a surrender pose. That turned out to be a complete lie. The media pressure from the start was to indict Wilson, who was viewed as guilty of cold-blooded murder.
How many times did we see and hear the media refer to Wilson being white and Brown being black, in order to stoke racial controversy?
Now we know that some of the “witnesses” against Wilson in the media lied through their teeth about what really happened.
With his anti-NSA campaign running out of gas, Glenn Greenwald had jumped on the bandwagon as well, writing a column on the “horrors” of police “militarization” in Ferguson. From his isolated bungalow in Brazil, Greenwald referred to the “intensive militarization of America’s police forces” being “a serious menace,” citing the badly flawed Radley Balko book, Warrior Cop, and a report from the ACLU.
It looks like the outside agitators were better armed than the police. Or, rather, they were more inclined to use their weapons.
The other big loser in the debate over “militarization” was Rand Paul, whose Time magazine article, “We Must Demilitarize the Police,” was about an alleged “systemic problem with today’s law enforcement.”
No such problem was found. The grand jury verdict showed that the police acted professionally throughout the process. Officer Wilson’s conduct and handling of the assault from Michael brown was vindicated. The so-called “militarization” of police after the shooting was an effort to protect fellow officers and the community.
Rather than stand up for the police, Senator Paul encouraged the mobs, writing about blacks who believe the government was “targeting” them. He griped about “black and brown men and women” supposedly serving “inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.”
This kind of rhetoric only encouraged the mobs to take action against the police and burn down and loot businesses. It was incendiary language from a politician who wants to be president.
Ferguson is an example of how the media and some politicians work together to undermine local police agencies in order to make narrow ideological points.
The anti-police agenda doesn’t make sense to those who have seen the city burned and looted on live television on two separate occasions. That is why the “militarization” debate is over and why the police have won.
Now, Senator Paul, will you please apologize to the police?