Facts Be Damned

Every left-wing radical who thinks of himself as a “journalist” with his camera phone and Twitter account knows the pathway to success and a mainstream media job: first, you create a crisis of whatever size possible. Perhaps it’s about race or #MeToo or some obscure LGBTQ matter; ideally, it involves all three of those things. Promote it no matter what the facts may be. Then attack the Right and Fox News for it, regardless of the truth.  

It worked phenomenally well for Ben Smith, the former editor of Buzzfeed who rode his lies and misinformation all the way to a cushy job with the New York Times.  Recall that Smith while at Buzzfeed published the now fully discredited Steele dossier that is at the center of the Russian collusion fairy tale, now the subject of no less than three different investigations by U.S. attorneys offices around the country.  

Smith’s slipshod work, which in reality provided yeoman’s work for former FBI Director James Comey, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and perhaps even segments of the Russian intelligence community, also jumpstarted fraudulent congressional investigations. It also launched millions of online rumors, tweets, and TV talking head careers—including Smith’s own. 

At some point, you might expect accountability and repercussions. In a healthy, mature, and responsible society, that is what takes place: the rule of law is enforced, there is equal application of justice, and those caught in monumental and intentional lies are punished. With a truly free and honest press what we have seen over the past three and a half years might have engendered just a modicum of shame and inspired some cause for the media to step back, take a deep breath and consider facts over ratings and clicks, ego, and the sneering distaste so many show for the majority of Americans and the country that has blessed all of us with so much. 

Nope. 

All of what has made the media even less trusted by the public than Congress and used car salesmen was on display last week with the reporting from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Over the past few days due to the shooting of Jacob Blake, the media converged on the city using the same playbook that worked for them in Minneapolis earlier this summer. First, spread misinformation and half-baked reporting, then help light the fuse for violent riots and social chaos, then staggeringly pretend that the protests are “fiery but mostly peaceful.”

In the case of Blake, the initial reporting indicated that the man was simply walking away from police for no apparent reason before being shot seven times. That reporting alone, with no context or additional information touched off a level of violence, looting, property damage, and physical harm more common to the nightly rioting in Chicago than a suburban community in Wisconsin.  

A day later, the important facts that a responsible media might have sought out before reporting told a somewhat different story. Blake’s girlfriend had called police fearing for her and her children’s safety. Police attempted to calm the situation, but when Blake continued to be perceived as a threat, police attempted to use a taser. Blake ran to his car and police believe he was reaching for a knife when he was shot. 

No doubt, the police use of force must be part of this investigation. But none of the above facts that would have added important context were part of any initial reporting on the scene, creating a very different narrative that played into the hands of Black Lives Matter terrorists and Antifa scum headed to Kenosha on Monday. I am going to remind everyone, again, of the Ned Ryun Rule: always, always, wait 24 hours to see what happens to the mainstream story. Ninety-nine percent of the time it changes as the original narrative is a falsehood meant to cause political damage, not report the truth. 

The Wages of Media Malpractice

Out of the media’s irresponsible and false reporting were last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights’ devastating riots and arson that damaged family businesses, created chaos in neighborhoods, and bred unnecessary fear. If the reporting had been more responsible, perhaps the state of Wisconsin and local officials would have acted responsibly instead of standing by helpless while Kenosha residents saw their lives burned to the ground and felt threatened in their own homes. As it was, local authorities allowed BLM and Antifa to treat Kenosha like their playground. 

The result was the story of Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teen who traveled to Kenosha when citizens there asked for civilian help to protect lives and private property. A member of a youth police cadet program in his nearby hometown, Rittenhouse showed up in Kenosha to help protect property, even assisting several protesters in need of first aid. But he was caught up in the riots, assaulted, and allegedly opened fire to defend himself, killing two protesters and injuring another.  I believe we can all agree that what happened is tragic; this should never happen on American streets.  

Watching a small Midwestern town explode in mob violence resulting in deaths is not in the least bit healthy for society. But the mainstream media’s irresponsible reporting and distortions—consistently characterizing as “mostly peaceful” these and all the violent protests in cities and communities across America—have only fanned the flames of anarchy. 

The Rittenhouse shootings were caught on video. Tucker Carlson last Wednesday night used the Rittenhouse story to highlight what happens when communities surrender to mob rule and governments fail to protect their citizens. Carlson rightly, correctly, and responsibly noted that there was more to be learned about the Rittenhouse case and that a court will determine if Rittenhouse’s act “qualifies as self-defense.”  

For those reasoned comments, the Ben Smith wannabes went, well, ballistic. The reporting was irresponsible, misleading, dishonest, and included all the elements that furthered their agenda in the hopes of becoming the next Smith, or Don Lemon, or whatever brand of idiocy MSNBC is broadcasting nowadays.

As we’ve seen in so many instances with the media’s unethical misinformation war against the Trump Administration, or its role in hysteria and misinformation around COVID-19, or the BLM and Antifa riots, the media and those who want to curry favor with the media have a dual agenda: facts be damned. Do whatever it takes to gain the respect of future propaganda employers like the Times or the Washington Post, which nowadays pretty much entails whining and spreading misinformation about Tucker Carlson’s effective demolition of the other side.

About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

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