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Media Malpractice Has Come Full Circle In Kenosha – My Column In The NY Post

Media Malpractice Has Come Full Circle In Kenosha – My Column In The NY Post

“From the inception of the Blake shooting, to the riots and now to the Rittenhouse trial, media malpractice has framed a Kenosha narrative completely divorced from reality.”

I have a column tonight in The NY Post on the Rittenhouse trial.

Here’s an excerpt, please head over to the link for the whole thing, The media framed Kyle Rittenhouse — and won’t come clean even after the prosecution’s case falls apart:

Media malpractice has come full circle in Kenosha, Wis.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial for the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of another is nearing its end, with the jury expected to get the case soon. The shootings took place as riots, arson and looting shook Kenosha after police shot Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020. The violence fed off the nationwide riots and looting that followed the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

From the start, the media misrepresented the Blake case and ensuing riots. They portrayed Blake as an unarmed man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, subjected to police brutality due to racism.

The truth was far different….

It’s happening again with the Rittenhouse case, which was born in the Kenosha riots. From the media coverage leading up to the trial, one would think Rittenhouse was a white supremacist militia member who traveled to Kenosha to shoot up peaceful protesters.

But as has been widely documented, the case is going poorly for the prosecution. While I’m not predicting an outcome, having followed the case carefully, I can say that Rittenhouse has a strong case for self-defense….

With trial evidence inconsistent with the news’ narrative, there could have been a major media mea culpa. Instead, headlines and framing continue that pre-trial narrative, even if inconvenient facts appear deep down in the articles. As the editors who run these stories and draft the headlines know, many if not most people don’t get far beyond the headlines and opening paragraphs.

Thus, NBC News breathlessly headlines a news report about the prosecution’s forensic pathologist testifying that Rosenbaum was in a “horizontal” position, “suggesting the victim wasn’t a threat when he was gunned down.” It’s not until the bottom of the article that NBC acknowledges that same expert testified the wound positioning was consistent with Rosenbaum diving towards Rittenhouse. Left out of the story was his testimony that gunpowder residue was consistent with Rosenbaum grabbing the muzzle of the gun when he was shot, just as Rittenhouse and witnesses said.

The headline highlight of Grosskreutz’s testimony according to a Daily Beast report was that he “tried to surrender” to Rittenhouse. Similar misleading narratives frame the case at The New York TimesWashington PostUSA Today and elsewhere. Reading only these publications, it would be reasonable to believe the original story of Rittenhouse as a shooter run amok, despite the trial testimony to the contrary.

From the inception of the Blake shooting, to the riots and now to the Rittenhouse trial, media malpractice has framed a Kenosha narrative completely divorced from reality.



I see the column is now featured on the NY Post homepage, that must mean it’s doing well in terms of clicks.

A reader in NYC sent me this image of how it appeared in print:


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Thank you!

It’s far worse than media malpractice. It’s media fraud.

    jakeump in reply to JPL17. | November 11, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    And Kyle spends the rest of his life in prison because of it. The entire legal system in this country is so messed up

Russ from Winterset | November 11, 2021 at 9:15 pm

Malpractice happens when a well-meaning professional screws up. This is more malice than malpractice.

Gaige Grosskreutz was so angry after being exposed as a liar on the witness stand, he spent an hour sitting in a back room trying to make a fist…

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to ID5791. | November 11, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    That… that’s just plain mean.


    Ghostrider in reply to ID5791. | November 11, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Why wasn’t he arrested?

      Olinser in reply to Ghostrider. | November 11, 2021 at 9:41 pm

      Because then they couldn’t have had this ridiculous show trial.

      We have a convicted felon carrying a concealed gun on an expired permit trying to use it to shoot somebody.

      This is slam-dunk attempted murder by a first-year law intern.

    JustSayN2O in reply to ID5791. | November 11, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    I’m speculating that only his right radial nerve was “vaporized”, not the median or ulnar nerves. Recall after the gunshot wound his wrist immediately dropped into flexion and he couldn’t release the Glock from his hand. My opinion is derived from a single video frame that was widely shown on social media. Had his median and ulnar nerve also been “vaporized”, then he would have dropped the Glock right away. Therefore he can still make a fist, I believe.

WasTaiwanese=NowFullAmerican | November 11, 2021 at 9:24 pm

“Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, George Marshall, and FDR, along with many others associated with the CFR, betrayed the Chinese people and paved the way for Mao and his Communists to enslave the China. My home country, Taiwan, was a safety valve for those who could escape.

Today, the CFR is actively doing to America what it did to China. The MSM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CFR.

Honestly they’re just giving the people what they want. Most people that read these headlines and the first paragraph. Already has a specific view point and are looking for confirmation of their bias. It’s why I find the hysteria about “misinformation” to be ridiculous. Most content leaves out or discounts factors based on the author’s particular bias. Why should it make any difference if it comes from WaPo, Fox News, or Facebook. People should read all sources with some skepticism. But they have every right to engage in confirmation bias chamber if thats what they prefer.

    jhkrischel in reply to xpaulso. | November 12, 2021 at 8:26 am

    The trick here is to realize that in an #AttentionEconomy, given that humans give most attention to what they fear and what they hate, will reward companies that maximize fear and hatred.

    The #MediaIndustrialComplex, simply pursuing success in the #AttentionEconomy, is causing riots, violence, mayhem, and division.

    Yes, people have the right to be scared and angry. But we accept the status quo at our own peril.

The media need to be Sandmanned… The culpable media… They are not about truth,, or news.. just the benjamins…

BTW Good article at the NY Post. Hope it gets a lot of eyes opened.

Professor Jacobson, allow me to say thank you very much for your article. We appreciate you, your dedication to the rule of law and equal justice for all, but most of all for being the conservative counterforce against the liberal media. Hats off to you, sir.

Somebody was going around showcasing liberal tweets from ‘informed’ people that LITERALLY DID NOT KNOW that the people Kyle shot were all white.

They don’t WANT to know the truth.

“Hands up don’t shoot”

Let’s go Brandon.

Like with Zimmerman trial, the coverage I see after watching full days worth of the actual testimony, it’s simply amazing to see media coverage that is so disconnected from the live and full videos of the testimony

It’s rare so much video of a shooting, by different sources and different camera angles

All the video and and testimony points to Kyle’s self defense and showed the world was a piece of shitt Rosenbaum was, along with the aggressors, Huber and Grosskreutz

All of them deserved to be shot that night, by their own aggressive actions

I didn’t go to law school, I went to journalism school and I can tell you for a fact that what is happening now is willful and malicious. The media today are dangerous to liberty and freedom. 100% dangerous. That is not an exaggeration. If you do not believe in freedom and liberty (except when your own is on the line, and everyone else’s can go to hell), you are an enemy of freedom and liberty. You cannot be neutral. There is no middle ground.

The people at the top of the media food chain hate America as founded. Lot of clowns below them who feel the same way, but the influence of the Podunk Times is not equal to The New York Times. And it is the top of the food chain that sets the tone. They hire from below, too, so if you don’t have the mindset of those above you, you do not advance. They are doing their damndest to undermine what makes this the best country on earth. The are patient destroyers. Relentless. Knowing you are able to influence a large audience can be intoxicating. It is a form of power. Lord Acton has been misquoted often, but his axiom applies here.

People in media, on the whole, are intelligent. They have little-to-no wisdom but they are not stupid. They know what they are doing. The Constitution only matters when it’s important to them. When it’s important to those they hate (accurate word), the Constitution doesn’t exist.

If I can understand self-defense law, thanks to people like Andrew, anyone can. If I can understand, through reading history and observing societies around the planet in my own lifetime, the dangers to freedom and liberty, anyone can. But it takes more than a commitment to learning. It takes a commitment to a moral code that doesn’t submit to tyranny. The media does not give a shit about that uniquely-American moral code. It’s no more complicated than that.

carolinaandbaby | November 11, 2021 at 10:21 pm

As one witness said…correct..correct..correct. Media has been vaporized.

Unfortunately, accuracy, integrity and even common sense are all casualties to the narrative. If truth doesn’t fit, fold, spindle and mutilate it til it will.


They abuse their first amendment rights. It is disgusting.

    scooterjay in reply to Ben Kent. | November 12, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Turn them off.

    Dry up the revenue and let it sink.

    TheOldZombie in reply to Ben Kent. | November 14, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    All protections installed by the courts have to be removed by the courts. You can say whatever you want as per the First Amendment. You can also be sued by whoever for everything you say and there shall be no protections nor limit on what you’ll have to pay if you’re found to be legally in the wrong.

I’m old enough to remember Dan Rather’s laughable claim that the media is not biased .toward a particular political point of view.

Excepting older holdouts, the media today doesn’t bother with that bit of gaslighting anymore. It’s straight up and in your face.

Hi Mr. Jacobson-

Wonderful article. Perhaps you could use your contacts at the NYP to have them address a couple of their own coverage issues wrt. this case:
1) This 11/8 oped ( where the writer incorrectly states that Mr. Rittenhouse crossed state lines with his AR15, prior to the shootings, explicitly in the second paragraph (and insinuated several lines later).

2) This article ( that deemed it more important to report that Mr. Rittenhouse had lied about being an EMT, a fact well-established in the case, than the ADA’s attempt to question a defendant’s 5A rights.

(From a long-time subscriber and a huge fan of all things NYP.)

Clearly for the woke legacy media facts never displace narrative

“With trial evidence inconsistent with the news’ narrative”

It is not a “news narrative.” It is the propaganda narrative. This is the job of the media. The media is propaganda. The people deliver the official message or their replacements will. To refer to them as “news” in any way carries their water.

The American public is to be held responsible for their own lack of critical thinking skills…..yes, yes I know about the public school system..but come on now. I went to public schools and still questioned everything enough, read enough, researched enough to think for myself.

This is the fruit of the poisonous tree. When “justices” amend the constitution to tell us that “free speech” means defamation must be allowed a few decades later you have a media that unfetteredly lies and basically will never be held to account.
It is past time that the meaning of the actual constitution is reasserted and media hacks pay for their gross misconduct.

    luckystars33 in reply to felixrigidus. | November 13, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    They are brainwashed in schools public and private.
    They are distored by popular culture.
    Social media and the desire to be famous/rich has perverted them.
    The whole thing was organized by design.
    You know the books the nazis were burning? They were pronographic publicans, including trans.
    so no wonder.
    Cultural Marxism since the 1930s (in America) much earlier in Germany.,

This piece from the AP is yet another example. The author highlights how Rittenhouse clearly acted in self defense in each shooting yet, rather that take the prosecution to take for their action, the author believes that there must be some way for the prosecution to “get him”.

You may as well ask for the major media outlets to come clean on the years-long “Russia! Russia! Russia!” hoax during Trump’s presidency. By now enough information has come out to definitely state that this was a years-long, politically-driven hoax in which “journalists” continued to push a false narrative.

IF these media companies were honest they’d launch a top-to-bottom investigation of how this could happen and how something similar might be prevented. But (alas) the media is not honest: from senior management that fears to get in the way of their “journalists’” activism to the woke reporters themselves, it’s all gone down the Alice-in-Wonderland hole of “verdict first, evidence later (or never).” “Journalists” start with the effect they wish to produce in the public, work back to what narratives might produce that effect, and then find (or develop) sources to support the desired narrative.

But then these journalists come from an increasingly corrupt academic environment in which objectivity is derided as racist and “scholarship” has largely abandoned pretensions to seek truth, For why would one seek truth if one is already convinced one already possesses it? When one is so convinced about all that’s left is the messy business of getting others to recognize and support it, By Any Means Necessary..

There have always been crackpots and zealots; what is frightening is the sheer number and influence of these emotion-filled zealots who, having coalesced into a mob, seem to have lost any ability to reflect on what they are doing as they narrowly and self-righteously focus on obtaining the desired result.

Surely just a teeny bit of self-doubt and self-reflection here would do much to mitigate such mob-driven zealotry but, alas, when self-doubt and reflection can only be viewed as a betrayal they’re not likely to happen.

    CincyJan in reply to Albigensian. | November 15, 2021 at 11:51 am

    I just have to comment on your screen name, which seems to be a reference to the Albigensian Crusade of the 1200’s. I myself empathize with the early Arians, so I appreciate another religious non-conformist in the crowd. Please do not disillusion me if I’m wrong!

I’m mostly a dedicated lurker here these days, but just wanted to say that I tried several times to tweet a link to your NYP story and it kept erroring out with “failed to send.”

I jokingly commented, “Now I’m left wondering whether it’s @wajacobson, @LegInsurrection , or @nypost they’re trying to “de-boost.” Maybe I hit an unholy trifecta 😅”

But it goes to social media malpractice on top of general legacy media malpractice.

The media are inciting riots in response to an acquittal.

At some point it should be possible to prosecute them.

Rittenhouse should be able to sue the crap out of many of them for libel.

And is it possible to sue a sitting (illegitimate) President for libel? If not, can he be sued after he leaves office?

The issue is the insular worldview and their self reinforcing ideological echo chamber that is completely detached from the daily lives of average people in their zip codes much less those of us in red States/CD and rural areas. These MSM folks followed a path of education and indoctrination in College that granted a credential as a ‘journalist’. They moved on to employment in an environment of social justice and advocacy oriented newsrooms. With the advent of social media their exposure to differing ideas and policy preferences was further diminished. They restrict their communication to their own opinions while calling us provincial rubes.

These folks are divorced from the realities and challenges of the normal everyday citizens. This intentional silo was exposed on election day in 2016. They simply couldn’t imagine that their preferred candidate, HRC, could be defeated by DJT and his MAGA message. Instead of making an effort at self reflection they conducted an anthropology expedition to the Red States and rural areas to find out what was wrong with the people who lived there.

As a thought experiment, list out a dozen things you believe about our Nation, it’s history and your preferred public policies. Then create a Venn diagram and place MAGA voters and the MSM on it. It will be quite the contrast. The MSM, the d/prog and our establishment no longer share even basic ideas with us. They reject the idea that America is exceptional, they reject the ideals of MLK, they reject self reliance as a virtue.

They have been telling us who they are and more importantly who they believe we are for several years; bitter clinger, deplorable. Their feeble attempts to understand us result in screeds like ‘What’s the matter with Kansas’. They can’t understand someone like JD Vance, who for all his faults, at least doesn’t hide or reject where he came from in favor of the establishment worldview. The KR trial simply highlights the existing fissures. They seem shocked that someone would defend themselves instead of accepting a beating or worse from the mob. They are horrified that someone could competently demonstrate the capability of self defense. They are appalled by the sight of a ‘scary black gun’ being openly carried much less used by an individual citizen.

Should the jury return a not guilty verdict, which any honest observer of the trial would anticipate, the MSM and the ideologues of the d/prog officials will be outraged. The entire thing is alien to them and they lack the intellectual capacity to understand it. Their foot soldiers of BLM/antifa will likely demonstrate their displeasure while the MSM downplay the severity and applaud the destruction as a necessary act of social and economic justice.

Apologies to Pogo, but we have met the enemy and they are NOT us.

    aramissebastian in reply to CommoChief. | November 12, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    I think you’ve got it precisely backwards.

    Four fifths of the US population resides in urban areas and the main stream media doubtless reflects their values, since that’s their milieu.

    Rural folk, on the other hand, are the exception not the rule.

    Therefore, theirs is a minority view, as a factual matter.

    But rural folk living in sparsely populated states have an outsize voice because our system of representation is based on geography rather than population.

    Now, you can claim that yours are ‘authentic’ American values.

    But you can’t claim that your views are majoritarian.

      CommoChief in reply to aramissebastian. | November 12, 2021 at 7:26 pm

      Nowhere in my post did I claim the population of Red/States/CD or rural areas comprise a majority of the US population nor that the views of those residents are either monolithic. I really don’t understand what you are doing here unless it’s use a common d/prog tactic of deflection and projection to change the topic. Nice try though. Come again!

        aramissebastian in reply to CommoChief. | November 13, 2021 at 6:30 am

        I beg to differ.

        In characterizing — your words — the MSM as “insular”; and “completely detached from the daily lives of average people in their zip codes”; and “divorced from the realities and challenges of the normal everyday citizens,” you are implying that its values are those of a whacko, fringe minority, whereas I would argue that the main stream media, not surprisingly, reflects a majoritarian societal consensus.

        So, most urban dwellers are going to be very uncomfortable with the idea of a 17 year old running around the streets of a city with a long rifle.

        That’s just a fact.

        What may seem unremarkable to someone in rural Kansas, to cite your example, is going to be very alarming to someone in NYC, or LA, or Boston, and not because they’re “Commies”.

        Their fear of someone they don’t know, who hasn’t been vetted, or trained up, wielding the power of life and death over themselves and their loved ones, perhaps indiscriminately, is absolutely genuine, and not contrived.

        That said, I don’t know how we get past this issue as a country.

      What values, lying? Because that is what the major news media continually does in most stories it covers. Either lying by omission or just plain lying. That’s not a value, that is a tactic.

        aramissebastian in reply to styro1. | November 13, 2021 at 4:02 am

        Major news outlets “lie”? Like, all of the time? Like, deliberately, systematically and serially? Despite all the internal controls; the editorial boards; and the fact checkers; and the lawyers?

        Not saying it never happens.

        Not saying they don’t get the story wrong sometimes.

        But all the time?

        Aren’t you indulging in a gross generalization?

      You seem to assume that people can be categorized, in this case by urban v rural, and relied upon to vote in lock-step with their categorization. But people are far more diverse than that, and there are actual conservatives hanging out in New York City! And I bet there is a lost progressive or two stuck in the rural areas. Otherwise, how to explain how Trump won in 2016? Ah, the magical Electoral College! Yes, Trump studied the rules and used them to his advantage. He campaigned according to Electoral College votes. Hillary didn’t. She was that cocky.

      From the National Archives web site: “Electoral votes are allocated among the States based on the Census. Every State is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of senators and representatives in its U.S. Congressional delegation—two votes for its senators in the U.S. Senate plus a number of votes equal to the number of its Congressional districts.” So clearly the number of each state’s Electoral College votes is dependent on population in the last census.

      As you undoubtedly know, only the Senate represents each state with the same number of senators, while the seats in the House are based on population. (And all legislation begins in the House.)