CNN has long been derisively known as the “Clinton News Network” for its unabashedly left-wing bias and fawning coverage of the Clintons. More recently, as a consequence of its obscenely unprofessional coverage of Hillary’s Clinton’s failed second run for the presidency, CNN has come to epitomize “fake news,” as President Trump has so accurately termed it. A recent article—Black Lives Matter cases: When controversial killings lead to change—is a telling example of CNN’s dedication to social justice over accuracy and professional journalism. I’ll focus on only three of the vignettes CNN chose to belabor, those of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. First, Trayvon Martin:
Date of death: February 26, 2012
Where: Sanford, Florida
What happened: Martin was walking from a convenience store back to the home of his father’s fiancée. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman spotted him from his car and called 911, reporting ‘a real suspicious guy.’
‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,’ Zimmerman told a dispatcher. ‘It’s raining, and he’s just walking around.’
A scuffle broke out, but there were no direct witnesses. Zimmerman claimed Martin attacked him, hitting him in the nose and knocking him onto the pavement. Zimmerman said he then took out his gun and shot Martin in self defense.
But critics said Zimmerman was unjustified in confronting the unarmed teen, especially since Zimmerman didn’t heed a police dispatcher’s advice to stop following him.
I suppose CNN will argue it was merely presenting both sides of the case. However, CNN has access to the complete trial record, which reveals the assertions of “critics” were, and remain, false.
As regular readers know, Martin was lurking in a gated community, and in the rain, appeared to be casing a home that had recently been burglarized. A “scuffle broke out” only because Martin ambushed and assaulted Zimmerman, who believed Martin long gone. Martin had more than enough time to have been inside and never seen again, but decided to hide and attack Zimmerman. When attacked, Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle to await responding police officers.
Not only was Zimmerman’s nose broken (photo above), he was knocked to the ground and Martin pinned him, sitting astride him, beating his head on a concrete sidewalk and raining blows on him in MMA “ground and pound” fashion, as testified by two “direct” eyewitnesses CNN failed to mention. Reasonably fearing for his life, Zimmerman, pinned to the ground, on his back and being beaten unconscious, fired a single shot. Zimmerman fully cooperated with the police. All physical and credible testimonial evidence supported Zimmerman’s account, and even the investigating police detective recommended against charges.
Zimmerman did not confront “the unarmed teen,” Martin attacked Zimmerman, and Martin’s being “unarmed” had no bearing on the case, nor did his age. CNN provided a photo of a smiling, young-looking Martin, but on the night he attacked Zimmerman, Martin was a tall, muscular thug wanna be, with a penchant for violence, often expressed on social media. He was also under the influence of marijuana, and was carrying two of the three ingredients necessary for an illicit home-made drug concoction about which he bragged on social media about using.
Zimmerman did, in fact, take the police dispatcher’s advice, and he was following Martin only in the hope of keeping him in sight for responding police. He lost sight of Martin before he left his vehicle, and was merely heading in the same direction. CNN also forgets to mention the police dispatcher had no authority to tell Zimmerman to do anything, and actually did, on two occasions, tell him to let him know what Martin was doing.
The outcomes: Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder but was found not guilty. The acquittal ignited protests across the country, and the “Black Lives Matter” movement gained national prominence.
The case also led to the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who was criticized for not arresting Zimmerman after Martin was killed.
CNN neglects to mention Zimmerman was acquitted because of an embarrassingly complete lack of evidence to prove the charges. In fact, the hapless and mendacious prosecutors actually proved self-defense. CNN also failed to mention that Bill Lee was a sacrifice on the alter of political correctness. Zimmerman was not arrested because his agency did not recommend charges, and the local prosecutor, after reviewing the police report, declined to charge Zimmerman. It was only after the racial grievance industry became interested in the case that Florida’s governor set into motion a special prosecutor—Angela Corey—whose lack of ethics during the case still reverberate. CNN also fails to mention its own part in provoking riots and racial strife, using the Martin case as a springboard.
The Trayvon Martin case archive may be found here.
CNN’s explication of the Michael Brown–in mid-robbery below–case is no less misleading:
Date of death: August 9, 2014
Where: Ferguson, Missouri
What happened: Brown was walking with a friend in the middle of a street when Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson approached them and told them to walk on the sidewalk.
After that, the narratives split. Authorities said Brown had attacked the officer in his car and tried to take his gun. Others said the teenager was surrendering, his hands in the air to show he was unarmed, when the officer opened fire.
Documents showed that Wilson fired his gun 12 times.
Brown and his friend, both of whom were daily pot smokers, were walking in the middle of the street after committing a strong arm robbery of a convenience store, and was carrying the cheap cigars he stole and intended to use to smoke pot. When Brown refused to get out of the street—a misdemeanor offense by itself—Wilson tried to get out of his vehicle to speak with them, but Brown slammed the door, pinning Wilson behind the wheel, and reaching through the open window, began to not only viciously beat Wilson, but tried to take his handgun. CNN neglects to mention that Brown was 6’4” tall and weighed just under 300 pounds.
During the struggle, Wilson’s gun discharged, very slightly wounding Brown in the hand. Brown fled, but quickly turned, and made a berserker charge on Wilson, who reasonably believed his life was in danger. He fired, striking Brown several times, none of those rounds stopping Brown’s charge until the final round hit him in the top of the head—his head was down in a football lineman-like charge—stopping him actually at Wilson’s feet.
Brown never tried to surrender, never knelt nor were his hands ever in the air in surrender. That BLM narrative has been absolutely proved completely false. In fact, all credible testimonial evidence, and all physical evidence, supported Wilson’s account. A very large number of supposed witnesses were revealed to have lied, not to have seen the incident at all, or to have simply made up stories after the fact based on media accounts.
CNN’s account depicts Brown in high school graduation robes. There are, however, far more numerous photos available of Brown making gang signs, smoking pot, posing with money and drugs, and similarly unsavory imagery.
The outcomes: A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson — leading to heated and sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and across the country.
The grand jury, unlike most, was shown all of the evidence, including direct testimony from several lying witnesses, none of who were charged with perjury. Even the Obama DOJ, which would have loved to prosecute a white police officer, was forced to admit Officer Wilson acted entirely reasonably and within the law, so conclusive was the evidence.
A few days later, Officer Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department.
Despite the lack of criminal charges, the Michael Brown case launched a series of reforms. A federal investigation revealed a pattern of abuse by Ferguson’s mostly white police force against the city’s majority black residents.
The Justice Department found that “many officers” apparently viewed some of the city’s black residents “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.”
Black residents were ticketed and cited for minor violations at a higher rate than white residents, the Justice Department said. The investigation also found a spate of racist emails sent by some police and court officials.
After the scathing Justice Department report, Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned. And the Justice Department sued Ferguson to force police reform in the city.
Officer Wilson, an honest man and good police officer who did his job entirely properly, was forced to resign to protect his family and the lives of his fellow officers. The DOJ’s “investigation” of Ferguson is a textbook case of social justice winning out over the rule of law. Black residents were cited for traffic violations—that is the “minor violations” about which CNN speaks—at higher rates because they committed those violations at higher rates than white residents. The supposed abuse by white officers of black residents was sustained only by the corrupt technique of statistical disparity, where mere statistics are used to claim racial mistreatment without consideration of any of the reasons for those statistics, such as the indisputable fact that black residents of Ferguson commit crimes far more often than white residents. The “spate” of e-mails were a mere handful, most of which were nothing more than frivolous attempts at humor rather than evidence of institutional or personal racism. The police chief, as in the Martin case, was a sacrifice on the alter of social justice, and the Lynch DOJ’s forced consent agreement is currently under review by the Sessions DOJ.
The Michael Brown archive may be found here.
The Freddie Gray case was also unethically presented:
Date of death: April 19, 2015, seven days after he was injured
What happened: An officer on bike patrol made eye contact with Gray, and Gray fled. Police later found a knife in Gray’s pocket and arrested him on a weapons charge.
Officers handcuffed Gray and put him in a police van. At some point, Gray suffered a fatal spinal cord injury. He died seven days later.
Gray’s death prompted riots, looting and arson in Baltimore.
CNN fails to provide the necessary context for Gray’s arrest. Gray, a small time drug dealer and criminal, under the influence of marijuana and other illegal drugs, was on a very specific corner, a corner known for drug dealing. The officers were there at the specific request of Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to suppress drug dealing. The area was in her husband’s–a city councilman’s–district. When Gray fled, officers, following procedure and voluminous lawful precedence, were justified in pursuing and catching him, and immediately after stopping him found a knife unlawful under Baltimore ordinance in his pocket The prosecution tried to claim the knife was legal and the officer’s stop and arrest were unlawful, but were eventually forced to drop both claims because the officer’s actions were completely supported by law, including Supreme Court decisions.
CNN also fails to inform readers that all evidence indicated Gray’s death was an accident, caused not by any of the officers, but by Gray himself. Their account is accompanied by the only known photo of Gray, a blurry shot of an unsmiling Gray. In his case, there would be no graduation photos, or smiling teenage Freddie Gray.
The outcomes: Six Baltimore police officers, including three black and three white officers, were charged in connection with Gray’s death.
Three officers were acquitted: Edward Nero, a bike officer involved in the initial police encounter with Gray; Caesar Goodson, who drove the van; and Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in connection with Gray’s death.
Prosecutors dropped charges against the three remaining officers: Garrett Miller; Alicia White and William Porter.
CNN fails to explain that the officers were acquitted and the remaining charges dropped because the prosecution was not able to prove a single charge against any of the officers. There was no evidence whatever to convict them, or to bring charges, and a high-ranking Sheriff’s official was manipulated–perhaps willingly–by the prosecution to write false probable cause statements to obtain arrest warrants for the officers. Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby and her deputies were disgraced, caught in numerous unethical practices, and even lies to the court, whose careful and professional rulings on each case–the Judge, Barry Williams, was black–made more than clear the charges should never have been brought.
Aside from the criminal trials, Baltimore officials approved a $6.4 million deal to settle all civil claims tied to Gray’s death.
The settlement did not ‘represent any judgment’ on whether the officers were guilty or innocent, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
‘This settlement represents an opportunity to bring closure to the Gray family, the community and the city.
CNN also fails to note the settlement was made long before any of the officers were tried, and was grotesquely in excess of any prior settlement made by the city. CNN also fails to reveal that Rawlings-Blake (above) declined to run for reelection after she said, among other things, that she decided to give the rioters “space to destroy” Baltimore.
The Freddie Gray case archive may be found here.
In each of these cases, and virtually all of the others CNN mentions, the attempted prosecutions, and actual prosecutions, of police officers were entirely politically motivated, and failed not because of a lack of justice, but because the rule of law, rather than social justice, prevailed. All of these cases have been long settled, all evidence produced and considered. There is no excuse for keeping the “hands up; don’t shoot” lie alive. It has been absolutely exposed as a racially motivated lie and excuse for felony crimes. The facts of the Martin case and Gray case are no less clear, yet CNN continues to inflame racial tensions with blatant lies. These are not mere omissions, simple errors that crop up as part of the editing process. These are knowing, purposeful lies by commission and omission. The alternative is that the supposed professional, experienced journalists of CNN are incapable of understanding elementary principles of law and the functioning of the criminal justice system.
It was the Martin case, the Brown case, and the Gray case that are in large part responsible for the Ferguson Effect, which is not only directly contributing to the sharp rise in crime rates around the nation, but the attacks on, and murders of, police officers. CNN has always been among the leaders in pushing social justice narratives that contribute to the degradation of society.
These acts and omissions are particularly destructive, beyond their lack of journalistic integrity, because they are lasting. People reading CNN’s biased and false accounts of these cases circa May, 2017, particularly if they had not been closely following each of the cases, could come away with the impression that America’s police officers are all white racists intent on murdering unarmed young black men, and that they virtually always get away with it. Even into the future, young people researching such issues for school assignments or other reasons will find this fundamentally dishonest compilation and be persuaded to racial rage. CNN is, now and in the future, directly contributing to unnecessary and unwarranted social discord, and even physical harm, as the bodies of police officers murdered by deranged black men incensed by sensational and false media coverage attest.
The only surprise is that anyone seeking accurate and unbiased news still bothers to follow CNN.