Last August, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two individuals and injured a third during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Before the facts of the case were clear, Rittenhouse was promptly labeled by the media as a murderer who had traveled to Kenosha with the intent to kill protesters. Now, as the sworn testimony of what occurred that night is revealed to the public, it is becoming increasingly clear that Rittenhouse was hardly out ‘gunning down’ innocent protesters, but was rather acting in self-defense given the circumstances he faced that night. Yet again, the media has been caught pushing a politically driven false narrative that fails to align with reality.
Joe Scarborough of MSNBC was at the forefront of the push to attack Rittenhouse suggesting he went to Kenosha with the intention of shooting protesters. Scarborough said, “Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old, just running around shooting and killing protesters.” He also remarked, “What a dark dystopian scene where a 17-year-old boy is carrying around a rifle, running around and gunning down protesters.”
John Heilemann ripped into Rittenhouse making clear he believed the teen traveled to Kenosha specifically to shoot people. According to Heilemann, “A 17-year-old vigilante, arguably a domestic terrorist, picked up a rifle, drove to a different state to shoot people.” He also stated, “A white, Trump-supporting, MAGA-loving, Blue Lives Matter social media partisan, 17-years-old, picks up a gun, drives from one state to another with the intent to shoot people.”
Steve Schmidt of the sleazy Lincoln Project similarly tied Rittenhouse’s actions to President Trump suggesting Rittenhouse was a killer who had been radicalized by the former president. Schmidt said, “You see the 17-year-old, who was radicalized by Trumpism, took his AR-15 to Kenosha and became a killer.”
Both Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian of TYT provided commentary claiming that Rittenhouse had committed murder. Uygur said, “Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old that went with a weapon into the middle of a protest, and then provoked people, and then shot and killed them.” Uygur also stated, “Kyle Rittenhouse, a guy who is deeply racist, went with weapons to a Black Lives Matter protest looking to get in trouble. He did, he murdered a couple of people.”
Kasparian referred to Rittenhouse in a similar way saying, “Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, he murdered two people by the way.”
MSNBC’s Jason Johnson made one of the most outlandish statements about Rittenhouse, comparing him to a school shooter. Johnson remarked, “Rittenhouse is basically what you would have had in a school shooter. He’s a 17-year-old kid, he shouldn’t have had a gun. He crossed state lines to supposedly protect property. No, he was going out to shoot people.” In another appearance on the network Johnson declared of Rittenhouse, “Kyle Rittenhouse is the enemy.”
If Rittenhouse is found not-guilty of murder in his trial, which appears likely, will these media personalities who publicly attacked him offer apologies or corrections to their viewers for the misinformation they pushed about this case? This is another opportunity for these talking heads to engage in self-reflection for falsely twisting events in order to further a political narrative. Of course this would require humility, something many of these individuals appear to completely lack.