Jeb Lund, at Rolling Stone, on “a crossfire with 100% casualties“:
… [Wolf] Blitzer is a man of breathtaking stupidity… His service seems to be offering permanent credulity to power and permanent skepticism to its challengers. He can be induced to parrot talking points by even junior-varsity hacks… If he could reanimate the corpse of someone shot in the back by police to ask one question, it would probably be, “Why did you do this?”
So his interview yesterday with community organizer DeRay McKesson about Monday night’s rioting in Baltimore couldn’t have been more Blitzerian even via the intervention of a force foreign to him, like effort.
Raw Story posted highlights and video, so click over if you want a fuller experience. After asking McKesson about his plan for the day’s protests and ignoring his reply, here are Blitzer’s questions, in order:
1. “You want peaceful protests, right?”
McKesson seems a little stunned, then agrees, then goes on to cite both how police departments have been anything but peaceful and that there had been days of peaceful protests in Baltimore and around the country. Blitzer replies:
2. “But at least 15 police officers have been hurt, 200 arrests, 144 vehicle fires — these are statistics. There’s no excuse for that kind of violence, right?”
McKesson then replies that there is also no excuse for the seven people killed by Baltimore PD in the last year.
3. “We’re not making comparisons. Obviously, we don’t want anybody hurt. But I just want to hear you say that there should be peaceful protests, not violent protests in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King.”
It’s all right there, everything in the Dealing With Aggrieved Minorities Playbook, a script even a Blitzer can read.
First, McKesson, a guy who is not a national black leader, has to explain himself. He’s there, so now he’s the representative — because, connect the dots, while that rioting happened, McKesson was also black at the time — and it’s implied that he has to account for things here. It doesn’t matter that McKesson had fuck-all to do with it and lacked the clout to stop it, let alone any contact with the people responsible; he’s on TV.
Second, there’s the instant begged question that what happened must be disavowed. Blitzer hasn’t the capacity to engage the idea that legitimate grievances might underpin what happened in Baltimore, that fire and rage might be ugly manifestations of a greater truth, that rage might have a fuel from an outside source. It has to be condemned first. That’s the only purpose for this segment. That it will be ended before any greater systemic discussion occurs is almost a given; just get the condemnation on the record, then — oops, will you look at that — we’re out of time, back to the studio.
Third, the moment McKesson can use the language of outrage at violence to impugn a system, Blitzer immediately declares that “we’re not making comparisons.”…
…It’s hard to get exciting and memorable footage of systems. Systems take a lot of time to identify and study, and their scope spans more than a day. They take time and perspective to explain. And they’re not very sexy. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations” covered two centuries and required nearly 16,000 words. Techcrunch’s history of redlining and racial exclusion in just the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area took nearly 12,000. And you can report those only once… A fire is different. A fire can burn for days. A fire is instantly interesting in a way that those stories are not, and a fire has the gift of being in some ways self-explanatory. “Why are we looking at that?” Because it is fire, and we all are Beavis. “Why is the fire there?” Because something was lit on fire.
… We can all understand a thing on fire or a thing destroyed, because we all to some extent own things. There is an immediate calculable worth or sympathy to the destruction of a property, and almost always our attitude toward that property’s purpose is neutral, meaning that its destruction can always be fascinating but can quite often be pitiable as well. We can project the relative worth of our things onto any property and gain a sense of proportion as to what was lost. Moreover, the destruction of a thing can rarely be blamed on the thing itself, making it (usually) morally neutral and the harm brought to it almost always the agency of someone else. This, amongst other reasons, is why we have a “Broken Windows” police policy instead of a “Broken Peoples” policy. We implicitly understand that someone broke a window, and that it is not the window’s fault. Fixing broken windows is good. A broken person can be blamed on just about anything, but in a pinch, we make it easy on ourselves and just blame them. Fixing them is now a moral hazard.
The resultant constant murmur of this kind of opportunistic filming and morally null thinking is basically “property, commerce, property, commerce, property, commerce” running like a dull pop-punk bass line…
I heard about 10 minutes of CNN in an O’Hare departure lounge yesterday and I was ready to throw heavy objects at the screen.
Wolf was letting Don Lemon lecture us on why the mayor was wrong to let kids riot, and besides, most of the 250 people arrested were adults, so, ummm, I dunno. It was all supposed to mean something.
But all I could hear was whitey butthurt extraordinaire.
I had to get up and just wander and not be near any of those [email protected]#^ ubiquitous airport TVs.
I swear peoples IQs must drop measurably for each hour of CNN endured.
I love columnists like Lund and Pareene, but insiders like Wolf are bullet proof from sarcasm laden jabs. For fuck’s sake, Cohen, Kristof and BoBo all still have columns on prime real estate.
I’m still in awe of the BriWi takedown. How bad do you have to fuck up to be that guy?
ETA, IOW, whose possibly underage child did he have sex with to get booted out of the club?
As I posted over at Roy’s place, Wolf Blitzer is far and away the stupidest person on TV. Others act stupid; some actors portray stupid. But Blitzer is genuinely stupid.
I would not be surprised to learn that CNN has a golfcart and river to ferry Wolf around the CNN studios because otherwise he keeps getting lost and trying to broadcast from the supply closet down on the fourth floor.
Looks like they may be hookin in Times Square.
My uncle emailed me a link to this today.
Haven’t clicked on the highlights and video link provided, but I think McKesson was the guy who told Blitzie, “You’re saying that broken windows are more important than a broken spine.” Possibly slightly paraphrased, but that was the message, and it is spot on.
I noted in a thread downstairs how ridiculous it is for CNN to be running a “Less Than One Hour Until Baltimore Curfew” crawl as a “BREAKING NEWS” story, as though it’s a countdown to the crystal ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. It’s not fucking “breaking news,” it’s information that anyone with access to a timepiece and first-grade arithmetic can figure out.
In its earliest incarnation, CNN was known as “Chicken Noodle Network.” Their reporters learned to be journalists during the first Gulf War, and the network justifiably dominated cable news for several years. But now they’ve reverted to their old “Chicken Noodle” status. It’s like a broadcast version of “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” Sad to see.
@SiubhanDuinne: Rachel started with the same countdown bullshit over and over.
there she went again
Honest to F-ing God, when was the last time Wolf Blitzer said or asked anything that had worth or significance?
It’s like they throw him out there to get rhetorically pantsed by interviewees for the entertainment value of it. He’s a pure sock puppet for the elite, and he looks every bit as clueless as the elite when confronted by reality.
@raven: I don’t care who does it, it’s fuckin stupid.
@SiubhanDuinne: yea well, it’s huge fucking banner on MSNBC now.
What bothers me is not so much that Blitzer would ask McKesson whether and how the protests he was involved in organizing would be peaceful (legitimate question) but the confrontational and pejorative way Blitzer questioned McKesson about the matter – as if it was fair to presume McKesson intended to organize a violence-prone form of protest, and McKesson had the burden to convincingly prove otherwise. It was as if Blitzer thought he was in a courtroom cross-examining a hostile witness.
Rachel just reported that there is a story that there was another dude in the van with Freddy and, without being able to see Freddie, says it sounded like he was ” trying to hurt himself.”
Don’t even think about jumping my ass for this.
So someone who currently a prisoner, claims that Freddie Gray was banging around the vehicle and saying he was “trying to injure himself”. WTF! Some mofo in jail trying to get out of fuckin’ jail is claiming he Gray I guess severed his own spine. So I guess Gray also broke his own god damn voice box
This muthas…trying to incite people. CAN YOU BET WHO LEAKED THIS TO THE WASHPO!!!!!
@raven: Is your ass worth risking my marriage to jump?
@lamh36: Where was he when the this first became a thing?
Convenient that he should appear after the shit has hit the fan.
He’s got a new sewer system. Just sayin’.
Wait, this is Rolling Stone criticizing someone’s “journalism?” Irony is dead.
WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – Freddie Gray, whose death after being injured in Baltimore police custody sparked rioting in the city, was “banging against the walls” of a police van and “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” a prisoner being transported with Gray has said, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The prisoner’s account was contained in an application for a search warrant that was sealed by the court, the Post said. The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him, the paper said.
Gray, 25, was found unconscious in the van when it arrived at a police station on April 12. He had suffered a spinal injury and died a week later.
The Post said the affidavit was part of a search warrant seeking the seizure of the uniform worn by one of the officers involved in the arrest or transportation of Gray. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Negotiating his deal.
I’d like to stick around but it’s sleepy time in Georgia!
LOL.. its pretty hard to sever your own spinal cord. Honestly, they have to do better lying….
@Omnes Omnibus: I’ll accept your legal interpretation.
It’s still pretty ridiculous BS.
BTW, nice post AnneL.
He really wanted to stick it to The Man.
@mdblanche: That link never gets old. That should be included in future history books (because future history books will show videos on their pages) when people want to know why mass media lost its relevance.
So Freddie Gray broke his own spine in 3 fuckin’ spaces, along with his voice box, with his hands cuffed and with a pronounced limp in the video that has already circulated.
And a prisoner who is currently in jail himself, sure doesn’t have any reason to be “cooperating” or corroborating or fuckin’ lie for the police does he? I mean surely that prisoners’ “not” trying to get in the good graces of local PD and prosecutors.
Fuq this shit. I’m an even tempered person, but this shit right here has me pissed. This bitch of an old white lady at my job today had to nerve to say “well he (Freddie Gray) deserved what he got…” Bitch…I walked away before I said something at my job to her fuckin ‘ bigotted face.
@raven: I wonder how often this prisoner has happened to see or hear things that have been what cops wanted to hear? Every time he’s been in trouble or just most of the times?
@Omnes Omnibus: One has to remember that during the GWB admin, prisoners in Gitmo were accused of asymmetrical warfare if they attempted suicide.
So this all out spine destroying self-move in the back of a van seems about right, if you ask me.
@raven: I’m trying to imagine how someone could claim to know the difference between someone throwing himself against the wall and someone else throwing him against the wall. And more to the point, how someone receiving this information could do anything before asking that question.
How does anyone say that? I mean, feel like that, and all that hate and fear? Sure. But say it out loud amongst other humans?
@Corner Stone: Your theory is indeed as credible as the accusations of asymmetrical warfare.
And some folk want Black people to move on from this bullshit…fuq moving on..
I’m trying to figure out the relevance of this story to a search warrant.
@Elie: yeah. It’s really designed to handle falls and whatnot. At least the kind that one can have in a van, which has at least two cells inside. Did he take a running leap from three feet? Even if he tried to hang himself…from what? The vans roof beam?
I believe I read in the Sun summary of the awful police cases that the police tried to claim that one of the victims fractured he own skull, which is more plausible than this.
Steve Doocy is holding for you on line…oh, wait, there’s no “Line Green” and other oops, he’s fallen, dropped the
phonepotato and can’t get up.
@Baud: Back story?
@Corner Stone: death penalty for being out in your own neighborhood?
I suppose. The article said they wanted the officer’s shirt. I’m trying to envision the connection.
Deray is back out there again; his twitter feed is on fire with updates and Vines (short videos).
Might be trying to provide an out for the judge not granting a warrant.
@lamh36: Ought tell the assholes to TRY HARDER.
Kinda insulting that after all this time, the best they could do is come up with this limp,weak excuse.
Tree With Water
Deadspin.com eviscerated both ESPN and its columnist Jason Whitlock a couple of days ago, drawing a compelling picture of the white, conservative shot callers at the network cultivating Whitlock because he’s a black conservative who essentially parrots their bankrupt worldviews. The same holds true with CNN and the whole rotten lot of their hires. Frankly, I don’t think that Blitzer is particularly stupid. He’s merely a typical hire, made by out-of-touch corporate careerists with political agendas.
First as farce, then as tragedy?
After Walter Scott was shot a friend of mine posted some meme I guess is going around that said; “Your’re being treated poorly by the police? Have you tried not breaking the law?”
Poorly mind you. Not killed. Not shot in the back. Not crush larynx or severed spine. Just, meh, treated poorly. He thought it was pretty funny and his post received almost 3 dozen likes, so I’m sure he’s secure in his belief that this is all just black people behaving badly.
@Omnes Omnibus: I don’t think you need to postulate a professional liar for this kind of testimony. Hell, if I were in that van and I knew what happened to the other guy, I’d be saying what ever it takes to keep the same from happening to me.
Sigh. I’m sure people who have had nothing to say about this case will be on social media forwarding this story everywhere in no time. Reminds me of that old Wonkette post when Obama was first running that said something along the lines of the only time your aunt has ever sent out an email. I think it was one of the first crackpot birther stories in late 2008 as the election approached.
@Jay S: That is plausible as well. What isn’t plausible is the dude’s story.
Local reporter in Baltimore saying on Lawrence that she was aware of the report has been aware of report for some time. They didn’t use it because the timeline it gives doesn’t fit the evidential timeline.
Fuq WashPo and fug the intended leaks.
@Omnes Omnibus: It’s consistent with some of the earlier police stories about him banging around in the van. Not very plausible in explaining his injuries as we understand them, but it’s their story.
Baltimore is a damn tragedy. Wolf is the uncomfortable parts of BBC’s Office Space.
I’ve already posted this on other threads, but I’m a frickin’ masochist:
A comic book geek tries to simplify what is happening in Baltimore.
Thanks for your time.
Baltimore Police Will Not Publicly Release Findings of Freddie Gray Investigation
“integrity” of the investigation…oh but someone’s leaking shit to WashPo…”integrity” my azz!
Actually, Lund (or Rolling Stone) deserves some sort of Pulitzer just for using “begged question” correctly.
@lamh36: If you read the whole WaPo article (it’s not mentioned in the Daily Mail link), it’s careful to say that “The document” was “written by a Baltimore police investigator” — and that their reporters have not actually been able to locate the prisoner who’s supposed to have been riding along. They’re not actually calling the police report a lie, but they make it clear so far it’s only an unsourced story presented by a department with, shall we say, a not unblemished record of truthfulness.
For another angle, here’s an earlier WaPo story with details about Freddie Gray I’ve seen widely cited:
As you know & I know & everyone who’s raised kids in an urban area during the last 40 years knows, apart from a reduction in IQ performance, the main symptom of chronic low-level lead poisoning on growing brains is “reduced impulse control“.
So there’s a narrative — not necessarily a defining or a true narrative — that Gray was a brain-damaged urban casualty, “incapable of leading [a] functional life“, who might’ve banged himself around in the police van, made one last bad choice in a sadly brief life of bad choices. I most sincerely doubt he’d have wanted or been capable of breaking his own neck this way, but I’m sure we’ll hear the ‘mitigating circumstance’ repeated that if he hadn’t panicked & banged around in the crate like a cat being taken to the vet, he wouldn’t have died.
Mike in NC
Larry Wilmore showed where as bad as the CNN coverage was, FOX News was 100% more despicable, with Hannity and the rest of the racist scum ranting about Black Guerillas.
Words to live by, thanks!
The lawyers representing Gray think the officer in question will have “Gray’s DNA” (blood) on his shirt, and that would indicate a level of contact beyond the “we threw him inna cage, no idea what happened after that” defense. The lawyers representing the officer, and the BPD behind the officer, have no intention of releasing that shirt until the judge insists they do so. The longer the process takes, the more chances for the shirt/evidence to become “damaged” therefore inadmissible, or even “lost”.
@Anne Laurie: and yet the local reporter on Lawrence O’Donnell just who’s been investigating this story before the MSM news caught wind of it says she knew of the source material for the WashPo article, but instead of running with that leaked source, they compared it to video evidence and official statements from BPD and felt that the leaked source wasn’t consistent with the timeline and BPD evidential sources.
Yet WashPo reporting uncorroborating information, is any lame person reading that gonna connect those dots…hell naw.
I do wonder how credibly this element can be implicated in the many “rough ride” lawsuits settled by various police departments around the country.
@lamh36: So, the same police that won’t release information from a report to the public because it will have an impact on the integrity” of the investigation, this very PD will show up and here I quote the Guard Livebog “An hour ago, Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts brandished a rock that had been thrown at one of his officers at a press conference” because apparently that won’t have any impact on the integrity of their so-called management of a volatile situation.
So, they’re playing the same fucking PR-first policing as Ferguson, and seem to be going for a slight variant by pulling the document dump on the attorney’s office instead of the grand jury. Paper shuffling behind the curtain of joined at the hip mutually back-scratching organizations. Oh, goody.
Here’s a deranged CNN reporter alleging that veterans in Baltimore were “ready to do battle“:
WTF? When she got called on it, she made things worse by following up with a non-apology tweet:
That’s it? She eventually did a grovelling apology on air, and looked shit scared doing it. I’m assuming that she is now hanging on to her job by the skin of her teeth.
Here is the local investigative reporter Lawrence O’Donnell was talking to .
Her name is Jayne Miller and she works for WBAL-TV.
Here is what she tweeted 6 days ago:
And now WashPo leads with the headline about his “trying to injure himself”
Lead ticker on CNN: WashPo: Gray Tried to Hurt Himself
Like I said, the headline is what will lead most people and it was deliberate by WashPo
@lamh36: the first cell phone video that was released clearly showed Gray severly injured BEFORE he went into the van… screaming in pain, legs limp, flopping unnaturally, and he’d lost bladder control… the versions of the video I’ve seen since have been cropped, shown from the waist up…
I love this line so much, I want to marry it.
It makes me feel like the cable networks are rooting for violence in order to get ratings, the whole people getting hurt or killed is just collateral to the ratings.
that and it can be decades before the buildings are rebuilt:
“What is fettuccine ?” Come on now.
Villago Delenda Est
The goal in Baltimore is the same as the goal in Ferguson: to so muddy the waters as to make any attempt at proving anything “beyond a reasonable doubt” impossible.
Thus the guilty will be allowed to go free.
The most depressing thing is that it’s likely going to work, and all most people will know in a few days is ‘Gray tried to kill himself to make police look bad’. Doesn’t matter if it’s bullshit when you look at it deeper, most people don’t want to look deeper. They want an excuse to dismiss the story as ‘just thugs being thugs’ and leave it at that.
It’s going to work, because no one with media megaphones and levers of power will report otherwise. And as much as Twitter can be a boon, it’s also as much of a bane and for everyone sharing the truth, there will be 5 reporting the bullshit and repeating it as gospel truth.
@Kryptik: No, it is building. White people are starting to notice that black people are being killed at random. Racist and racist-curious people won’t care, but people who have liberal instincts but were brought out to trust the police and never had any person reason not to do so are seeing cell phone images that will disturb them.
But for the surreptitious video of Walter Scott getting shot in the back while fleeing, the national media would peddling accounts of how he was charging backwards at Officer Slager.
Obama’s HackProm speech was so perfect in so many ways.
He said the only people you see impersonating journalists on CNN are journalists on CNN. The crowd booed that one, but it is totally correct. Yay Obama.
And he pointed out MSNBC a joke too.
And at the end, he toasted the actual journalists who risk their lives to speak truth to power, and shamed all the bulllshit celebrities in that stupid fucking hackprom.. As he should have.
A real journalist would have broken the story about Baltimore’s corruption years ago, and a real media would have kept the story alive and hyped the hell out of it.
There’s a serious problem in this country with income inequality, police brutality, among other things.. And a press that cared about giving voice to the voiceless and fighting injustice would have more than enough work to keep it busy, if it were so inclined.
The Baltimore Sun published an article last September about how the City had settled over 100 lawsuits against BPD since 2011 for brutality and civil rights complaints.
Crickets from the national media.
Worthless courtiers the lot of them.
Howard Beale IV
FYI; Jeremy Scahill from The Intercept is having a knock-down nasty-ass Twitter fight going on right now.
@Howard Beale IV: The link you gave only provides Scahill’s tweets. It doesn’t show up as a fight at all.
Back to the original story, about how quickly Wolf Blizter gets to declare civil rights activists guilty of betrayal.
Baltimore Sun Story from January when decided that the very same McKesson was carrying on his legacy.
Also too, noting that there have been several protests that Wolf hasn’t been paying attention to that weren’t riots. In fact, pretty much all of them until Monday.
There are some journalists who love to speak truth to power. Sadly, there are not enough of them.
The “journalists” on the TV seem more to love to speak power to truth.
Villago Delenda Est
They are not so inclined. They are comfortable…far more comfortable than the vast majority of Americans. They’re more concerned with what’s on the menu for Sally Quinn’s next party than they are for the plight of other citizens.
You know, what CNN has done during this entire debacle, combined with the ‘strong takes’ being blasted all over Facebook and various other social media outlets, leads me to further belief that absolutely nothing that Blacks and other political and ethnic minorities do will be good enough for a lot of them.
We can dance the dance of WASPism as best they can, but we[minorities] are fundamentally tainted. Perhaps we can get like Whitlock and be “the black guy we go to when we need someone to denounce black culture”, but never anything better.
It is incredibly frustrating to deal with, especially online when you lose that subconscious communication that helps tamp some of this down IRL.
Villago Delenda Est
From your perspective, from my perspective, they are despicable, worthless toadies.
From the perspective of the .01% they’re valuable minions who do a good job of keeping most of the serfs under some control.
Tonight I experienced this first hand on WoW trade chat, which is usually a sewer regardless, but has been particularly bad with people who cannot see past the TV coverage and its bias. As Jeb Lund points out, the only thing they can perceive is the property, commerce, property, commerce aspect of this event. They bemoan the damage to the buildings, to “innocent businesses”, and fail to comprehend that this shit doesn’t just happen…that the conditions that make opportunistic violence and rioting possible have been percolating for years in Baltimore.
White people suck. That’s just all there is to it.
Collective punishment is a defining hallmark of all fascist regimes. You are black? You need to answer for the misdeeds of anyone and everyone with your skin color. This is how the fascist thinks. It’s ugly and it needs to be over.
Brian Kilmeade is the easily the stupidest man on television. Wolf is slow, but Kilmeade is quickly and aggressively vacuous.
The people that committed the looting in Baltimore, of their own area, are selfish, criminal pricks. The people who set fire to their neighbor’s house? Their criminal pricks. Nothing excuses the fire and the looting. Nothing, period, full stop. Don’t even go there, it’s just stupid. Does every kind of police mistreatment that went on in Baltimore need to be investigated? Youdamnbetcha, it does. But anybody trying to intimate that this is a perfectly understandable extension of protest deserves to be laughed off, forever. Was it predictable? Sure. Defensible or understandable? No, hell no.
@brantl: I will argue with you about “predictable”. I’m researching this. And as far as Baltimore is concerned, protests and demonstrations, even those that are about police brutality, have not predictably led to riots. In fact, the instances are 0. I’ve only covered 5 years back, but no. There is noting normal or predictable about Monday night,
At this point we could basically replace all our prison cells with gas chambers and Auschwitz ovens and march every black man in America into them, and the story would be that they all stumbled into them in a series of unfortunate accidents while resisting arrest, and besides they were probably guilty of something.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
The correct reply to Blizer should be “so the fatal beatings will stop, once moral improves? Is this what you are suggesting Mr Blizer?” Ask them to explain how exactly one should reply to someone attacking one, outside Second Amendment solutions.
Calling each other “nigger,” at the very least.
Hanna: How long have you lived in this constituency?
Blackadder: Since Wednesday morning. I took over the previous electorate when he, very sadly, accidentally brutally cut his head off while combing his hair.
You said it yourself – fear. And the vocalization of fear is just a plea for confirmation. She wants to be sure she isn’t the only one so very scared that she thinks he got “what he deserved”.
It’s a different version of looking up at you with puppy-dog eyes and saying “you’re scared just like me right? I’m not the only one, right?”
The fact that she might be the only one so scared is even more terrifying, and as Master Yoda said, Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, and Hate leads Suffering. Fear is the path to the Dark Side.
Approximately 27% of the country is currently flirting with the Dark Side. Cause they are SCARED.
And if they would just admit that they are scared, we might have pity on them and help them. But I have no pity for someone who deals with fear by lashing out.
@Peale: I’m talking about rioting being predictable as a possible outgrowth of scumbags seeing a large protest, and taking advantage of it, and that friction between an aggressive, hostile police force and a large protest, as well. And it is predictable. “Sure as God made little green apples”.
How does a man with his head so far up his ass keep his hair so white? Only Wolf Blitzer knows!