Friday Follies: Ferguson Edition

August 22, 2014

I read a post yesterday written by self-identified, free lance journalist Ryan Schuessler, a native Missourian, that summarized everything I’ve been seeing from Ferguson, Missouri.  For the past week and a half the “journalism” being practice in that town has been an embarrassment to anyone who believes the profession should be about reporters actually reporting the facts in a fair, objective manner, without bias or personal injection into the story.

It is with the above in mind that this week’s Follies is dedicated to those “Egos of Ferguson” that have turned a terrible tragedy into a cacophony of cowards more worried about their 15 minutes of fame than the generational damage they are causing with their distorted coverage.

“Tis that time once again when we take stock of the inane and foolish put upon us by those forced to navigate life with an amount of gray matter just slightly larger than that found in your average toad”

#5  We start off this week with no one person in particular but rather the overall attitude on the ground in Ferguson.  An excerpt from Schuessler’s post:

One anecdote that stands out: as the TV cameras were doing their live shots in front of the one burnt-out building in the three-block stretch of “Ground Zero,” around the corner was a community food/goods drive. I heard one resident say: “Where are the cameras? I’m going to go see if I can find some people to film this.”

Last night a frustrated resident confronted me when he saw my camera: “Yall are down here photographing US, but who gets paid?!”

There are now hundreds of journalists from all over the world coming to Ferguson to film what has become a spectacle. I get the sense that many feel this is their career-maker……..

…….We should all be ashamed, and I cannot do it anymore. I am thankful for my gracious editors who understand that.

Finally, one out of who knows how many “journalists” on the ground in Ferguson not only gets it, but actually had the guts to say it.

#4  A Follies on Ferguson could not be complete without the adventures of two of the most active “hey look at me, not them, look at ME damnit” so called reporters:  Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly.  (Reilly is to be expected as his “parent” is Huffington Post, but Lowery gets his allowance from the Washington Post who should know better.)

Lowery was able to parlay his self-serving WaPo spread on his “arrest” last week into a panel spot on Meet The Press last Sunday where when Andrea Mitchell threw out “Well, and in fact, I think with a 67% African American community here, Wesley, and 83% is the arrest rate and incarceration rate is 93% African American.” the “So tired of Boston strong” idiot responded with a brilliant analytical, thoughtful response: “That’s exactly right.”

And when asked “What can be done?” the self-delusional sage summed up with “But I think that we need some more information.”

Ya think Wesley?  Isn’t that what a reporter’s first job is supposed to be?  Get information.  But then when you’re more worried about making yourself part of the story rather than reporting what IS the story, I guess that “information gathering” part of the job is just too boring and mundane.

Yet, believe it or not, Reilly managed to top Lowery’s mindless mumblings when on Sunday he tweeted the following from Ferguson:

I believe these are rubber bullets, can anyone confirm? #Ferguson

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 17, 2014

The “rubber bullets” Reilly were so worried about were, in fact, disposable ear plugs.

I’d suggest that instead of posing as reporters, Lowery and Reilly work up an act in the tradition of Laurel and Hardy or Martin and Lewis but those acts had talent.  I suppose there’s always Sesame Street and the Muppets.  At least the audience would be of the same mental capacity.

#3  Illustrating that there is no immunity to the sensationalism virus once it finds its way into a story, CNN’s normally level headed Jake Tapper succumbed when he went all unhinged against police Monday night:

    “Now I want you to look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri — in downtown America, OK?” he said. “These are armed police, with semi-automatic rifles, with batons, with shields, many of them dressed for combat.

    “Now why they’re doing this? I don’t know. Because there is no threat going on here. None that merits this. There is none, OK? Absolutely there have been looters. Absolutely, over the last nine days there’s been violence. But there is nothing going on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram. Nothing.

    “So if people wonder why the people of Ferguson, Missouri, are so upset, this is part of the reason. What is this? This doesn’t make any sense.”

No Jake, it doesn’t make any sense.  Especially when you consider the fact that just nights earlier the police backed off and the looting got worse.  Oh, and conveniently not mentioning that that “war zone” you went on a tirade about has always been but a very, very small area of town was a great touch as well.

Maybe you and Lowery could get together and between the two of you actually get some of that “more information” that would put the story into full context rather than just continuing the self-serving sensationalism.

#2  Rounding out the second to highest spot on this week’s list of idiocy is another CNN broadcast bobble head, Don Lemon.  Evidently not satisfied with his “Did a black hole swallow Malaysian flight 370?” that bared his ineptitude to an entire planet, he took it upon himself Thursday night to show that when it comes to some “journalists” the definition of stupid is an ever expanding one.

As National Review’s Charles CW Cook writes:

Last night, on national television, CNN host Don Lemon attempted to alter physical reality through the sheer force of his will.  Lemon’s central claim was that, after the shooting in Colorado in 2012, he was able to go out and, in “20 minutes” or less, buy a machine gun. “I think,” he added, “most people can go out and buy an automatic weapon.”…. Having been corrected, what Lemon should have said was, “you’re right, I meant ‘semi-automatic.’” But he didn’t. Instead, he said:

    “For me, an automatic weapon is anything that you can shoot off a number of rounds very quickly.”

So there you have it America.  No more need for truth, from this point forward an automatic weapon is whatever Don Lemon says it is.

I don’t know what’s worse.  That idiots like Lemon make a living serving up such pablum or that people actually believe it.

#1  But for all the journalistic malpractice we’ve seen come out of Ferguson, nothing was as bad as the actions of the two politicians who share the top spot this week.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and our favorite tax payer funded race baiter Attorney General Eric Holder.

In a video statement that Al Sharpton could have scripted, Nixon showed his true colors by stating that “a vigorous prosecution must now be pursed”.  WTH?  Even the 40 plus federal agents that Holder rushed to Ferguson don’t have all the facts yet but the Governor of Missouri (rumored to have delusional Presidential ambitions) has no problem prejudging the case against the officer involved?  Now THAT’s some partisan politics even Harry Reid can be proud of.

Not to be outdone by Nixon, when Holder arrived in St. Louis he made sure the country knew:

“I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man.”

Hint, hint, wink, wink, all that stuff about justice being “blind” is just old stuff written by former slave owners.  I’ve got the power now and you can be damn sure I’m going to use it to make sure that white cop that murdered that angelic black child is going to pay for his crime.  Facts be damned, this is about justice, social justice that is.

Pat Buchanan writing in provides the perspective the MSM won’t:

“….If there is any public official who should recuse himself from any role in this investigation, it is not Robert McCulloch but Eric Holder.

Holder has a lifelong, almost Sharpton-like, obsession with race.

Three weeks in office, he declared America a “nation of cowards” for refusing to discuss race more. Arriving in St. Louis, he declared, “I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man.”

Query. What is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, who is heading up the federal investigation of the shooting of a black teenager by a white cop, doing declaring his racial solidarity?

Holder then related several incidents that have stuck in his craw:

“I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. … ‘Let me search your car.’ … Go through the truck of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”

Holder also spoke of being stopped by a cop in Georgetown when he was running to the movies.

Fine. The Great Man is outraged by such indignities. But the mindset exhibited here raises a grave question as to whether Eric Holder can objectively lead an investigation of a white cop who shot a black teenager. In Eric Holder’s mind, the verdict already seems in.

Any defense attorney would have Eric Holder tossed out of a jury pool, as soon as he started to vent like this.

If Holder has made up his mind about what happened in Ferguson that Saturday, fine. He is entitled to his opinion. But someone who has already decided officer Wilson’s actions are consistent with a racist police pattern he has observed personally should not be passing judgment on whether officer Wilson goes on trial for his life.

President Obama says he does not want to put “my thumb upon the scales” of justice. He should take Eric Holder’s thumb off.

Yes, Holder SHOULD be off the case but when the objective is social justice over legal justice there’s still only one man for the job and that’s Eric Holder.

But Holder is no stranger to corruption.  Many don’t remember and many more don’t even know that it was a deputy AG Holder who got Bill Clinton to pardon one of America’s most wanted criminal fugitives of the time, Marc Rich.

When Rich died in 2013, Justin Peters of reminded us of Holder’s dirty hands:

“….Finally, in 2000, he (Rich) saw some return on his efforts. Eric Holder was the key man. As deputy AG, Holder was in charge of advising the president on the merits of various petitions for pardon. Jack Quinn, a lawyer for Rich, approached Holder about clemency for his client. Quinn was a confidant of Al Gore, then a candidate for president; Holder had ambitions of being named attorney general in a Gore administration. A report from the House Committee on Government Reform on the Rich debacle later concluded that Holder must have decided that cooperating in the Rich matter could pay dividends later on.

Rich was an active fugitive, a man who had used his money to evade the law, and presidents do not generally pardon people like that. What’s more, the Justice Department opposed the pardon—or would’ve, if it had known about it. But Holder and Quinn did an end-around, bringing the pardon to Clinton directly and avoiding any chance that Justice colleagues might give negative input. As the House Government Reform Committee report later put it, “Holder failed to inform the prosecutors under him that the Rich pardon was under consideration, despite the fact that he was aware of the pardon effort for almost two months before it was granted.”…..

Yet for all of Holder’s baiting on race and how he and Obama have been treated so differently than white counter parts, this tidbit from is worth noting:

 When the Senate voted on Holder’s nomination on Feb. 2, 2009, he was confirmed by a vote of 75-21…….Holder ended up getting more no votes than some nominees received (such as former Sen. Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, who was confirmed 94-2) but fewer no votes received by other nominees (for instance, Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary, 60-34, and Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services, 65-31).


However, it’s worth noting that the previous time Holder faced Senate confirmation, he was confirmed without any Republican dissent. When he was nominated for deputy attorney general by Clinton in 1997, Holder won confirmation by a perfect 100-0 vote.

 Yes, you read that right.  In 1997, Holder received absolute full support from both sides of the political aisle. It was not until he showed his true colors, his true penchant for corrupting the rule of law for personal gain with the Rich pardon that he began to see opposition to his brand of “justice”.

I’d even go so far to bet that if Eric Holder were white, he never would have been confirmed as Attorney General in the first place.

In this instance it was far more the color of his skin rather than the content of his character that kept his critics at bay in 2009.  In the wake of the election of the first black President of the United States, there just weren’t enough Senators willing to risk being labeled a racist, no matter how unfit Holder was for the job.

Rumors are floating around that as soon as the Democrats can put enough pressure on Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire from the Supreme Court, Obama will nominate Holder to the high court.

If that time comes we had all better pray and pray hard that more Senators will care about Holder’s lack of character than will swoon over the color of his skin.

As always, thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend and I’ll see ya round the Corner.

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