Fake news isn’t just a meme; it could be the undoing of our legal system.
If that sounds far-fetched, consider the warning of Kenosha County, Wisconsin, Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
The 18-year-old is charged with homicide and reckless endangerment for shooting three men, two of them fatally, during the Kenosha riots in August 2020. Rittenhouse says he fired in self-defense as the men attacked him.
Schroeder has been under fire from the establishment media simply for doing what he can to provide the fair trial Rittenhouse is entitled to under the U.S. Constitution, though the media have twisted proceedings into what the judge called “the most divisive trial in the country.”
The judge began by barring the prosecution from using the term “victim” to describe the men Rittenhouse shot and allowing the defense to correctly identify them as “rioters” and “looters” so as not to prejudice the jury.
That decision, coupled with a recent ruling to allow video evidence of the men’s involvement in those illegal activities prior to being shot by Rittenhouse, led to an uproar in the courtroom Wednesday — and Schroeder halted proceedings to respond with a sober warning.
“Anything that undermines public confidence in what happens here is very important,” he said to the defense and prosecution but away from the jury, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“It’s important for this town. It’s important for this country to have people have confidence in the result of this trial,” the judge added.
“Whatever it is — and I don’t care what it is — but people have to be confident,” Schroeder said.
The judge then shifted into criticism of the establishment media for its role in continually undermining the justice system in the eyes of the public.
“There are people in the media, on reputable sites, that are saying things that are totally bizarre,” Schroeder said.
Shilling for the radical left, CNN had mischaracterized the judge’s first decision as “incomprehensible” despite its sound legal reasoning for not painting the men shot — who may have been the aggressors — as victims.
The network’s disgraced legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also referred to that ruling as a “really unnecessary and unfortunate beginning to this really important case.”
But even before the opening gavel fell on his trial, the die was cast for Rittenhouse in the newsrooms of the leftist outlets.
The media had immediately painted him as a bloodthirsty white supremacist in a sea of peaceful protestors — even though the men he shot were all white and participated in the rioting that night.
As with many of these high-profile cases where the media are heavily invested in a guilty verdict, the facts on the ground or even in the courtroom seemed to be irrelevant to the liberal outlets.
Rather than present events from a position of disinterested neutrality, they pick the winners and losers in these cases before the bodies are even cold.
They disseminate their version of the facts as the indisputable truth and then record the public’s outrage when the justice system rules as it should rather than kowtowing to public opinion — and maybe that’s the whole point.
“The case against Rittenhouse is so incredibly weak, his innocence so glaringly obvious, that it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that they did all of this in order to intentionally provoke more riots once he’s inevitably exonerated,” conservative commentator Matt Walsh pointed out Thursday.
The case against Rittenhouse is so incredibly weak, his innocence so glaringly obvious, that it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that they did all of this in order to intentionally provoke more riots once he’s inevitably exonerated
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 4, 2021
Justice doesn’t seem to be the order of the day based on how the media have treated Rittenhouse and then Schroeder, so the explanation has to be something more.
Riots are good for ratings, and the constant divisiveness they usher in presents an us-against-them mentality that keeps people tuned into the outlets they believe are on their side.
Whether it’s ratings or simple bias that creates this environment, it has the same damaging effect — the public won’t trust the justice system if it’s repeatedly set up to be on the wrong side of a verdict.
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