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After witnessing four nights of incited mayhem on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, I made a personal declaration on Twitter that I would no longer retweet or tweet at members of the media in Ferguson who were sensationalizing the standoff between the police and the rioters. It’s become clear they have inserted themselves into the story and made it more about a political ideology (the man putting us all down) than about the facts of the investigation of Michael Brown’s death.
Every tweet about being shoved, arrested, manhandled or just plain being treated rudely now serves the sole purpose now of goosing ratings and clicks. This is not justice for Michael Brown or Darren Wilson. This is Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers come to life, with the media becoming the story. In lower Manhattan, they stood around and recorded members of Occupy Wall Street clashing with police. In Missouri, they are declaring themselves the Occupiers.
Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times admitted as much yesterday, stating on his Twitter feed that the media has become an accelerant. Take a bow.
As the media was gearing up for last night, images of captured AP photojournalist James Foley’s brutal decapitation by ISIS spread throughout Twitter and YouTube. Members of the media began asking their followers to stop retweeting and spreading them. Freedom of information, however, is not exclusive to them, no matter how much they believe themselves privileged to it. The same journalists who fire off context-free images of tear gas, cops in military gear, and armored vehicles to suit their personal ideology suddenly retreat when other images they find unsuitable flood their narrative.
We’re being told that every move the Ferguson Police make must be documented for the entire world to see. Making the world aware of the barbaric intentions of ISIS, by contrast, is simply giving the terrorists what they want and giving in to propaganda.
Television hosts desperate for ratings compare the rioters and looters to Gaza freedom fighters, calling any defensive or protective action Ferguson police take an act of aggression. They even found an abortion angle. And while one of their own being forcefully removed from a McDonald’s merited the coverage of an international crisis, the reaction to another member of the profession being executed by ISIS was decidedly more tepid.
The same media demanding absolute transparency from the Ferguson Police cannot face up to the horrifying truths of what ISIS is and is becoming. The savage brutality of the police in Ferguson, Missouri must be spread far and wide to help expose our growing police state. The savage brutality of ISIS in Iraq must not be shown because it would just encourage the growth of radical Islam.
At the same time that images of Foley’s lifeless body had stolen everyone’s attention away, reporters in Ferguson were brandishing their brand new gas masks and tweeting about McDonald’s being closed for the night. Whether they like it or not, ISIS has interrupted their sideshow in Ferguson. They better start paying attention.
Journalists being tear gassed is great for ratings and the narrative. Journalists being beheaded by a radical Islamist threat that we were told represented “the JV team” is less convenient.
They can’t have it both ways.