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Don’t tell me I need to “accept” the Ferguson grand jury’s decision. I’ll decide what I accept http://t.co/z61gQFb31H
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 1, 2014
In wake of Mike Brown’s death in Ferguson, Brown’s mother, the media, and bipartisan voices in government have called for police officers around the country to be equipped with body recording devices. This is being sold as a win/win issue. Some claim that the rioting, protesting and media race-shaming led by the Washington Post and Huffington Post could have all been avoided had officer Darren Wilson only been equipped with a camera. Except there was video evidence in the case of Mike Brown and the progressive media ignored it anyway.
An officer body camera equipped to Darren Wilson during the incident wouldn’t have mattered because outlets like Think Progress, Vox, The New Republic, HuffPo, New York Times, Salon, MSNBC and Talking Points Memo already had their conclusion written. They’ve had it ever since the glorification of the now debunked “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” protest meme. Once they pushed that out into the Twittersphere, that was it. They had their conclusion and version of events leading up to the grand jury’s decision and simply filled in the gaps to arrive there. Mike Brown is the victim. Not the shopkeeper or the police officer he attacked. Mike Brown must be the victim because activist journalists had already made up their minds long before any video evidence was released.
Journalists have seen the video evidence of Mike Brown grabbing a shopkeeper by the throat and walking out with a handful of shoplifted cigarillos. It didn’t matter. Eyewitnesses corroborated Brown walking in the middle of the street. It didn’t matter. They’ve all seen photographic evidence of bruises on Darren Wilson’s face and not only did it not matter, it was ridiculed.
Body-camera evidence could be an invaluable tool for grand juries and trial juries to review in cases where an officer’s version of events differs from that of a defendant. But as we’ve seen in Ferguson for the last two weeks, the only version of events in which the media is interested is their own.
There were exactly zero journalists sitting in on the decision-making process that led the Ferguson grand jury to its conclusion. The media still has chosen to ignore all forensic evidence that corroborates Wilson’s story and focus on select snippets of the grand jury transcript. Their only goal is to find perceived inaccuracies, poke holes in testimony and forensics, or just claim that Wilson, under oath, was outright lying. Literally.
Just as the editor of Think Progress stated in the tweet above, they don’t care about the grand jury’s decision. Had Darren Wilson been equipped with a body camera, progressive media outlets would be tweeting “What about Mike Brown? Where was his body camera?” They would pontificate about the growing power of intimidation by unchecked police power, ask about noises off-camera, or blame CGI and the magic of editing. Not to mention that body-camera video of Brown getting shot in the head would do anything but calm a tense, emotional public reaction.
For a progressive blogger on a mission for social justice, no body-camera evidence would make him change his mind. These ideologues will invent the storyline they want and push it as far as it can go, no matter how many businesses are burned or people killed.
They do this because they believe their byline gives them impunity from public enforcement and criticism. The motivations of journalists are not to be questioned. Two presidential elections have proven that.
Had they not arrested a journalist on a sidewalk, police response would have earned lot of positive headlines this morning. #Ferguson
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 23, 2014
So how to we prevent activist journalists from pursuing their own version of events and only pushing the story they want? How can they be held accountable when they post Vine after Vine of protestors washing their face with milk, but go silent when those same agitators attack police with rocks or bottles, or pull a man from his car and beat him to death with a hammer? The answer is simple:
Mandatory body cameras for journalists.
If reporters are going to reject mountains of forensic evidence with the waving of a Vox-splaining yellow wand, evidence a grand jury spent months studying, the public has a right to know the motivations behind this reasoning. If society’s brave messengers are going to wax poetic 140 characters at a time about being shoved to the ground by an imposing police force, there should be a mandatory contingency for their audience to review.
Every journalist should be in favor of this.
If the Washington Post is going to continue to employ sensationalist bloggers taking Martin Luther King Jr. out of context while opining that they are being attacked by people questioning their motivations, it’s clear only a body camera would validate that their motivations are pure and that objectivity is their goal. It will prove that this really is a watershed moment in American history that we’ll all be telling our grandkids about and not the scattered remnants of the Occupy movement struggling for relevancy.
Equipping journalists with body cameras would validate their opinions on the ground in Gaza that Hamas is a legitimate governing body desperately trying to resist the repression of the Zionist invasion of Israel, such as the AP claimed.
If journalists want to insert themselves and their harrowing narratives of racial disparity into tales of innocent Occupiers blocking highways or valiant social justice warriors laying down in shopping malls, they’re welcome to do so. But now they will now be bound by the actual events and motivations of those doing so as they happen, not the power of a byline they use to pressure those with whom they politically disagree.
If Ryan J. “Ear Plugs” Reilly wants to blackmail police departments and readers with his own version of events concerning the arrest of a fellow journalist — an arrest he magically failed to capture on camera despite claiming to witness it — an automated body camera could have solved any and all assumptions people like me have at his nefarious motivations. What possible reason wouldn’t he want this?
The same justification media is using to equip police officers with body cameras (officers can’t make up their own narratives of events regarding shootings) can be applied to every self-promoting journalist on the ground from Ferguson to Gaza (as Occupy likes to say).
Al Sharpton, with his own show on MSNBC, would qualify and he could give us an inside view into the racial discussions he is having with President Obama, Eric Holder and Valerie Jarrett, being the President’s point man on race in this country.
After the country institutes a mandatory body camera policy for journalists, Obama could then stand in front of the country and for once declare that journalists “acted stupidly.“