Media Bias Around Kyle Rittenhouse Case

Self Defense

The entire country is at the edge of their seats as closing arguments are at their end. Law enforcement is preparing for civil unrest after the trial. It has been over a year since the Kenosha shooting. Now Kyle Rittenhouse is standing trial for homicide for the 2 men that he shot on August 25, 2020. There are a lot of emotions around this case. This includes different opinions on whether Rittenhouse is guilty or not.

Yet, a troubling trend has been occurring in regards to media coverage. In addition to inaccurate information about the case, the spin media continues to push a guilty perspective. As a result, some people have no idea about certain details and set a dangerous precedent for 5th Amendment rights and self-defense.

Facts about The Rittenhouse Case

In order to discuss this topic, let’s summarize what led to this trial in the first place. To be clear, this is just going to be objective facts about what happened. On August 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse was in Kenosha during the riots around police brutality. That night, a confrontation led to Rittenhouse shooting three men; killing 2 of them and leaving 1 injured. In the aftermath, the then 17 year-old said that he shot in self-defense. Rittenhouse was facing 5 charges, before the gun charge was dismissed. The remaining charges against the 18 year old include:

  • First-Degree Reckless Homicide, Use of a Dangerous Weapon
  • First-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Dangerous Weapon
  • First-Degree Intentional Homicide, Use of a Dangerous Weapon
  • Attempted First-Degree Intentional Homicide, Use of a Dangerous Weapon

This case has been on the mind of everyone. News networks and social media networks were focusing on the trial. However, inaccurate information and media spinning plagued this case since the beginning.

Inaccurate Information From Media

It seems clear that information is not accurately being given over the news and social media coverage of the Rittenhouse case. One of the biggest narratives that has been pushed by the mainstream media is that Rittenhouse crossed state lines with his rifle. For over a year, people were saying that he violated the law. However, this was not true. In fact, Rittenhouse was given the rifle by a friend, who lived in the state. This information has been available since the beginning, but many Americans believed that Rittenhouse committed another offense. This false information was even promoted by Ben & Jerry’s on twitter, sparking backlash against the company.

However, the inaccurate information around the trial had also been present. During the testimony of Gaige Grosskreutz, the man admitted that he was shot after raising his own firearm against the 17 year-old Rittenhouse. However, MSNBC’s legal expert reported that Grosskreutz said his hands were raised when he was shot. This is without a doubt a false statement as Grosskreutz’s own testimony countered that. In that same video, the legal expert calls into question the judge’s bias after yelling at the prosecution.

Media Spinning Convicts Kyle Rittenhouse

On top of the inaccurate information being presented, the media’s spin has been prevalent throughout this trial coverage. During the trial, mainstream media outlets called into question the judge’s bias after the comments he made. However, the coverage fails to explain why the judge told the prosecutor to “don’t get brazen.”

So, why did Thomas Binger get a verbal scolding from Judge Schroeder? During Rittenhouse’s testimony, prosecutor Binger called into question Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence and brought up an event that was already inadmissible. Both of these are considered violations of constitutional amendments, something that the judge makes clear. This is basic law, meaning this has nothing to do with bias. In fact, the judge’s comments were necessary because Binger was bordering on committing a “grave constitutional violation.” Yet, the mainstream media is using this outburst to pose that the judge is biased against the prosecution.

There also has been a media spin around the dismissal of Rittenhouse’s gun charge. One of the initial charges against the 18 year-old was illegal possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time of the Kenosha Shooting. However, this charge was dropped because it did not apply to Rittenhouse. According to Winsocnsin law, 16 and 17 year-olds are allowed to carry rifles within a certain length. Rittenhouse even stated he was carrying a rifle because it was illegal for him to have any other type of gun.

Despite the fact this law has been in effect for years, many articles frame this as a loop-hole within the law. The framing is obvious if you think about it. Rittenhouse is guilty! But the law was worded wrong. This spin is meant to cast a shadow of guilt on Rittenhouse, despite being free of these charges.

Why Does This Matters?

This is only the surface level of all the false information and intentional spin on the case. But why does it matter? During Brannon-Howse Live interview with Mike Hammond about the case, the trial was framed in the mindset that it is targeting self-defense and gun ownership. As you read above, a lot of the spin and incorrect information seems to be around Rittenhouse’s rifle and testimony about the shooting. It stands to reason that mainstream media does seem to have a bias about defense’s self-defense claims. Even the prosecution has been showing this bias, telling the jury that people need to exhaust all options before firing. This contradicts Winsconsin law that allows someone to use deadly force without the duty to retreat.

However, that brings up a very important question. If Rittenhouse was protecting himself and got charged with homicide, what does that mean for self-defense cases in the future? People would be terrified and second-guessed if they should defend themselves in dangerous situations.

Constitutional Rights Ignored

Furthermore, the concept of having constitutional rights during a trial seems to be brought into question. During Rittenhouse’s testimony, the prosecutor argued with the judge that he should be allowed to ask his questions because the judge “opened the door.” However, if a prosecutor can bring up inadmissible events and evidence in the court then how can it be a fair trial. After all, the defense has every right to one. In addition, 5th amendment silence is never to be questioned as well. Yet, the mainstream media did not cover these violations. Instead, they contributed to the judge’s bias.

Regardless of what you think of Rittenhouse, nobody should be subjected to this type of treatment. After all, the trial is where the judgement is made based on evidence. It is not up to the mainstream media to decide what the truth is through spinning and spreading incorrect information.

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