The headline couldn’t be missed.
The Huffington Post could not be any plainer if Arianna Huffington herself were walking down the main street of Ferguson at the head of a screaming mob swinging a noose. The liberal online web site wanted Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson arrested - pronto - and damn any investigation into the facts of the case - aka the truth - surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown.
Now the HuffPo is vowing to make what then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas once called a “high-tech lynching” a permanent fact of American journalistic life. Not just leading the media mob in Ferguson but sending out a mass fundraising e-mail “HuffPost Alert” with The Beacon Reader headed:
Help HuffPost Stay In Ferguson
The fundraising appeal begins by saying, in part:
“What happens in Ferguson and the St. Louis metro area the day after everybody leaves?
It's a question on the minds of nearly every resident, who know the camera crews will eventually fold up their sticks and pack up their vans, the West Florissant McDonald's will transform from an international media filing center into a trivia question. But the local police will still be there, along with the structural inequality and racial disparities that sparked the crisis.
Notice that unbiased, just-the-facts last sentence? “But the local police will still be there, along with the structural inequality and racial disparities that sparked the crisis.” Making of the police the bad guys and everybody else in Ferguson struggling with “structural inequality and racial disparities.” A more crystal clear example of the old progressive formula -- class warfare plus straight out racism equals left-wing political victories or good circulation/ratings -- would be difficult to find.
The appeal for money then goes on to say, with the appropriate links:
“With your support -- you can back the project by clicking here -- we plan to be there as it all unfolds. For The Huffington Post, this'll involve a first-of-its-kind collaboration with readers, the local community and the Beacon Reader to create what we're calling the Ferguson Fellowship. With reader support, we'll hire a local citizen journalist who's been covering the turmoil and train her to become a professional journalist.”
The links take one to The Beacon Reader, where the HuffPo pitch can be funded. The stated goal is to raise $40,000 for what it calls “The Ferguson Fellowship.” The Beacon Reader describes itself as “a new form of crowdfunding. Traditional crowdfunding isn't well suited to journalism because it requires on going support. Beacon helps make crowdfunded journalism more sustainable.” Apparently, even high-tech lynchings need money to get the job done just right.
The Huffington page appeals for contributions ranging from $1 all the way up to $5,000 to fund the Ferguson Fellowship, and announces “Missouri journalist Mariah Stewart” as the first Ferguson Fellow. It showcases this report from freelancer Stewart that made the BBC, in which Stewart tells a few facts but then goes on to speculate as to what “the protestors” think…which, she says, “is justice for that young man.” There is also a reference to Trayvon Martin. There is no reference to justice for police officer Darren Wilson, much less a demand for the facts of the case, usually the point of an investigation.
It’s interesting to note as well that other stories not about Ferguson listed on The Beacon’s site have a liberal tilt to them, with writers who have been published in places like the UK Guardian or Salon.
Considering all of this, it isn’t surprising that the HuffPo’s search function turns up not a word about Dillon Taylor, a young man from Salt Lake City who was killed in a police shooting. Taylor was white, and there are numerous reports that the police officer who killed Taylor was black. Will there be a Ferguson Fellow investigating? Don’t hold your breath.
Nor is there a reference to James Whitehead, an unarmed white man shot to death in Texas by a black police officer who was off-duty at the time of the shootingAs reported by the Texas Observer, Whitehead repeatedly shouted not only racial slurs at the officer but called him a “faggot” as well. Go to the HuffPo search function and enter the name of both the name of white shooting victim and the black police captain and, unsurprisingly, nothing to be found.
Apparently if one is yelling racial and anti-gay slurs, the HuffPo doesn’t think a police shooting is such a big deal. The victim, it seems, must be politically correct and Whitehead - also a former US Marine with two tours in Iraq behind him - clearly doesn’t qualify. Will some Ferguson Fellow be investigating? Will there be banner headlines at The Huffington Post as they investigate the case? Is Attorney General Holder jumping into this? Al Sharpton? Don’t hold your breath there either.
While The Huffington Post is out there trying to lead the media lynch mob for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, MSNBC’s Sharpton is on-site to help hold build the scaffold or maybe just select the nearest tree for Wilson’s career if not his life to swing from. Sharpton and MSNBC have both drawn sharp criticism from Fox’s Bill O’Reilly who returned from vacation to say, among other things:
“Al Sharpton has the nerve to insult the American police community, men and women risking their lives to protect us. This charlatan has the gall to do that and NBC News is paying him. My god! Why is that acceptable?”
O’Reilly’s blast to NBC was as deserved as it was accurate, one more evidence that he takes racial issues extremely seriously and is unafraid to ask the unpopular questions.A practice, one suspects, that will not be demanded of HuffPo’s Ferguson Fellows.
Yet the idea that the liberal media would deliberately play the race card to further a progressive political and media agenda is, of course, an old one. Arianna Huffington is using her media outlet in precisely the way one-time progressive media and political icons Josephus Daniels and Carter Glass used their respective media outlets - newspapers in the day. This all the way back before the turn of the 20th century. Daniels was the publisher of North Carolina’s Raleigh News-Observer.
While the story is too long to tell here, the shorthand version is that racist progressive Democrats -- but I repeat myself -- were furious that the black majority population of Wilmington, North Carolina not only had the right to vote but that blacks - voting for a “fusion” ticket of black and white Republicans and populists - had won the local elections. Defeating the progressive racists of the day. The angry progressives launched a riot as a result, a riot that quickly became what was finally a coup d’etat.
The Huffington Post and MSNBC are still using the media to force their changes. Use the progressive media to play racial politics and advance the progressive agenda under the the guise of news or, in this case, the “Ferguson Fellowship.” Just as it was done a very long time ago, the real objective is to lynch the truth, whatever that factual truth may be. What The Huffington Post and MSNBC are about is using their respective media outlets not for journalism or truth-telling, but shaping and molding the news to fit the progressive narrative. In this specific case, they are out to get Darren Wilson, the truth and the facts be damned.
In this day and age? There’s too much in the way of alternative media -- Fox, talk radio and the Internet -- to let anyone get away with lynchings of the high tech or any other variety. Already Fox’s Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz took a look at all of this, Breitbart reporting on Kurtz’s comments as exactly on target, saying:
“Some liberal outlets [are] creating almost a lynch mob mentality around this, the Huffington Post today, screaming banner headline ‘Arrest Him.’ Now, the Huffington Post, nor you or I, knows exactly what happened” he said. And “when you cross that line into becoming an advocate and to demanding that somebody be prosecuted before the facts are in, while the investigation is going on, you’re grandstanding, you’re trying to keep the story alive and I really think it’s troubling.”
Kurtz also criticized CNN for showing the house of accused officer Darren Wilson, stating, “It defies my understanding how you could put his life or the life of his family in danger by even briefly showing the house or naming the street.”
Howard Kurtz - no conservative he - has it exactly right.
Historically speaking, America has been there and done that. It is a media history that is as sordid and shameful as it was violent. But The Huffington Post and the ever reliable race-card playing MSNBC are going to do whatever they can to resurrect that history.