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Will Fact-Checkers Foil Democrats' Attempts to Play the Race Card? ^ | August 16, 2019 | Michael Barone

Posted on 08/16/2019 4:06:15 AM PDT by Kaslin

Fact-checking journalists lean left, as Mark Hemingway documented in a canonical Washington Examiner analysis that is just as valid today as when it was published in 2011. But as John F. Kennedy once said, when asked why he wasn't supported by an odoriferous Massachusetts Democrat, "sometimes party loyalty asks too much."

Case in point: the two solemn statements by Democratic presidential candidates. Last Friday at 2:24 p.m., Kamala Harris tweeted, "Michael Brown's murder forever changed Ferguson and America." Half an hour later, Elizabeth Warren got more specific: "5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri." They weren't the only candidates noting this fifth anniversary, but others carefully avoided the M-word.

Correctly so, as the intensive investigation by Barack Obama's and Eric Holder's Justice Department concluded that the officer fired on Brown in justified self-defense. Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler awarded Harris and Warren "four Pinocchios" and called their dismissal of the Justice Department report "even more galling."

Vox's German Lopez wrote, "Five years after the shooting, though, major presidential campaigns are still getting the details wrong."

"Harris, Warren wrong about Brown shooting," reads the headline on a story by Lori Robertson.

Were these fact-checkers' responses an attempt to uphold the repute of the Obama administration, so many of whose policies have been attacked and scorned by many Democratic candidates? Unlikely. The candidates' errors were too blatant.

But they may have been surprised to be called on it. Their staffs did not respond to the fact-checkers' inquiries, and none retracted or explained their mistake. Perhaps they feared getting blowback on Twitter if they were to do so. Perhaps they genuinely (and unprofessionally) misremembered the incident.

And perhaps they expected that nobody, at least no one on their ideological side, would challenge an accusation of white racism. For that certainly has been the response of liberal media to Democrat Stacey Abrams' claims that she "won" the election for governor of Georgia last November.

Actually, she lost, 50 to 49 percent to Republican Brian Kemp. His popular vote margin was 54,723 out of 3,902,093 votes cast -- a close race but an unambiguous result. Abrams had plenty of reason to be proud of her run: She got 800,000 more votes than any previous Democrat and a higher percentage than any Democrat since 1998. But it's simply factually wrong to say she won.

Abrams argues that she only came up short because Kemp, as secretary of state, eliminated 1.4 million people from the Georgia voter rolls. But, as Mark Hemingway points out, that was in line with federal legislation that requires purging the names of those who haven't voted and haven't responded to attempted contacts.

Abrams wants you to think that this is voter suppression, in line with the barring of black people to vote in Georgia and other Southern states before passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In those days, black Americans risked their lives if they tried to register to vote. Saying that current requirements -- like showing photo ID -- are the same kind of suppression is a vicious lie.

Vicious because it distorts American history, because it understates the diminution of racism and racial discrimination over the past half-century, because it understates the bravery of the black and other Americans who risked everything to advance equality under the law.

Why do politicians like Harris, Warren and Abrams make such refutable (if not often-refuted) claims? The cynical explanation is that they're appealing to black voters and promising to redress their grievances. But how many black Americans really believe they're barred from voting or more vulnerable to police violence than half a century ago?

Maybe instead they're virtue signaling to the white college graduates who are the dominant segment of the Democratic electorate these days. What "sounds like an exclusive appeal to minority voters," writes the New York Post's Michael Goodwin, is "just as likely to be aimed at those whites embarrassed by their race."

"People of color are not the driving force behind most of today's forms of racial liberalism," wrote political scientist Eric Kaufmann in The New York Times in March. "The share of white liberals who say racial prejudice is the main reason blacks cannot get ahead has jumped substantially since 2014" -- the year Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson.

But facts are stubborn things. The Mueller report has forced the Democrats to stop playing the Russia card. And now journalistic fact-checkers are disciplining their attempts to play the racism card. Whether either card trumps Trump for the middle of the electorate is unclear.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: demonrats; factcheck; michaelbrown

1 posted on 08/16/2019 4:06:15 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin; E. Pluribus Unum

Hat tip to E. Pluribus Unum.


[01] The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were “objectively unreasonable” under the Supreme Court’s definition. (Page 5)

[02] when the store clerk tried to stop Brown, Brown used his physical size to stand over him and forcefully shove him away. (Page 6)

[03] Wilson was aware of the theft and had a description of the suspects as he encountered Brown and Witness 101. (Page 6)

[04] Autopsy results and bullet trajectory, skin from Brown’s palm on the outside of the SUV door as well as Brown’s DNA on the inside of the driver’s door corroborate Wilson’s account that during the struggle, Brown used his right hand to grab and attempt to control Wilson’s gun. (Page 6)

[05] there is no credible evidence to disprove Wilson’s account of what occurred inside the SUV. (Page 7)

[06] autopsy results confirm that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back as he was running away because there were no entrance wounds to Brown’s back. (Page 7)

[07] witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts (Page 8)

[08] several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson as he moved toward Wilson. (Page 8)

[09] The physical evidence also establishes that Brown moved forward toward Wilson after he turned around to face him. The physical evidence is corroborated by multiple eyewitnesses. (Page 10)

[10] evidence does not establish that it was unreasonable for Wilson to perceive Brown as a threat while Brown was punching and grabbing him in the SUV and attempting to take his gun. (Page 11)

[11] Wilson’s account is corroborated by physical evidence and that his perception of a threat posed by Brown is corroborated by other eyewitnesses (Page 12)

[12] Wilson’s account was consistent with those results, and consistent with the accounts of other independent eyewitnesses, whose accounts were also consistent with the physical evidence. Wilson’s statements were consistent with each other in all material ways, and would not be subject to effective impeachment for inconsistencies or deviation from the physical evidence.8 Therefore, in analyzing all of the evidence, federal prosecutors found Wilson’s account to be credible. (Page 16)

[13] Witness accounts suggesting that Brown was standing still with his hands raised in an unambiguous signal of surrender when Wilson shot Brown are inconsistent with the physical evidence, are otherwise not credible because of internal inconsistencies, or are not credible because of inconsistencies with other credible evidence. (Page 78)

[14] Multiple credible witnesses corroborate virtually every material aspect of Wilson’s account and are consistent with the physical evidence. (Page 78)

[15] several of these witnesses stated that they would have felt threatened by Brown and would have responded in the same way Wilson did. (Page 82)

[16] there are no witnesses who could testify credibly that Wilson shot Brown while Brown was clearly attempting to surrender. (Page 83)

[17] There is no witness who has stated that Brown had his hands up in surrender whose statement is otherwise consistent with the physical evidence. (Page 83)

[18] The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said “don’t shoot” as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said “don’t shoot.” (Page 83)

[19] Wilson did not know that Brown was not armed at the time he shot him, and had reason to suspect that he might be when Brown reached into the waistband of his pants as he advanced toward Wilson. (Page 84)

[20] Wilson did not have time to determine whether Brown had a gun and was not required to risk being shot himself in order to make a more definitive assessment.

[21] In addition, even assuming that Wilson definitively knew that Brown was not armed, Wilson was aware that Brown had already assaulted him once and attempted to gain control of his gun. (Page 85)

[22] Wilson has a strong argument that he was justified in firing his weapon at Brown as he continued to advance toward him and refuse commands to stop, and the law does not require Wilson to wait until Brown was close enough to physically assault Wilson. (Page 85)

[23] we must avoid substituting our personal notions of proper police procedure for the instantaneous decision of the officer at the scene. We must never allow the theoretical, sanitized world of our imagination to replace the dangerous and complex world that policemen face every day.” (Page 85)

[24] “It may appear, in the calm aftermath, that an officer could have taken a different course, but we do not hold the police to such a demanding standard.” (citing Gardner v. Buerger, 82 F.3d 248, 251 (8th Cir. 1996) (same))). Rather, where, as here, an officer points his gun at a suspect to halt his advance, that suspect should be on notice that “escalation of the situation would result in the use of the firearm.” Estate of Morgan at 498. An officer is permitted to continue firing until the threat is neutralized. See Plumhoff v. Rickard, 134 S.Ct. 2012, 2022 (2014) (“Officers need not stop shooting until the threat has ended”). For all of the reasons stated, Wilson’s conduct in shooting Brown as he advanced on Wilson, and until he fell to the ground, was not objectively unreasonable and thus not a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. (Page 85)

[25] Given that Wilson’s account is corroborated by physical evidence and that his perception of a threat posed by Brown is corroborated by other eyewitnesses, to include aspects of the testimony of Witness 101, there is no credible evidence that Wilson willfully shot Brown as he was attempting to surrender or was otherwise not posing a threat. (Page 86)

For the reasons set forth above, this matter lacks prosecutive merit and should be closed.

2 posted on 08/16/2019 4:25:19 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Kaslin
Anyone - senator or not - who publicly states that the police murdered Michael Brown should be sued for slander. And I don’t mean for chicken feed damages.

3 posted on 08/16/2019 4:25:46 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (Socialism is cynicism directed towards society and - correspondingly - naivete towards government.)
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To: Kaslin

Why ‘policing is racist’ is such a poisonous lie (Heather Mac Donald)

Also there’s a great article series on The Ferguson Effect in post 7.

4 posted on 08/16/2019 4:26:46 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Kaslin
"Five years after the shooting, though, major presidential campaigns are still getting the details wrong."

"Harris, Warren wrong about Brown shooting,"

Yes and no. Technically yes, they got the details wrong. But no, it wasn't a mistake as is implied by the characterization of being "wrong."

I believe the candidates and their staffs know exactly what happened. They simply don't care. They have a message they want to get out, and they are using that incident, intentionally spinning it the way they want to. They simply refuse to (publicly) acknowledge what they know to be true. To a leftist "truth" is what they say it is, and as Biden pointed out - they are all about truth over facts. Their "truth."

5 posted on 08/16/2019 4:55:21 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps ( Be ready!)
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To: ThunderSleeps

Yesterday it occurred to me that there really might be one way to save this nation. Martial Law. Start arresting these lying traitors. I suppose we could offer them “the door” and send them to France or Canada but don’t ever let them return.

6 posted on 08/16/2019 5:18:48 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Kaslin

I think these guys are very taken with their own wordsmithery and cleverness. Case in point, now they are trying to smear Trump with “identity politics” since it is so toxic. Story after story at the top of the search results talked about identity politics, white identity politics they would later say, as if it was a Trump thing. Pretty sure most people do not and will not associate Trump with identity politics. As I said, these guys are so taken with their own wordsmithery that they have forgotten that “news” that lies is no longer news, or anything useful, it’s just lies.

7 posted on 08/16/2019 5:40:11 AM PDT by BlackAdderess (Why does Harvard invest in developing world land grabs that harm indigenous people, then yell at us?)
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To: Kaslin

The premise is comically fallacious.

Facts don’t matter

Barone is living in the past to think the MSM gives a damn about facts that are in opposition to thier daily template

8 posted on 08/16/2019 5:45:18 AM PDT by bert ( (KE. NP. N.btyC. +12) Progressives are existential American enemies)
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To: FreedomPoster

Thanks for posting that summary of the investigative findings. It should have put an end to the rhetoric.

9 posted on 08/16/2019 5:58:00 AM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: Kaslin


Democrats now operate in a fact-free environment.
All that’s necessary is for the narrative to be correct.

In many cases the more outrageous the lie the better they like it.

10 posted on 08/16/2019 6:05:06 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog (Patrick Henry would have been an anti-vaxxer.)
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To: BlackAdderess

Great point! Identity Politics is the tactics of Cultural Marxism. It is a cult supported by fallacious hogwash that came out of the Frankfurt School (1918–33) to re-purpose Marxism. This delusion is a tool of the Left to fragment American culture so they can exploit the chaos that is the result.

11 posted on 08/16/2019 6:13:18 AM PDT by jonrick46 (Cultural Marxism is the cult of the Left waiting for the Mothership.)
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To: All
Sounds the Democrats' "rising star" (gag) have all been in touch.

The insufferable loser, Stacy Abrams, announced she has decided to apply her caloric fueled energy to do what she's best at: Whining and encouraging voter fraud (she calls it “voter suppression”).

It seems every sicko Democrat has an obsessive compulsive disorder with making sure all the dead and illegal aliens get to vote. They need immediate professional help.

Abrams is (or was) a rising star in the Democratic Party once they got her up there with a 10 ton derrick. She gained more weight AND (cough) a national following during her losing bid to become governor of Georgia last fall.

She even told Joe Biden to take a hike on naming her VP. Abrams said she was too important "to save Biden's ***."

What to do next? Abrams contemplated long and hard in between triple orders of Popeye's fried chicken, orders of Taco Bell, and sides of Dominos extra large pizzas.

The Panthers wanted to recruit her---thinking she'd make a formidable defensive (cough) end...... running for president and the Senate (at the same time) was also considered.

Instead she's decided to go full-frontal virtue signalling: “My job is to be the voice to those who do not believe they are heard."

Heaven help us.

12 posted on 08/16/2019 6:14:38 AM PDT by Liz (Our side has 8 trillion bullets; the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use.)
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To: bert

The original plan was to have “fact checkers” create new facts “for the cause”.

The left has moved on—and they have a new plan.

Facts are a remnant of white slave-holder rule.

Now they have the “truth”—and the “truth” is whatever they say it is. If you do not agree with the “truth” you are a right-wing extremist.

Obey your master—that is the new mantra.

Fetch, whitey, fetch.

13 posted on 08/16/2019 6:29:39 AM PDT by cgbg (Democracy dies in darkness when Bezos bans books.)
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To: AndyJackson

Bigger picture, that Heather Mac Donald recent article I linked, and the series of articles that are in that thread, are well worth reading.

14 posted on 08/16/2019 6:30:50 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: AndyJackson

“The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said “don’t shoot” as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said “don’t shoot.” (Page 83)”

Wasn’t Rev. Al the source of the above quote?

15 posted on 08/16/2019 7:08:17 AM PDT by JGPhila
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