Soon after the State Attorney in Baltimore, MD announced criminal charges against six police officers related to the death of Freddie Gray, widespread journalistic bias was demonstrated. The mainstream liberal media appeared to have an extra spirit to their step, and MSNBC seemed celebratory. In contrast, Fox News leaned commentary towards defending the Baltimore Police Officers. No reason to complain unless you are still attempting to locate unbiased news, which I hear is on the same channel that located Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
As the daytime news faded, and evening commentary took center stage, the media crossed lines of professionalism. The radicals at MSNBC reveled in the criminal charges proving their point of view that America is a horrific nation that thrives on racism and sexism likely pleasing their “hundreds” of viewers. As expected, Fox News dove heavier into protecting the police officers by allowing Baltimore Police Officers to provide their perspective. None of this would be a big deal, except Fox News allowed the police officers identity to be hidden, and speak with the familiar incognito “Darth Vader” voice. Allowing anyone to provide testimony should be a last option in journalism, and only used in very unique cases…..and this case should not have permitted this tactic.
I understand the police claimed they feared for their personal safety, and needed their identities hidden. I do not doubt their fears, but I do question the public interest that drove Fox News to provide them a national forum with a hidden identity. The tactic should only be used when the information provided is beneficial to the public, the threat to the individual is specific, and the individual has been thoroughly vetted. The Kelly File and Hannity both failed on all accounts. First, they did not provide information beneficial to the public, but communicated a narrative to benefit the police department. They attempted to paint a negative image of Freddie Gray, even indicating Gray was a regular police informant, or “snitch”. The whole thing was propaganda. Second, there is no specific threat. There is no nation attempting to take these police officers to a secret holding site, and the Cosa Nostra Family has not placed a bounty on the individual officers. The real threat was accountability for their claims. Third, Fox News did not indicate any significant vetting took place of the individuals. Why would anyone provide credibility to any claim they communicated? One of the police officers was asked on air if he had a clean record! Did anyone expect the response to be anything but assurance?
I am not shocked by Hannity employing these bush league tactics, but was disappointed in Megyn Kelly. These individuals were not providing facts, they were editorializing. Allowing someone to smear a deceased individual with accusations of being a “snitch” without providing any support and hiding their identity does not meet any standard of professional journalism. I really hope Ed Shultz was not viewing, or we will hear “Jeb Bush didn’t pay his taxes” in a Darth Vader voice by Monday.