News & Politics

Media Making the Story About Kenosha Shooter, Not the Riots

A flag flies over a department of corrections building ablaze during protests, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The American media is breathing a huge sigh of relief. They have something else to report about than riots and mayhem in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The media has been given a gift; a Trump-supporting, bona fide, police-obsessed teenager who thought he was doing good when he gunned down three people during a riot in Kenosha. Now they don’t have to tip-toe around the violence roiling the streets of a small midwestern city. They can get back to doing what they know best: bashing Trump, Republicans, conservatives, Second-Amendment supporters, and those who believe in law and order.

There’s nothing to admire about Kyle Rittenhouse. This isn’t Dodge City circa 1880. Kenosha has a police department, county sheriffs, state troopers, and now National Guardsmen to enforce the law. They don’t need any help from a teenager with a gun.

But when Rittenhouse saw 26-year-old Anthony Huber allegedly looting a car shop, he didn’t even try to effect an arrest. He became judge, jury, and executioner, murdering Huber for the crime of looting. No one in America deserves to die for looting.

It’s an interesting sidebar story to the real news — that Kenosha is being burned and looted. But the media have now made Kyle Rittenhouse into a stand-in for everything they oppose and hate.

BuzzFeed:

The law enforcement–obsessed 17-year-old who was charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake appeared in the front row at a Donald Trump rally in January.

Kyle Howard Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting “Blue Lives Matter,” and supporting Trump for president. Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium.

Rittenhouse loves Trump and he killed looters, so Trump must approve of shooting looters in the streets. And since Rittenhouse believes that “Blue Lives Matter,” anyone who supports the police must also be a right-wing vigilante.

A close look at his social media accounts and background show a teenager obsessed with law enforcement who also identified as a strong supporter of President Donald Trump and “Blue Lives Matter,” a pro–law enforcement movement that evolved in response to Black Lives Matter.

His connections to law enforcement, however, go beyond his vocal support of police on social media. In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, the Grayslake Police Department confirmed that Rittenhouse was a former member of the Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Hainesville Police Department’s Public Safety Cadet Program.

Rittenhouse was also a fire protection cadet with the Antioch Fire Department. The head of that cadet program felt it necessary to tell the media that firefighters don’t carry guns.

Its chief, Jon Cokefair, confirmed Rittenhouse was part of the program, which he said has been discontinued since March due to COVID-19. The program, taught by firefighters, introduces high school students to a career in firefighting. “Our weapons are axes and fire hoses. We don’t have any kind of firearms training or anything,” said Cokefair, who declined to comment on Rittenhouse’s charges.

Mr. Cokefair is media-savvy enough to know that some reporters would try to connect Rittenhouse’s violence with his interest in firefighting. Good thing he set them straight.

The protests last night were peaceful. No reports of clashes between protesters and law enforcement. That could very well be because police authorities flooded the protest area with officers and the National Guard was protecting property.

But one confused teenager has given the media and liberals a reprieve from uncomfortably having to condemn the “peaceful protesters” who wanted to burn Kenosha to the ground.