The US again prepares to go to war with itself, this time over the high-profile trial of Kyle Rittenhouse

The US again prepares to go to war with itself, this time over the high-profile trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. By Matt Taibbi.

The Mayhem Watch is on. Closing arguments in the trial of “Kenosha Shooter” Kyle Rittenhouse are expected Monday, and after weeks of hype, the country is primed to explode again. Wisconsin governor Tony Evers announced 500 National Guard troops will be on hand for potential post-verdict “unrest,” which seems almost guaranteed, no matter the result.

As with all major news stories lately, the Rittenhouse case saw idiosyncrasies wash away as coverage accumulated, with pundits pounding the trial into yet another generalized referendum on American culture war.

Prestige media made Rittenhouse a stand-in for the Proud Boys, January 6th, school board protests, anti-mask protests, QAnon, Blue Lives Matter, Trump, “Domestic Terrorism,” fascism, school shooters, and every other naughty thing, with everyone from then-candidate Joe Biden to The Intercept blithely declaring him a white supremacist.

The efforts to cast Rittenhouse as a symbol of racism and white rage have been awesome in quantity and transparently, intentionally provoking, with even leading papers like the New York Times standardizing a practice of underscoring Rittenhouse’s race (“white teenager”) while leaving the identities of those shot out of coverage. Glenn Greenwald pointed out that his old outlet, The Intercept, noted Rittenhouse’s race 20 times in one piece while keeping schtum about the color of those shot. This has gone on for so long, we’ve seen a foreign newspaper misreport that the two people killed in the case were black. In the public consciousness, they might as well have been. …

Everyone picks a side and stays there. Pundits are telling us that any opinion on how the jury should rule can only be understood as a reflection of racial attitudes. “If you’re defending Kyle Rittenhouse, you might be a white supremacist. Just sayin,” is how Tweeter-with-beard and sometimes-journalist David Leavitt puts it.

So identity and political tribalism trumps truth again, just like in the trial of the cop who kneeled on George Floyd, and all the other BLM cases. The enlightenment is fading (not coincidentally, along with the average IQ).

Brendan O’Neill:

There’s no doubting it: the media are guilty of pursuing a culture war against Mr Rittenhouse and against what he is seen to represent – problematic white men.

Growing numbers of people, even some people on what passes for the left today, are watching the Rittenhouse trial and saying to themselves: ‘I didn’t know these facts…’ …

It is entirely down to the jury to rule on whether Rittenhouse’s actions amounted to homicide or to self-defence. But the rest of us can observe — and be horrified by — the chasm-sized disparity between how these events were discussed in much of the media and how they played out in the real world.

Indeed, even some journalists have started to do this. As one headline puts it, ‘Journalists grapple with misconceptions about Rittenhouse narrative as trial unfolds’. Ana Kasparian of the liberal media outlet, The Young Turks, admits that she now feels the need to ‘correct the record’ on the Rittenhouse affair. She had been ‘under the assumption’ that it was Rittenhouse who had chased Rosenbaum, and now realises it was the other way round. Glenn Greenwald has referred to an individual who is ‘highly educated and reasonably perceptive’ who has only just learned that ‘the Kyle Rittenhouse victims were white’. Myth has crashed into reality, and even many of the woke have been forced to take stock, to engage in some self-reflection.

Ann Coulter takes the leftist screeching to its logial conclusion:

Ann Coulter, conservative commentator and author, described the left-wing subtext of Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial as a demand for conservatives “to just stand there and be murdered” when attacked by leftists. …

Coulter noted that Gaige Grosskreutz, a witness in the trial, was essentially forced to admit the truth of events due to existence of video documentation. She speculated that Grosskreutz would have lied about the events in the absence of video evidence. …

Coulter said. “I was sort of surprised watching his testimony, ‘Oh my gosh. He keeps telling the truth,’ and then I realized there’s a video of this. He can’t deny that. He was pointing the gun at Kyle Rittenhouse from five feet away when Kyle fired.”

The Wentworth Report covered the Rittenhouse affair in the days after it happened here, here, and here. It was obvious from the videos that Rittenhouse, despite what the media said, acted entirely in self-defense.

Where would we be without videos? What if mob rule, leftist lying, and jury intimidation still held sway?

In the George Floyd case, the mob frenzy and leftist political pressure was so great that even video couldn’t save Derek Chauvin. Recall that the video from the police bodycam in the minutes before Chauvin kneeled on Floyd shows Floyd saying eleven times “I can’t breathe”, and explaining he overdosed on fentanyl (whose symptom is breathing difficulty). That video was leaked three months after the event — no way the bureaucrats or their allies wanted you to see it.