5 Unhinged Right-Wing Moments This Week: Fox Newsians Scramble to Explain Scott Murder
1. Geraldo Rivera: That cop was ‘boiling mad’... so it's not murder.
Well, now we know why cops shoot unarmed people with alarming frequency. Geraldo Rivera has explained it. It’s because the cops are really really mad. Boiling mad.
Friday morning, Fox News’ Rivera was feeling very relieved because the release of the new dashcam footage of the initial traffic stop that ended in the shooting death of Walter Scott had been released. The footage made Rivera feel so much better because it showed that Officer Slager had made a “righteous” traffic stop. That’s right. Righteous.
Rivera then set himself up as judge, jury, executioner and psychiatrist, because he was able to time travel inside of Officer Slager's head at the time of the shooting. But first, he needed to slur Scott some more, saying Scott "was acting very hinky, very edgy," during the “righteous” traffic stop, behavior that may not have been fully evident to the untrained eye.
Then, performing still more miracles, Rivera was able to see something that was not on the tape, or any tape, which is another amazing kind of ESP-like ability he has. He saw, somehow, in his mind’s eye, that Scott had “tussled” with Slager.
"So, up until that point the cop, with his adrenaline pumping, now he's been in a physical tussle, now the perpetrator has reached for the taser, allegedly,” Rivera said, not actually having seen any of that, but happy to repeat it, baselessly. “Now it gives you the context of his blood boiling. He has done everything professional and now ... this civilian has dared to physically have this altercation with the officer.
"Put that in the officer's head now. I think it saves him from the murder rap," Rivera said.
"Even though you see him shooting him in the back dead?" "Fox and Friends" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck wondered.
"That's an excellent point," Rivera responded. "This is a horrible, horrible shooting. But there was no premeditation. This is manslaughter."
Case closed, apparently. Although Rivera knowledge of the law is a bit shaky even with his made-up scenario. Intention is what is required for a murder charge. Not necessarily pre-meditation. Shooting a fleeing person in the back, eight times (five bullets hit him) would seem to suggest intention.
But the good news is that police departments around the country can save a lot of money on body cams. No need. Rivera can just make the movie in his head.
2. Bobby Jindal: Hollywood and corporations in cahoots against Christians.
Take your pick, Bobby Jindal or Ted Cruz. Both presidential aspirants, one officially declared. Both smart-ish. Both bat-sh*t crazy, as in no compunction about saying demonstrably deluded, hypocritical, logically inconsistent things. Let’s take Jindal, since Cruz has been getting all the attention lately. First, we’ll pause to remember Jindal’s impassioned call to Republicans about not being the “stupid” party, a few years back when Obama won re-election.
Cut to the present: This week Jindal told an audience of homeschoolers in Iowa (yes, enough people to fill an audience—go figure), that in response to Indiana’s discriminatory “religious freedom law,” "We saw an alliance between Hollywood elites and corporate America assaulting the rights of Christians."
We know what you’re thinking. That’s not stupid. That’s nuts. Actually, it’s kind of both. A twofer. It’s totally unhinged. Hollywood and corporate America are conspiring against Christians. We’re practically in Alex Jones territory.
What this adds up to is a war on Christianity, of course. Or as Ted Cruz put it, a “jihad.” Which “jihad” you ask? Why, it’s the “jihad that gay people are waging against believing Christians.”
Because nobody likes a good jihad more than gay people do.
3. Bill O’Reilly cites thoroughly debunked statistics to show that there’s no such thing as police racism.
Bill O’Reilly’s reality does not allow for the possibility of any racial disparity in policing—especially a disparity which is anti-black. It does not seem to matter how much information, data and evidence there is to the contrary. O’Reilly is impervious to it. He often gets the opportunity to display his refusal to acknowledge this reality, and he did again this week with the horrific videotaped shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina.
The event afforded O’Reilly yet another chance to cite a statistic that he often uses and that has been thoroughly debunked—the one that says more whites than black are killed in encounters with police officers. O'Reilly did condemn Scott’s shooting at the hands of police officer Michael Slager—hard not to once the video emerged, but O’Reilly also wanted to make another point. He wanted to point out that police aren’t hunting down black Americans, at least not as much as they used to, and that "police shootings of black Americans" have fallen "70 percent in the last 40, 50 years."
This seems like cold comfort to the family of Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and Michael Crawford, both of Ohio, Eric Garner in New York, etc.. etc…, even less so when you consider, as O’Reilly obviously has not, that the statistic he is so desperately clinging to is not even true.
Politifact has called O'Reilly's claim that more whites are killed by police "mostly false," noting that he relied on "shaky" statistics that fail to "paint a complete picture" due to a lack of comprehensive national data on fatal shootings by police officers.
Oh, yeah, remember? No one actually keeps official count of police killings. So how would he know? There’s more, according to MediaMatters:
O'Reilly's statistics do not account for the disproportionate number of unarmed black Americans killed by police in the United States. As FiveThirtyEight notes:
In 2014 and March of 2015, Mapping Police Violence counted 297 people killed by police around the country who were unarmed. Of those people, 117 were African-American, 167 were not, and the project couldn't identify race for 13. That means 41 percent of unarmed people killed by police during that time in the database (with an identified race) were African-American, far out of proportion in a country that was 14 percent African-American in 2013.
And according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ), African Americans are the second "racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement," following Native Americans. The CJCJ also noted:
African Americans, 13 percent of the population, are victims in 26 percent of police shootings. Law enforcement kills African Americans at 2.8 times the rate of white non-Latinos, and 4.3 times the rate of Asians.
What will it take to get Bill O’Reilly to acknowledge reality? Nothing that is known to scientists, factcheckers, or the rest of humankind.
4. Donald Trump feels he could have negotiated a better deal with Iran, because he wrote a best-seller.
Wait, that’s not quite right. Donald Trump knows he could have gotten a better deal. Why? Because he is the world’s foremost expert on deals. We know this because he wrote, or his ghostwriter wrote, a bestselling book that has the word “deal” in its title. It’s called The Art of the Deal.
According to RightWingWatch, Trump told Iowa radio host Simon Conway last week that of course, NBC is desperate to have him return for more seasons of “The Apprentice,” because, who wouldn’t be? The trouble is that the Donald may have even more important things to do. He must save the country from its “incompetent president.”
Take the Iran nuclear negotiations, for instance. First of all, that phrase has the word “negotiations” in it, and “negotiate” is something that important businessmen like Trump do. The Iran deal has the word “deal” in it, and that is a word which appears in the title of a book Trump "wrote," called “The Art of the Deal.” Have you heard of it? You must have. Because it was a bestseller. It was, in Trump’s words, “the biggest-selling business book of all time,” read by multitudes of get-rich-quick aspirants. Now, according to USA Today, Trump’s literary masterpiece isn’t even on the list of best-selling business books of all time, but, details, details.
Here, nonetheless is what this bestselling author, faux presidential aspirant, silly silly man had to say about the historic Iran deal: “The deal is terrible, it’s going to lead to nuclear all over the place and everyone’s going to want to have it and it’s a disaster for Israel, I can tell you, it’s a disaster for this country,” he said. “And they just don’t know what they’re doing.”
Take it from him. He really knows what he is doing.
5. Fox Newsian sees everything on Walter Scott tape, except race? How do you even do that?
It was one of those rare weeks when even Fox Newsians had no choice but to admit that a videotape perfectly showed a reality that they normally would be climbing all over themselves to deny: a white police officer shot a fleeing black man in the back.
Irrefutable, right? Not debunkable. The camera does not lie. Many of them, notably Geraldo Rivera and Bill O’Reilly, performed the ole, “yes, but . . .” trick to try to make it seem like the situation that is now before the nation’s eyes is not exactly what it seems. Not murder exactly, says Rivera. Not a sign of a pattern of police abuse of black people, says O’Reilly. Not a reflection of the deep-seated, longstanding problem of White Supremacy carried out by police forces that have become more like occupying armies, say all the right-wingers always.
Fox’s Greg Gutfeld saw the tape—saw the horror of the tape like any human being, but unlike most (all) human beings, he did not see race. He saw a man shoot another man, all right, but the co-host of Fox’s “The Five” refused to acknowledge that they were men of different races.
“This is the great thing about that horrible, horrible tape, and why it’s necessary that cameras are everywhere,” Gutfeld said. “I didn’t see a black man killed by a white cop; I saw a man shoot another man in the back. I saw an actual act. You can’t theorize. You can’t come up with hypotheticals. You actually see that.”
Yes, you actually do see that. So why deny that you actually see a white cop kill a black man? We think you know why. It's the equivalent of the lie too often heard in liberal circles, “I don’t see color.”
We call “bullsh*t.”
6. Rudy Giuliani said something stupid and outrageous probably in private.
You know who has been curiously silent this week about Walter Scott’s killing by a white police officer? Rudy Giuliani. Weird right? Normally doesn’t miss a chance to bring up his favorite diversionary topic: black on black crime. Or the fact that Obama is to blame for this, probably by stressing cops out so much by being a black president that they have to shoot people to alleviate the stress. Rudy must be off his game. He'll be back.