October 23, 2014

The sliming of Michael Brown is in full swing now. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch somehow got hold of the official autopsy report and proceeded to get an expert analysis of it, which they then twisted into an article about how Darren Wilson's account was supported. That prompted the Washington Post to go with their own article using the Post-Dispatch's as the basis.

Worse yet, when confronted by protesters and their representatives about the leaks, the smarmy reply from St. Louis officials was that they weren't leaking, so it must have come from the feds. The feds slapped them around hard over that one.

LA Times reporter Matt Pearce:

St. Louis County prosecutor’s office spokesman Ed Magee said his office probably wouldn’t investigate the leaks because prosecutors could not force journalists to divulge their sources and because the information could be coming from federal officials in Washington.

“There’s really nothing to investigate,” Magee said Wednesday. “We don’t have control over anybody leaking anything. All we can control is people in our office and the grand jury, and it’s not coming from us or the grand jury.”

He said that “you can tell by the information they have” that the leaks are not coming from the grand jury or the prosecutor’s office, citing reports using sourcing language such as “officials briefed on the investigation.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman responded in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

The reference to the convenience-store footage alluded to a video released by Ferguson police on the same day they disclosed Wilson's identity. The video showed Brown apparently intimidating a store clerk shortly before the shooting.

Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American, a newspaper for black audiences, said law enforcement officials had offered him the leaks, saying “they had been briefed on the evidence and it didn't look good for Michael Brown supporters,” but he declined and decried “third-party hearsay” in an editorial for the paper.

See what they did there? That has to be the smarmiest statement I've ever heard coming out of any official's mouth.

But the Post-Dispatch gets the award for twisting around what expert Judy Melinek actually said with regard to the autopsy report. Gunpowder residue that is consistent with one person's story does not mean it's the only way that residue could be where it was found. But that's exactly what the Post-Dispatch did.

Lawrence O'Donnell spent a good chunk of his show on Wednesday night going through the differences between what the Post-Dispatch reported and what she actually said. The video at the top is a small clip where she discusses the differences between how they wrote the article and what she said.

Watch the entire interview below.

The latest installment of slime to cover Brown also came from the Post-Dispatch, who was the beneficiary of yet another "leak," reporting that Darren Wilson says Brown was charging him. Even the leaked autopsy report doesn't support that.

This is classic behavior when prosecutors don't want to actually get an indictment. They just leak and leak like a sieve, slime the victim and make it all the fault of the dead guy who can't talk back. Is it any wonder Ferguson is restive?


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