Megyn Kelly was another Fox host who shrugged off the scathing Department of Justice findings about the Ferguson, Missouri criminal justice system in order to fixate on ways to attack African Americans upset about the shooting death of Michael Brown.
As The New York Times noted:
The report gave credence to many of the grievances aired last year by African-Americans in angry, sometimes violent protests after the deadly police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old. Though the Justice Department separately concluded that the officer, Darren Wilson, who is white, violated no federal laws in that shooting, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said investigations revealed the root of the rage that brought people into the streets.
But to Kelly, the only facts that seemed to matter were that Wilson had been cleared and that the DOJ had not found sufficient evidence to conclude that Brown’s hands were actually up, in a surrender position, at the time he was shot.
Kelly said, “Many are asking on his (Wilson’s) behalf tonight where do you go to get your reputation back?
Kelly was practically shouting as she said excitedly, “Federal prosecutors found Wilson’s account to be credible! …Brown did not have gunshot wounds to his back! …This is from Eric Holder’s DOJ!
Democratic Guest Mark Hannah said that the Ferguson protests did not start “because of some misquote of ‘hands up’ or ‘don’t shoot.’” He tried to explain that there was a “perception…”
But we never got to hear about that perception because Kelly didn’t want to hear about the racism and improprieties uncovered by the investigation. No, now that Wilson had been exonerated, it was time to convict Al Sharpton and other black leaders who had joined the “hands up, don’t shoot” protests.
Kelly interrupted, “Why do you discount that it was both of those things, that it was people like Al Sharpton out there stoking the fires and, separately, these terrible relations between the police force and the community?”
Hannah noted that “bad behavior” didn’t begin to describe the misdeeds of the Ferguson police department. He also said the report found “a broad pattern of racist policing that gives all cops a bad name.”
Hannah was correct. The Times also noted that the DOJ found:
(T)he city had engaged in so many constitutional violations that they could be corrected only by abandoning its entire approach to policing, retraining its employees and establishing new oversight.”
In one example after another, the report described a city that used its police and courts as moneymaking ventures, a place where officers stopped and handcuffed people without probable cause, hurled racial slurs, used stun guns without provocation, and treated anyone as suspicious merely for questioning police tactics.
But in Kelly’s mind, the only real crime was black people protesting with the phrase, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
She started shouting, “So that justifies this, Mark?” She showed a group of people standing peacefully with their hands up. “What we saw? All these folks with their hands up, don’t shoot? Which DID. NOT. HAPPEN!”
As Kelly should know, there are many phrases that have become lodged in the public mind that are not accurate. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said Israel should be “wiped off the map,” Sarah Palin never said “I can see Russia from my house” (Tina Fey said it on SNL) but they’ve become cultural shorthand that means something real. Same thing with “Hands up, don’t shoot.” If Kelly had bothered to interview an African American about the Ferguson report (and it’s telling that she didn’t), I’d bet that he or she would say that the phrase is about cops killing unarmed African Americans, not the specifics of the Michael Brown case.
But Kelly’s racial hostility is even more inexcusable given her own racial conduct in other cases. As I’ve previously written, Kelly previously conducted an orchestrated series of accusations – over at least 45 segments - that Holder had refused to prosecute some members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation because they’re black. Even though no voter intimidation had occurred.
If Kelly has ever apologized to Holder for those wrongful accusations, I’ve missed it. And ll that sanctimony against African Americans holding up their hands? It's nowhere to be found when Adams shows up. No, he’s still a credible source for racial attacks on Holder, as far as Kelly is concerned.
It’s a darned shame that Hannah didn’t call her out on it.
Watch it above, from last night’s The Kelly File. (H/T Salon.com)
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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