Joe Scarborough amplified a rumor this morning related to the shooting of two L.A. deputies.
"I wanted to just bring that up," he said to Rev. Al Sharpton.
"And I know that you are going to have harsh words for the protesters that blocked the entrance of the hospital and were shouting they hoped that these police officers, these young police officers with children at home, they were chanting they hoped, these protesters were chanting they hoped that they died. How sick, how absolutely sick some people are out there.
"What should the message be from those 25 million peaceful protesters, the Black Lives Matter protests, to those people shouting those sick, vile comments about men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving, not just the people of Los Angeles but all of America?"
Except that isn't what happened. No one's verified that anyone other than this ONE PERSON said this:
The wingnut media immediately turned up the Mighty Wurlitzer and turned it into a screaming mob who were not only chanting, "We hope they die," but was blocking ambulances. (There was video of what appears to be one person standing in the way, and he got arrested. No mob that I could find.)
The sheriff's department also pushed an apparently fabricated story about an NPR journalist without credentials interfering in the arrest. Looks like that didn't happen, either:
As you can see, no chanting mob in sight:
No interference with an arrest -- and of course, she was wearing her press credentials:
I can't stress this enough: Cops frequently lie, especially when they get a chance to make it look like they're the victims. (Remember the alleged tampon in the LAPD cop's coffee? The "poisoned" milkshakes from Shake Shack? The Kansas City cop who claimed a McDonald's worker wrote "f*cking pig" on his coffee cup? The Utah cop who accused a Subway worker of spiking his drink with THC and meth?)
People in the news business know this, and should be careful about taking cops' words at face value. It's not just lazy journalism -- it's dangerous and inflammatory.
Now, I don't actually think of Joe Scarborough as a journalist, but he sometimes plays one on TV. He should take it more seriously when he does.
P.S. Just as I was finishing this up, Hallie Jackson just repeated the "chanting protesters" story.