The killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have inspired some genuinely inspirational journalism. But, like any major news story — especially those centered around race and class — it’s also inspired some mind-numbingly stupid coverage.
Here are five of the dumbest pieces of commentary to emerge from Ferguson (so far):
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham joined Fox & Friends on Thursday morning, to explain why Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson was wrong to try to “engage with the community” in Ferguson: Because “thugs are thugs.”
After complaining that “community activists” are lying about the situation, Ingraham added that Attorney General Holder and President Obama are being far more lenient on the Ferguson protesters than they would have been if “Tea Party activists came to Washington D.C. after the IRS scandal broke and decided to start smashing windows, rampaging through neigborhoods, and throwing firebombs.”
Curiously, Ingraham didn’t have such a problem with the armed protesters at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April; in fact, she referred to them as the “new Freedom Riders.”
Right-wing radio host Bryan Fischer initially responded to Michael Brown’s death by complaining that by not immediately speaking out, President Obama had revealed that he doesn’t actually care about black people.
But after learning that Brown had marijuana in his system at the time of his death, Fischer began singing a different tune.
“We know now he did have marijuana in his system,” Fischer declared, “and we’ve had stories, remember, we’ve had stories from Colorado, people going berserk on marijuana and killing people, hyped up on marijuana. So it’s more dangerous than people think.”
Although that is a comically inaccurate description of marijuana’s effects, at least Fischer had evidence that Brown actually used the drug. That’s more than Fox News’ Jim Pinkerton can say for his theory.
While lamenting the use of tear gas in Ferguson on Tuesday morning, CNN’s Rosemary Church offered a different suggestion: Why don’t the majority-white police turn firehoses against the majority-black protesters?
The look on co-anchor Errol Barnett’s face says it all:
Missouri native Rush Limbaugh won the right-wing race to the bottom, by tying the Obama administration’s response to the 2012 attack in Benghazi.
Like Ingraham, Limbaugh is upset that the Department of Justice is getting involved.
“How many FBI agents investigated the Tea Party scandal with the IRS? None.” Limbaugh said. “How many FBI agents went to Benghazi to investigate what happened there? That was zero, again.”
Could that be because the IRS scandal was made up, and the Benghazi attack occurred far outside the FBI’s jurisdiction?
No, it’s probably reverse racism.
Even Limbaugh’s reponse wasn’t as sorry as that of conspiracy-minded Fox Radio host Todd Starnes.
In a Monday Facebook post, Starnes accused President Obama of “orchestrating the Michael Brown tragedy,” and of being “in cahoots” with Al Sharpton, whom Starnes describes as a “bona fide race hustler.”
The uncivil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri continues — and it appears the Obama administration may be orchestrating the Michael Brown tragedy.
NBC News is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder and Valerie Jarrett are the administration’s point persons, going so far as to arrange a federal autopsy.
It was Holder who tried to convince the Ferguson Police Department not to release the video purportedly showing Brown involved in a strong-arm robbery.
He also ordered local authorities to stop using armored tanks — even though officers were fending off Molotov cocktail bombs. It was a decision that in essence led to government sanctioned lawlessness.
The LA Times reports Jarrett and Holder have been discussing their game plan with the likes of Al Sharpton.
So while President Obama whacks golf balls and dances the two-step in tony Martha’s Vineyard, his administration is in cahoots with a bona fide race hustler.
Starnes hasn’t reserved his anger for the president; he also spoke out against the journalists who have been detained by police during the protests, calling them “moron[s].”