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Ferguson, MO: Cable News and You

by John on 08/16/2014

The situation in Ferguson, MO after the death of 18 year old Michael Brown is going to be tense for some time.

Be careful with your tweets and posts. But watch carefully for the news and different posts you see.

First, we don’t know how the exact circumstances of how Michael was killed or how the officer was involved. I want to see more video; video that probably only prosecutors will see. And I want to see the autopsy reports.

Second, there are so many stories and evidence flying around. Did he really steal cigars from a store? I want to see that video. But then we hear that Officer Darren Wilson didn’t know about the alleged robbery; he was telling them to get off the street apparently.

Third, take what you hear on cable news – especially MSNBC and Fox – with a lot of skepticism.

The other morning – Friday morning to be exact – I switched between Fox and MSNBC to watch their coverage. Again, this is not scientific, but I think it is indicative of what both these networks do.

On MSNBC, the emphasis was on the lack of information coming from the police spokesperson. Most obvious was the first public recognition of who the officer – Darren Wilson – was.

But on Fox, the emphasis was about the alleged facial injuries the officer had from the confrontation when he apparently pulled Michael Brown through his patrol car window before the shooting.

There is also plenty of speculation about why two journalists were arrested by Ferguson, MO Police.

Some say the journalists were wrong. When a cop tells you to pack up all your stuff while sitting in a McDonald’s, you do it. Instead, the journalists in questions alleged began shooting video of the incident. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Politico’s Mike Allen both sided with the cops. They took a lot of flack. I tend to side with the journalists. But my former colleague, Michael Horowicz, one of the best in the business, disagreed. He said when a cop tells you to leave, you leave. I disagree.

Is Michael right and I am wrong? We don’t know yet.

081614_1937_FergusonMOC2.jpgThis is Michael in the photo. He is the ugly one on the left.

But my job as a media analyst and coach, I would tell the Ferguson, MO, you screwed up. Tell the reporter, you can keep videotaping, but I need to get you out because it could be dangerous. I don’t know if that was said.

Still, I am going to give Horowicz tons of crap for this because he gives me so much.  “Michael, you don’t stick up for your own profession?”

Your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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