The News Media Helped Pull the Trigger

D.W. Wilber
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Posted: Nov 23, 2016 12:01 AM
The News Media Helped Pull the Trigger

On Wednesday evening, the night before Thanksgiving Day in St. Louis there will be a charity event called “Guns and Hoses”, an annual event pitting Police Officers and Firefighters against each other in amateur three round boxing matches. A celebratory evening bringing thousands of people together and filling the St. Louis hockey arena for a noble cause.

The money raised during this event helps to support the surviving families of police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Sadly this year there is great need in the law enforcement community for the help that this event provides to the families of the fallen.

All across America police departments have been forced to double up on officers assigned to squad cars patrolling our city’s streets. Where once it wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a single officer driving around in a police car, nowadays more often than not you’re going to find two officers riding together. Always a dangerous occupation, increasing the protection of police officers on patrol has become even more necessary in Obama’s America of 2016.

The dangers faced by police have never been taken lightly by those serving on the front lines in law enforcement. But why does it seem that this year policing has become much more dangerous in America ? It certainly appears that we have seen more police being ambushed while on duty than ever before ? The truth is that indeed it has become a much more dangerous profession.

While there have been years in the past when there have been more police officers killed than what has been experienced so far this year, there are a variety of explanations for this. Better equipment, better training, better educated people entering the profession certainly are part of the answer.

But the reason for this increase in danger for cops out on the streets is really pretty simple. The American news media has contributed greatly to the dangers police officers face on the streets of America. With the power of the press and the 24-hour cable news cycle, much of the news media has created the atmosphere whereby it has become much more acceptable to shoot at a police officer, especially among America’s minority underclass it seems.

Where once it was typical for people to comply with an officer’s instructions, nowadays it seems that it is much more common for an individual to refuse to comply, forcing the escalation of a situation to where officers may be forced to use higher levels of force, including even deadly force.

Long ago the American news media stopped even trying to hide the fact that they no longer just report the news as fairly and accurately as they are able to. And as is expected by the people viewing the evening TV news, or reading the daily paper. Nowadays it would seem that most of the news media is far more interested in supporting a particular political agenda than just informing the public.

A perfect example was in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 where the news media joined in, and even took the lead in the “hands up, don’t shoot” false narrative following the justified police shooing of black teenager Michael Brown. The officer involved was quickly demonized and convicted by the news media even before the detectives had packed up their bags from the crime scene.

For months that same lie basically went unchallenged by reporters on the scene who had access to much of the same information that was available to the police and Justice Department investigators, and which clearly indicated to any objective observer that the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was indeed a lie.

Yet reporters chose to let Ferguson burn instead of publishing the truth, which had they done so may have helped to bring the Ferguson riots to a quicker end. And thereby also preventing the loss of life and damage to property that resulted from the false reports almost daily coming from irresponsible journalists who failed to check and only report the facts. Or journalists who simply wanted to feed a false narrative to support a personal political agenda. All while police officers bravely stood the line in Ferguson for months who were being subjected to nightly sniper fire, taunting, and rocks and bricks being thrown in their direction for hours on end.

The same media failures occurred in Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and elsewhere, where police officers guilty of nothing but doing their best to protect and serve the public were being vilified and threatened. The result of the media’s failure to report the news accurately when officers were placed in dangerous and difficult situations, where split second decisions often times determine whether someone lives or dies. Often times the police officer themselves. Sadly requiring events like the annual “Guns and Hoses” evening in St. Louis honoring the fallen who gave their lives protecting the streets of America.

So the news media may not have actually held the gun that has killed and wounded so many of America’s police officers over the past couple of years, but the American news media has helped pull the trigger through their sensationalized and often misleading reporting. Whether they want to admit it or not.