The media’s false claim that Kyle Rittenhouse was “armed with an AR-15 style rifle” when he “crossed state lines” before his fatal confrontations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has resulted in numerous corrections and substantial mockery.
Moreover, the misleading coverage of the trial shows no signs of ceasing.
The AR-15 style rifle was stored at Dominick Black’s house, a friend of Rittenhouses’ who was also dating his sister.
It’s just a 30 min. drive from Antioch, where Rittenhouse lives just south of the state border, to Kenosha, where several of his family members, including his father, live, and Rittenhouse worked as a lifeguard. In addition, Dominick Black, Rittenhouses’ 20-year-old friend, said he had previously purchased an AR-15 firearm for Rittenhouse, as Fox News reported.
However, the terms “crossed state lines” and “armed with an AR-15 style rifle” widely used by several media channels have misled the coverage, giving the impression that Rittenhouse came with the weapon from a long distance away before committing the deadly incidents.
‘Big names’ wrongly used their language
Insider reported that Kyle Rittenhouse “illegally brought a gun” “across state lines,” referring to it as “perhaps the most persistent myth,” particularly peddling it again and again in liberal media outlets, in print, and on television, before and even during the trial.
CBS News correspondent Mark Strassman fell into the same trap on Sunday’s “Face The Nation,” publicly claiming that “Rittenhouse drove in from Illinois armed for battle,” causing the outlet to release an official correction and apology for its language, as Fox News reported.
MSNBC’s John Heilemann even made the more serious mistake, mentioning: “The 17-year-old vigilante, arguably a domestic terrorist, picked up a rifle, drove to a different state to shoot people.” His college at MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough repeated his mistake on Nov. 1, saying: “Not only was he not standing his ground, he wasn’t even standing in his own state,”
CNN was not an exception. On Nov. 16, left-wing CNN anchor Don Lemon referred to Rittenhouse as “a White teenager who crossed state lines with an AR-15-style rifle”.
Left-wing “Peacock” comedian Amber Ruffin repeated the wrong term right on the day of the acquittal. Her twitter video captures 8 million views without being flagged as misinformation, saying: “It’s not OK for a man to grab a rifle, travel across state lines, and shoot three people, and then walk free.”
Other famous media outlets keep appearing on the language-used-wrongly list, including “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg, legal analyst Areva Martin, MSNBC’s Dean Obeidallah, and MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley, and the New York Times’s Glenn Thrush.
To make matters worse, on Nov. 11, ABC’s Joy Behar performed two false assertions, saying the suspect “goes across state lines with an AR-15, with his mother.” Then, a few minutes later, Behar corrected the remark about his mother without mentioning the rifle.
Some media outlets ‘accepted their mistakes’
Reuters and Washington Post later reversed the situation by announcing their corrections despite making the same mistakes with other media outlets.
Besides Reuters and Washington Post, Glamour, Esquire, Deadspin, and Gothamist also issue their corrections.
“This Nov. 19 story corrects third paragraph to make clear Rittenhouse did not bring his weapon from Illinois to Wisconsin,” Reuters reported. The New York Post wrote: “Rittenhouse has testified that he picked up the weapon from a friend’s house in Wisconsin. This article has been corrected,”
Fox News Digital to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Peacock, Gothamist, and writers at Glamour, Esquire, and Deadspin haven’t given any comments responding to request for comment.
Media agencies failed to realize the wrongly-used term ‘crossed state lines’
Although several media channels have publicly declared their corrections, noting that the rifle was already in Wisconsin, they failed to realize another term wrongly used, “crossed state lines,” and continued repeating it.
Even an “insider” in the media industry, Journalist Bari Weiss, the former New York Times opinion editor, has become the victim of news coverage’s misleading when believing that Rittenhouse indeed traveled with his rifle across state lines to another town.
The satirical Babylon Bee appears with the term “across state lines” on their headline as a way to mock other media, saying, “Media Warns Thousands Of Americans Planning To Cross State Lines To Celebrate Thanksgiving.”
Even ‘the suspect’ got a ‘wrong name’
During and even after Rittenhouse’s trial, Media outlets, progressive pundits, and lawmakers made a severe mistake, calling the teenager “a murderer” and “a White supremacist.” In response, Rittenhouse said that he could take legal action, according to his exclusive interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that aired Monday.