Friday, December 26, 2014

Did Huffington Post's incitement and bias contribute to the murders of two NYPD officers?

HUFF-WATCH dedicates this report to the memories of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, their families and loved ones, and all police officers across America who put their lives on the line every day to help ensure our safety and security.

On Saturday, December 20, New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered by Ismaaiyl Abdulah Brinsley, who claimed on social media he did it to retaliate against alleged police misconduct across America. Without warning, Brinsley walked up to the officers, who were seated in a patrol car, and shot each one in the head multiple times.

What could drive a person to commit such a barbaric act, against two police officers who'd done him no harm? Irresponsible, unfair statements by influential public figures have helped to create a climate of distrust of police officers, as well as of our entire judicial system, for not prosecuting them for alleged wrongdoing. Numerous influential “news” entities have also failed to provide complete, balanced information to the general public about recent issues involving police officers.

The Huffington Post (owned by AOL), however, has been going farther than any other alleged “news” entity, in terms of pouring gasoline on this fire. Specifically, since the Michael Brown shooting in August, HuffPost has been consistently producing "news" stories that could only serve to whip up hatred against, and endanger police officers across America, through three primary means:
  • Incitement: HuffPost has repeatedly published incendiary, editorialized “news” headlines that paint the worst possible perception of police officers, up to and including calling them murderers. One headline (documented below) even asked, “Can the cops be stopped before they kill again?”
  • Selective editing: HuffPost has consistently excluded essential facts that are necessary to provide accurate context to its headlines (which would often also serve to undermine them).
  • Ignoring terrorist threats: HuffPost has pathologically ignored the progressively-worsening terroristic threats that have been made against police officers across America, both by “lone wolves” as and organized groups. This deliberate omission has served two purposes: to undermine the threats that every police officer across America faces, and to give tacit “free pass” and approval to these terrorist groups, especially when considering HuffPost's overt calls for purportedly defensive actions against police officers.
Were the Huffington Post just another website, these shameful practices would have little impact. As the #1 most-read online “newspaper” in the world, however, what HuffPost does carries weight, and has impact.

Eight examples of HuffPost's incitement, bias, lies and distortion

(1) "How To Get Away With Murder"

On December 4, HuffPost ran this as a “news” headline – an overt accusation that police officers “murdered” Eric Garner and other supposedly innocent people, and got away with it.  Attorney Ben Shapiro of Breitbart News demolished HuffPost's incendiary lie here.

(2) "Can The Cops Be Stopped Before They Kill Again?"

On December 6, HuffPost positioned this inflammatory editorial screed, not on the left margin, where its opinion pieces go --- but rather as a “news” item. How could any reasonable person view this as anything other than a call for direct action against police officers, everywhere?

(3) "They're Murdering Our Kids And Getting Away With It"

HuffPost ran this incendiary accusation as a “news” story on its front page for three consecutive days, from November 26-28, claiming that police officers are “murdering” black children and “getting away with it.”

Just one problem: any honest, first-year journalism student would be able to look at the individual cases cited, and realize how egregiously HuffPost used selective editing to omit inconvenient yet crucial facts, such as how many of these individuals were killed after having been observed committing crimes, or refusing to comply with police orders – or were pointing weapons at officers. Another inconvenient fact: the median age of the six “kids” profiled is 23.5 years old.


On August 18, HuffPost ran this incendiary call for action against officer Darren Wilson as a “news” story:

Keep in mind that the facts revealed in the coroner's report showed that the entire “Hands up, don't shoot!” narrative could not be true – and that Officer Wilson's account of what happened was supported by the physical evidence. But as in all the other examples cited herein, facts didn't matter to HuffPost; inciting hate against Wilson and other police officers, did.

(5) "(Grand Jury) Gets Basic Job Wrong"

On November 25, just below the announcement that the grand jury had decided not to indict Officer Wilson, HuffPost alleged (in a “news” headline) that the grand jury “got its basic job wrong”:

Contrary to HuffPost's inflammatory assertion, as the Washington Times pointed out, legal scholars from across America agreed that the Ferguson grand jury:
“was unusual, it was not unfair. Rather if it was anything unusual, it was in its fairness and openness. Lawyers and academics [said] that, despite their personal opinions on the case, which has sparked riots over police brutality, St. Louis county prosecutor Robert McCulloch sought unbiased justice in presenting the jury with every piece of evidence and then making that evidence public.”
The reality of the situation clashed with HuffPost's thirst to incite hate against police officers, so of course, the facts had to be quashed.

(6) "THE FIX IS IN: "Allegations Of Police Misconduct Rarely Result In Charges"

The next day, November 26, HuffPost published this allegation, as part of a larger splash headline:

Given the cauldron of lies, distortion and incitement that HuffPost itself created, one need not wonder why it would publish such an inflammatory headline, mere hours after Ferguson erupted in violence.

(7) "Rabbis Arrested After Reciting Kaddish For Eric Garner"

For three consecutive days, on December 5-7, HuffPost ran this inflammatory allegation as a “news” headline on its front page, alleging that rabbis were arrested after saying a prayer (kaddish) for Eric Garner:

Is that really what happened? Were these rabbis really arrested just for saying a prayer?  Of course not. 

As HuffPost knew, these rabbis were standing in a busy New York street intersection, and refused to move when ordered to by police. HuffPost's original “news” story, however, mentioned none of that. (The fact that HuffPost attempted to whitewash what really happened concerning these rabbis is laughable, given its pathological incitement of hatred against Jews and Israel. Who can forget its lie-filled “news” story, that Mitt Romney was chased away from a wedding by a "pack of Jews"?) 


On September 24, HuffPost published this incendiary splash headline, insinuating that police officers just ran into a Wal-Mart and gunned down a (black) man, for no reason:

As in all the other cases, HuffPost knew the truth – but failed to even hint at it in the headline. In reality, as its own version of the story (and a more responsible one in the Washington Post) showed, (a) police officers responded to a call that a man was walking around the store with a rifle, pointing it at people; and (b) the officers ordered the gunman, John Crawford III, to drop the rifle, but he refused to do so, after which they shot him.

Given all these facts, it is worthwhile to note that Arianna Huffington, HuffPost's Editor-In-Chief, has publicly stated in 2010 that she prohibited “inflammatory claims and conspiracy theories” at HuffPost, and urged Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, to do the same:
"[At HuffPost] there are guidelines that have to be followed -- and they include a prohibition on conspiracy theories or inflammatory claims. […] For context, it's good to remember that Glenn Beck didn't come out of nowhere. He's the latest example of what the great historian Richard Hofstadter called "the paranoid style in American politics," which he defined as angry minds that traffic in "heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy," and that see "the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms... always manning the barricades of civilization."
And in regards to HuffPost deliberately leaving out vital facts that clash with its agenda, but are necessary to provide readers with accurate perceptions of these contentious issues, it's worth considering how Ms. Huffington described what makes HuffPost better than its "news" rivals:
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
- Arianna Huffington

HuffPost consistently ignores terrorist threats against police 

HuffPost also steadfastly avoided publishing any of the terroristic threats that were leveled against police officers, across America. For example:

Christmas Eve: HuffPost published another egregiously false, inflammatory accusation against police

On December 24, HuffPost published a false account of a supposed eyewitness to the death of Antonio Martin, who was shot by police near Ferguson, Missouri after he pointed a gun at an officer.  

In summary, HuffPost was contacted by a anonymous blogger, "Jesus Christo," on Christmas Eve (gee, no red flags there!), who claimed that he was with Martin, who was unarmed, yet was shot by the police officer without cause.  HuffPost published this incendiary allegation without even doing the barest amount of research to determine if this "eyewitness" was even on the scene (he wasn't), as its own "reporter" later admitted. 

If HuffPost's negligence and misreporting of facts concerning police shootings were limited to this idiotic incident, it would deserve significant scorn.  Instead, as this report shows, that was merely the tip of the iceberg - and the only incident that was publicly exposed (until now).


Individually and collectively, HuffPost's acts and omissions violate not only the most basic standards of journalistic integrity, they stand in stark contrast to Ms. Huffington's repeated claims that it is a “nonpartisan” newspaper, just one of the many lies that she has told the general public about the “newspaper” that bears her name since it went live.

Ismaaiyl Abdulah Brinsley.
Was he a HuffPost reader?

Returning now to the central question posed in this article: did HuffPost's incitement and bias against police officers lead directly or indirectly to Ismaaiyl Abdulah Brinsley's murder of NYPD officers Ramos and Liu? This can only be ascertained by a forensic analysis of his computer and mobile devices, and interviews with those close to him.

What is crystal-clear, though, is that if Brinsley relied only on HuffPost for his “news” about police and judicial affairs in America, the incitement and bias he would have observed could only have helped to nudge him from merely being angry, into a far more agitated state. And in reaction to HuffPost's question, “Can the cops be stopped before they kill again?,” Brinsley may have said, “Yes – and I will be the one who stops the two cops sitting in that car from killing again.”

Now, the only question that remains is: Will the corporations that have enabled HuffPost to engage in this behavior, through their advertising dollars, continue to do so?

ACTION ITEMS: There are only two things that enable HuffPost to engage in this reprehensible behavior. Here's how you can help make a difference.

The two things that enable HuffPost to engage in this behavior are:
  • The money it gets from its roster of top-flight advertisers --- including American Express, Chevrolet, Citibank, and many other top brands.
  • The silence of "journalists" who avidly read HuffPost, yet avert their eyes from the reality that's staring them in the face --- and which we report, and send them, on a regular basis
Here's how you can help:
  • Contact HuffPost's advertisers --- especially those with whom you already do business.
    Let them know your thoughts on how HuffPost has been using the money they provide it to engage in this persistent pattern of anti-U.S. military incitement, and bias.
  • Send this article to journalists, newspapers and TV networks that you trust --- whether on a local or national basis.
    Ask them to take a look at our documentation, and urge them to do some investigating. As you can see, throughout HUFF-WATCH is an encyclopedic cornucopia of physical evidence that backs up every aspect of every one of our allegations.

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