Perspectives: Fox News, AP abused Black youth
GEORGE E. CURRY | 6/22/2015, 10:38 a.m.
(NNPA) – Fox News blowhards will never admit that in covering the racially-charged swimming pool incident in McKinney, Texas, they blew it. But that’s exactly what they did. And rather than acknowledge that they went overboard in defending the misconduct of the police officer involved – conduct that the chief of police later described as “out of control” – some of the network’s personalities are attacking those who pointed out that they messed up.
Fortunately, there was videotape of the unfortunate June 5 incident at a swimming pool in Craig Ranch, a predominantly White subdivision in McKinney about 30 miles north of Dallas.
The video, which has received more than 11 million views on YouTube, shows a police officer identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt attempting to throw Dajerria Becton, a slim, 15-year-old, bikini-clad African American, to the sidewalk.
“He told me to walk away and I did,” Becton told KDFW-TV. “Next thing I know I’m on the ground.”
The video, shot by a White teenager, shows Casebolt throwing Becton to the ground as she starts to walk away, yelling to her, “On your face.” He is seen grabbing her by the hair and placing his knee in her back while she was pinned to the ground under the weight of his body.
At one point, Casebolt drew his revolver and pointed it at two Black males until two of his fellow officers intervened and restrained him.
More than a half-dozen Fox commentators defended Casebolt, despite the video. One guest, Bo Dietl, was allowed to speculate about what one of the teens might have told the officer. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs asked, “what in the world” are police supposed to do when people “refuse to obey” their orders?
Fox News host Megyn Kelly said “the girl was no saint either. He had told her to leave, and she continued to linger. And when the cop tells you to leave, you get out.” Kelly added, “I’m not defending his actions, let me make that clear.”
After mediamatters.org, the watchdog group, reported her remarks, Kelly took to the air to charge that “some of the left-wing press continue to use this incident to dishonestly push their own agenda.” However, she neglected to note that even some conservatives had criticized her.
For example, Reason.com stated, “Some conservatives, unfortunately, are falling over themselves to defend the police – the one kind of public employee who can do no wrong in the eyes of all-too many people on the right. Media Matters compiled a disheartening list of Fox News personalities raising baseless hypotheticals that could (maybe) justify Casebolt’s rash actions.”
Meanwhile, Casebolt’s behavior was so abhorrent that he has resigned and apologized for his actions.
Police Chief Greg Conley said, “Our policies, our training, our practice doesn’t support his actions. He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows was out of control during the incident.”
Fox News wasn’t the only offender.
A Daily Kos headline summed it up best: “Associated Press publishes hit job on Tamir Rice.”