The Disgraceful Exploitation Of Ken Bone, With This Ethics Note: Ken Is 100% Correct That Trayvon Martin’s Shooting Was Justified, While Journalists And Pundits Who Criticize Him For Saying So Are Big Lie Purveyors

ken-bone

I’m glad I could clear that up.

Poor Ken Bone, the man in the red sweater who was chosen as a designated undecided voter to ask a question at the last debate, embodies Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame” comment because, apparently, the news media has to come up with trivia to write about so it doesn’t have to inform the public about substance they actually need to know about. The perfectly unremarkable man chosen to ask a question at this fake “town meeting” should have been allowed to do his job and then go back to his normal life, but no. Silliness demanded that he be lionized and bestowed with celebrity status. Even the usually rational Jake Tapper got into the act, telling his viewers…

All day long, my staff and I, we’ve been pondering this important question, “What makes Ken Bone so awesome?” …Why do we all find him so charming? Is it the red sweater? That was actually his backup outfit after he says he split his pants to his olive-cover colored suit. Maybe it’s the mustache? Perhaps it’s the disposable camera he used to snap pics after the debate. Ken Bone’s name started trending online during the debate. Now, Mr. Bone is making the TV interview rounds. He told CNN earlier today about his new following on Twitter…. He’s even more awesome than ever, just watching that clip. [His Twitter following]  is more than 30,000 now, and the Ken Bone memes are everywhere. There’s Ken Bone with the 90s rap group, Bone Thugs-n- Harmony. How about the Ken Bone Halloween costume?

How about stopping the condescension and tongue in cheek mockery, Jake? Yeccch. It is nothing less than cruel to throw someone into the maw of celebrity like this, a throbbing neon target to social media bullies and the Twitter Furies who have nothing more productive to do in their mean, measly, pointless lives than mock, ridicule and attack a citizen who tried to participate responsibly in an irresponsible election. Now he is under national scrutiny for his clothing, his weight and his moustache. What is wrong with these people? Is the Golden Rule extinct?

Don’t blame Ken because he accepted invitations to appear on TV after his big moment. He’s never been a celebrity before. If he had done some research, he would have discovered that most ordinary Americans thrust into the celebrity machine come to regret it, but for him this is different, this is exciting, this is fun! He gets flown to places he’s never been, and put up at nice hotels, and treated like royalty. Some ad agencies will try to recruit him for a disposable commercial or two: who turns down money? Who turns away from their 15 minutes, if it comes? Would you? We can’t blame him, because he is a good person, and good people often make the dangerous mistake of assuming that the people they deal with, like the news media are also good people. Unfortunately, they cannot be trusted.

Thus what has happened to Ken Bone was completely predictable. Having been built up by irresponsible journalists like Tapper into something he never asked to be—National Puppy of the Month would be a good name for it—it was inevitable that other irresponsible journalists would see cheap columns and clicks from tearing Bone down. Even though Bone had told the media that he was leaning toward voting for Clinton, vicious  progressives—the mistreatment of Ken Bone comes entirely from the left—dissected his comments when he  participated in an “Ask Me Anything” forum on  Reddit, using them to denigrate him. They also went back to check other statements he had made on the site. What they found was virtually nothing; I find myself imagining what these cruel, unethical people would do with everything I’ve written online. Never mind: it was enough. In response to “Truth or Dare” style questioning, Ken…

  • Admitted that he watched porn and peeked at Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos when they were hacked.
  • Admitted to forging insurance documents so that he could keep a pizza delivery job. This, despicably, was headline on some sites as “insurance fraud.” It is not insurance fraud. It is lying. Insurance fraud occurs when someone collect insurance payments based on false representations, not when someone falsely claims to be insured.

“Worst of all,” we were told, and thus most publicized of all, Bone opined months ago that Trayvon Martin’s shooting was “justified.”

The Horror.

It is part of the current politically correct narrative to keep Black Lives Matter from being properly recognized as the racist propaganda organization that it is for the progressive community to preserve and protect the Big Lie that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin because he was black. The lie persists on liberal websites; it was enabled at the Democratic National Convention when Martin’s mother was allowed on stage in a mass pander to the victims of police shootings; it is advanced every time Martin’s name is included in the litany of young black men supposedly killed by a “systemic racism.” Whatever other cases may show, Trayvon Martin’s death only stands for racism and murder because unscrupulous, dishonest, and on occasion ignorant activists, politicians and journalists want it to.

There has never been any evidence that George Zimmerman profiled Martin, who was a stranger walking through a gated community at night. MSNBC even altered a 911 tape to make it sound like this was the case, and a Big Lie was born. There has never been any evidence that prior to the tragic encounter, Zimmerman had  expressed racist views. The evidence that is available shows that Martin confronted Zimmerman, not the other way around. Finally, investigators established that Zimmerman was being beaten by Martin and reasonably felt in mortal danger when he shot the teen. Those are the facts, and based on those facts, a jury properly acquitted Zimmerman of murder applying the doctrine of self-defense, which made the death of Martin a legally justified killing under Florida law and all criminal law going back centuries. Bone’s comment on Reddit…

bone-tweet

…is entirely accurate, fair, and reasonable.

I didn’t just read about the shooting like Bone, I watched all the testimony in the trial as part of my research on the legal ethics of the prosecution.  As I have written here extensively, the prosecution was incompetent and unethical, the charges were unethical, and the trial itself, like the Freddy Gray trials in Baltimore, were show trials designed to satisfy a mob determined to see racism and a race-motivated murder of an innocent black man independent of reality. The jury that acquitted Zimmerman was brave, wise, and fair. It had no choice but to find Zimmerman not guilty, because proof to the contrary was entirely absent, never mind proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyone, any blogger, commentator, pundit or journalist who describes the Zimmerman-Martin Train Wreck as a case where the shooting was not legally justified is perpetrating a Big Lie, and trying to re-write history by deceiving the public.  This is so important to some progressives that they are even willing to attack an apparently fair and decent man for accurately describing a jury verdict!

Daily Beast writer Tom Sykes, for example, was allowed to get this junk published on the site (yes, an ethical site’s editors would have stopped him):

“Most damaging of all, he suggested the killing of Trayvon Martin was “legally justified”—however we should note that Bone did go on to add that George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the killing of the unarmed teenager on the basis of Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, was a “big ole shit bird.”

Why is accurately describing a correct jury verdict “damaging”? Bone didn’t “suggest” that the shooting was justified: it was justified. The verdict justified it, and was justified because the shooting was justified.. The evidence justified it. The justice system says it was justified. So does the law. It is Sykes who misstates the case, and unforgivably so.

Zimmerman was not acquitted under the Stand Your Ground law. Why does Sykes  falsely state this? He does it because the Stand Your Ground laws are a hated target of the anti-gun left, and since they believe those laws are unjust, for Zimmerman to be exonerated by such a law proves that the shooting was unjust. The laws. however state that an individual does not have to retreat from a perceived threat when he is somewhere he has a right to be, and can resort to deadly force if necessary. Zimmerman, however, was under Martin being beaten by him, and couldn’t retreat. The law didn’t apply, and wasn’t applied. It was a pure self-defense situation, and the self-defense doctrine justified the acquittal. This is well documented and well-known, and few authorities dispute it. Some think that Zimmerman should have been charged with manslaughter, and all believe that he lit the fuse that resulted in the teen being killed, but the shooting was self-defense, aka. justifiable homicide.

Why did a journalist misrepresent the fact? Why did a prominent progressive website publish his misrepresentation?  The Big Lie, of course! Keep repeating it, and eventually that will be what “happened.” A white man ( Zimmerman is mixed-race Hispanic) stalked (he did not) a young black teen because of his race (Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer and worried about burglaries, not blacks), attacked him (testimony from the star state witness suggested that Martin attacked Zimmerman) and Zimmerman used a gun that shouldn’t be legal  (Damn Bill of Rights!) to fatally shoot a defenseless black child (Six feet tall, Martin had Zimmerman on his back and was slamming his head against the ground) out of racial hate and prejudice.

They will keep telling us that as long as it takes.

Bone, says The Daily Beast writer, is “not so adorable” when he insists on stating the truth rather than progressive, Black Lives Matter cant.

Then there is the New York Daily News, which also found Bone’s use of “justified” sinister, described as “a skeleton in the closet.” An accurate description of the jury verdict in a fair trial is  “a skeleton in the closet”! I get it: Good admirable liberals must never admit inconvenient facts, but ignore, deny and ignore them. Sorry, Ken, you don’t support the Black Lives Matter narrative. You are, ergo, bad. No more celebrity for you. Fifteen minutes over, and regretted.

Here is how the unethical Daily News reporter Chis Sommerfeldt described the case (and yes, ethical editors would have red-penciled this, too):

“Martin, 17, was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on the eve of Feb. 26 while walking home from a convenience store. Zimmerman, who was never convicted, fatally shot Martin in the chest, claiming the unarmed teenager posed a threat. The tragic shooting made national headlines and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Unbelievable. This is a newspaper! Yet misstatements, misinformation, and false innuendo abound:

  • “while walking home from a convenience store.” This makes it sound like Zimmerman jumped him on the street. Classic deceit: technically accurate, but omitting vital information. Yes, Martin was walking “home,” but he was also walking through a gated community that did not permit strangers to just wander through it. (Martin was staying with a resident, but Zimmerman didn’t know that.) This is the critical information, and the Daily News story intentionally omits it.
  • “Zimmerman, who was never convicted.. In fact, he was acquitted. This is outrageous word manipulation. “Never convicted” suggests he should have been (without evidence) and is deliberately used to avoid communicating that fact that he was found not guilty after a full trial.
  • “fatally shot Martin in the chest, claiming the unarmed teenager posed a threat…” Again, this is intentional misrepresentation. This  sounds like Zimmerman shot Martin based on fear alone, nicely supporting the activist narrative about police fearing for their lives simply because an unarmed man is black.

Zimmerman didn’t “claim” Martin posed a threat. Someone beating your head against the ground IS a threat. If someone is on top of you and beating you, the fact that he is “unarmed” is irrelevant, unless he literally has no arms. Martin did pose a threat; he was posing a threat; all the evidence showed that he posed a threat and that Zimmerman was not unreasonable to be in fear of serious bodily harm.

  • “The tragic shooting made national headlines and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.” Ah, so it must have really been bad, then! The Big Lie, again. This was a local shooting that was blown into a national story because gullible and biased reporters believed the false characterizations of the incident pushed by Martin’s family, because President Obama, typically, couldn’t keep his big mouth shut and falsely characterized the incident as one of racial animus before knowing the facts, and because members of Congress, Al Sharpton, race-hustlers and others recklessly exploited the incident for propositions the facts didn’t support. The writer sites Black Lives Matter as if that somehow validates the false narrative. In truth, the fact that a false narrative spawned Black Lives Matter tells us that the organization was built using a Big Lie as its foundation, and then added the full structure based on a second Big Lie, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

Now Salon has joined the Big Lie parade with its article ostensibly explaining how Ken Bone went from meme-generator to pariah in less than a week. Calling Bone’s description of the Zimmerman shooting “unsavory”—how and why is an accurate description, validated by a jury, supported by all evidence, “unsavory”? Why, because it is unsavory to deny official liberal mythology, of course! When did progressivism become a cult?—Nico Lang writes (and yet again, any editor who allows this kind of falsity in reporting to reach print should be fired):

“Martin was shot and killed by a volunteer neighborhood watch patrolman, George Zimmerman, who fired on the 16-year-old because he claims he felt unsafe.”

This is actually funny. Zimmerman felt unsafe, did he? What a racist! If he felt unsafe, it must have been that black men, just minding their own business, make him “feel” unsafe. This bigoted monster just saw a harmless 16-year-old (Martin, whose photos showed him at the age of about 13 when the incident was first reported, looking angelic, becomes magically younger the more innocent and harmless a writer wants him to seem), and shot him, just like that, because blacks frighten him.

No, people who have him on the ground beating him frighten him. Oh, Zimmerman claims he felt unsafe, did he? Let us stipulate that anyone who is being beaten IS unsafe, by definition.

The Big Lie. Between them, the Daily News, the Daily Beast and Salon have millions of readers, and I’m sure these are not the only liberal publications using Bone’s accurate statement as another excuse to give the Trayvon Martin Big Lie another tour.

Ken Bone did nothing to deserve becoming a target of journalists and social media, and his treatment is a symptom of ethics rot in the culture. The journalists, pundits, politicians  and activists who still peddle the Trayvon Martin Big Lie are major causes of that rot. Their dissemination of misinformation is contemptible and dangerous, and they forfeit our respect and trust.

17 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Social Media, U.S. Society

17 responses to “The Disgraceful Exploitation Of Ken Bone, With This Ethics Note: Ken Is 100% Correct That Trayvon Martin’s Shooting Was Justified, While Journalists And Pundits Who Criticize Him For Saying So Are Big Lie Purveyors

  1. Wayne

    This is more than a little cruel. A chubby guy with a red sweater who is set up by some leftist pundits for being a little non pc. No wonder America generally hates the media.

  2. Laurent Canup

    Jack, I am unsure about the ethical background of this thought but… (this “but… should signal that I am wrong?) have you ever thought of using archive links for these articles? I ask because following up on the articles cited above (in order to fully understand them) generates traffic to these sites that are feeding on people like Ken Bone.

    I’m not asking you to change what you are doing, I am more just curious about your thoughts on it.

    Ultimately, the idea of supporting these sites sickens me personally but I think its something I have to deal with in order to fully understand what is written.

    • Laurent Canup

      As soon as I write this I realize the answer. I am consuming their content. No matter how deplorable, I am reading something they have written and should owe the “click”.

  3. Andrew Wakeling

    ‘Not guilty’ surely only means it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that you ‘did it’. It doesn’t mean you were proven ‘not to have done it’. It is unreasonable to interpret a failure to prove guilt, as a proof of innocence. The presumption of innocence is very properly a foundation of criminal law but not necessarily a prime driver for personal opinion.

    • Self-defense has to be proven; it’s an affirmative defense, and the defense has the burden of proof. Zimmerman wasn’t found not guilty because the prosecution couldn’t prove he shot Martin. He was found not guilty by virtue of a justified shooting, self-defense, based on the evidence.

    • JutGory

      That is just the point. Innocence need not be proven; innocence is presumed. It may not dictate your personal opinion (e.g., I think O.J. murdered Nicole), but then your personal opinion is only as strong as the evidence to support it.

      More broadly, not guilty does not “surely only” mean not proven by a reasonable doubt. Innocent people are found not guilty (sometimes) and I am sure it was not only because they were not proven to do what they hadn’t done. That is, unless you are taking a very strict and formal reading of the process. If that is the case, I need to let you know that I, personally, have never, EVER, proven that the sky is blue and, not in a million years do I ever intend to undertake such a task.

      Leaving aside the formalities of proof, though, I would be very curious to hear what evidence led someone to opine that the jury was wrong in finding him not guilty, which would likely require an analysis of why the jury got the self-defense angle wrong.

      -Jut

      • Well-said. There was absolutely no evidence that could have supported a verdict of murder. The prosecutions own investigator was asked if the facts as he knew them supported Zimmerman’s self-defense claim, and under oath he answered, “Yes.”

        If that’s not enough to show the jury was right, then facts are irrelevant.

  4. Chris Marschner

    I propose we create a new journalism award – the Joseph Goebbels award for persuasive writing. This award would go to journalists whose writings create a false narrative. An award such as this might just impose a just cost on those who use their skills in communication to further socially accepted fictions.

    I feel for Ken Bone.

    • Wayne

      A great idea! I’m a little taken aback that Jake Tapper who seems to be a straight arrow guy yielded to the temptation to mock Ken Bone.

  5. You must be a sadist or a masochist. Just when I thought we’d never have another Trayvon discussion. (Yes I know it’s only tangential to the topic…) but still I eagerly await the bitter enders coming back…

    You couldn’t just wait until the traditional November “let’s have a knock down drag out” about JFK?

  6. Is there any wonder why so many people won’t openly oppose the political left and end up just hide in the shadows.

  7. Rusty Rebar

    Why, oh why, did you edit that reddit post to blur out the words? The words in use were not really evident from the context, they are unusual constructions (shit-bird and fuckery), so it was difficult to tell what actual words he was using. I cannot fathom why we have no problem talking about all kinds of adult topics and difficult moral subjects, but somehow need to be protected from a couple of silly words.

    • 1. I edited nothing. That was taken from the article referenced. I have no idea how to find Reddit screen shots, other than what appears elsewhere.

      2.The second part of the quote I think you are referring to isn’t relevant to the post, which is why I didn’t include it. There are a lot more offensive words than “shitbird” in posts here. The issue is calling the shooting “justified.” His characterization of Zimmerman otherwise is not germane.

      • Rusty Rebar

        Ok, I see what happened here. You took that screen shot from the NY Daily News post, who had blurred the “offensive words”. I missed that link and looked at the Daily Beast link, which has the same screen shot, only not blurred. It all makes sense now.

        Sorry, that is a pet peeve of mine… I just hate censorship.

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