“The media sucks!“
—-Comedian and videographer Vito Gesuald, after discovering that the Associated Press lied about his conduct while circulating his image to news outlets around the country.
A detailed account of this illustrative event is here, but the basic facts are these. During the walk-out of Netflix employees who want the streaming service to censor comedians who dare to make jokes about the anointed untouchables in our culture, currently transexuals (among others), a counter-protester named Vito Gesualdi staged a mild counter-protest with a sign that read “Jokes are funny.” He makes videos and has a humorous podcast, and was on the scene to support Dave Chappelle’s First Amendment right to make jokes even if some people find them offensive. Vito was photographed by an Associated Press photographer named Damian Dovarganes, with the result you see above. But the AP captioned the photo, “Comedian and videographer Vito Gesualdi screams profanities as he engages with peaceful protesters begging him to leave…”
Vito was horrified and understandably so. “Screams profanities?” he tweeted. “Dude, I just yelled ‘I love Dave Chappelle’! The media sucks!” A bit later, Vito discovered with a Google search that the falsely captioned photo was turning up everywhere.
“Oh great, it’s a stock Associated Press photo caption so that lie is on dozens of news sites now. Any lawyers in the house? This is BS,” he wrote adding with another tweet, “Worth noting that my co-host Dick Masterson is currently at the hospital getting a CT scan after having his head bounced against a concrete planter by these ‘peaceful protestors.'”
Indeed the media does suck, and this time, as in the similar smear of Catholic student Nick Sandmann, there was sufficient evidence to prove how much it sucks. Since the photo was very identifiable, internet sleuths matched it to several videos and recordings of the event. At the moment AP’s photographer snapped his photo, Vito was shouting, “I’m just here to say that jokes are funny, people. Dave Chappelle’s a funny guy. I love Dave! I don’t know why all the violence, I don’t know why all the hate. I just LOVE DAVE CHAPPELLE! DAAAAAVE CHAPPEEEELLE! WOOOOO!” No obscenities at all. But one of the protesters was shouting obscenities at him, the video showed. “Repent, motherfucker!!!” one Netflix mob member screamed repeatedly at Gesualdi after those “peaceful protesters” destroyed his sign.
Remembering, no doubt, that Sandmann’s lawsuits against the media sources that defamed him produced a substantial settlement from CNN, the Associated Press changed its caption to read,
“Comedian and videographer Vito Gesualdi shouts at people protesting against Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special outside the Netflix building in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles…”
It has not, so far as I can discern, specifically retracted its previous lie. Sue them, Vito. I can refer you to some people.
I have concluded that those who deny that the mainstream media is biased, toxic, deliberately dishonest, incompetent and untrustworthy have to be in denial, like my retired journalist friend, genuinely in favor of journalists being propagandists because the want a woke totalitarian regime, or morons. Is there another option? I don’t see one.
The Associated Press was once the single news service one could trust to confine itself to the facts, because it was relied upon by other outlets. Now look what it has become. It’s progressive staff wanted to side with the politically-correct would-be censors at Netflix, so they deliberately, maliciously and reckless distorted the facts to turn an innocent (and civil!) counter protester into a villain.
The current news media is the enemy of the people, as President Trump accurately pronounced it. If he gets credit for nothing else, Trump deserves credit for having the guts to pronounce the truth, just as Reagan refused to be polite in describing the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” The media is also the enemy of democracy. It not only cannot be trusted, it must not be trusted.
In short, it sucks.