Remaining ethics notes in no special order, (but numbered because numbers work better than bullet points in WordPress’s terrible “block” system):
1. No evidence has surfaced indicating that Rittenhouse is a “white supremacist.” Nonetheless, many news media sources have reported that he is. Worse, Joe Biden has said so twice, once as a candidate and once since his election. Kyle’s mother appeared on Fox News and accused Joe Biden of defaming her son to win votes. That’s as good an explanation as any, I guess.
2. Trump Derangement is embedded in the trial. The Great Stupid moment par exellance: while Rittenhouse was on the stand, a cell phone tone rang out. It belonged to the phone of Judge Schroeder, and was Lee Greenwood’s patriotic country anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.” This immediately sparked deranged pundits and activist to demand the judge’s removal, because Donald Trump likes the song and has played it at rallies.
Morons. What songs a judge likes or doesn’t like isn’t evidence of any bias or conflict of interest whatsoever, and while the news media wants this trial seen as such, it’s not political. However, some judges have punished lawyers for allowing a cell phone to disrupt testimony. For a judge to have his own phone ring is bad.
3. Someone was explaining to me that the judge was biased because he appeared to be “anti-rioter.” All judges and all citizens should be anti-rioter.
4. Judge Schroeder also has been criticized for allowing the defense to use terms like looters and rioters but banning the prosecution from calling those shot by Rittenhouse as “victims.” As for the former, they were rioters and looters. There is no reason to disguise it. I agree with the “victims” ruling as well. I’ve often wondered about permitting the word in such trials: “victim” is an ambiguous term that can imply innocence. One meaning is “someone who is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment.” Someone who is killed in self-defense hasn’t been mistreated. The word biases the trial against a defendant like Rittenhouse.
5. Well, maybe this is even dumber than #2… Judge Schroeder was speaking about the court’s plans for lunch when he said, “I hope the Asian food isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor.” “Did the judge just make a slight against Asian people??” reacted MSNBC contributor Katie Phang. Others of her ilk followed suit. Is it racist to say “Asian” now? In what universe or version of English is an obvious joke about the supply chain “racist”?
Race or Trump, race or Trump–which has progressives more ready for the padded cells? It’s a close call.
6. Now this was unfortunate. On Veterans Day, the judge requested everyone applaud for the veterans in the courtroom. Unfortunately, the one veteran turned out to be the next witness for the defense. That was careless—I assume it was unintentional—because a judge’s praise can influence a jury and make a witness seem especially trustworthy.
7. One of MSNBC’s resident race-baiters—this one is named Ja’han Jones—was among the many jerks who proclaimed that Rittenhouse was “acting” when he momentarily appeared to break down on the stand. He wrote, in part,
Kyle Rittenhouse, the man charged with homicide in the deaths of two anti-police brutality demonstrators, seems to have spent much more time at the gun range than in acting classes. Rittenhouse, who was 17 last year when he shot and killed the two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was called to testify Wednesday by his own defense team — a move that appeared to signal their confidence in the outcome of the trial….While testifying about the moment he shot Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the protesters, Rittenhouse sniffled, quivered, contorted his face, bloated his cheeks and did just about everything else you’d expect of a novice actor attempting to convey sorrow. …Though photos captured a single tear streaming down his face, I couldn’t tell whether it was from actually crying, or if he’d merely worked up a sweat from trying.
I’m too lazy to check whether this guy expressed similar skepticism when Christine Blasey-Ford, a middle-aged adult, hammed her way through Senate hearing testimony as she “recalled” a 30-year-old trauma that nobody, including her, could place exactly in location or time. I doubt that he did, because he’s obviously a fan of confirmation bias. Thus he finds suspicious the emotion of a teenager, recalling the day he was in fear of his life and killed two people, as he stood trial to try to salvage his future.
8. In the rest of Jones’ article, he keeps mentioning that the jury and the judge are white. So? The individuals shot by the kid were also white. Again: why are those rooting for Rittenhouse to be convicted of murder seeing this as a racial controversy at all?
I know, and it’s disgusting: they see his conviction as a validation of the rioting. MNBC’s stomach-churning headline was “Kyle Rittenhouse’s white crocodile tears hold value in America/The man charged with homicide in the deaths of two anti-police brutality protesters put on quite the show for a nearly all-white jury this week.” How odd: there was no police brutality in the shooting of Jacob Blake. Nor could it possibly be called a racist shooting. The rioters were wrong, even for rioters. They will remains wrong regardless of the Rittenhouse verdict.
9. Back to Judge Schroeder for a second: another decision that supposedly showed his “bias” was excluding a video of Rittenhouse watching from a car as someone was looting a CVS. He says on the video that he wishes he had a gun to shoot them. The video was taken a couple of weeks before the incidents that put the teen on trial. The theory in presenting the video would be to show his “state of mind.” But a random comment by a 17-year-old about what he’d like to do as he boasts to friends weeks before has limited probative value, and a judge can legitimately decide that its prejudicial effect on jurors outweighs its value.
10. The venom being focused on the judge is signature significance. These partisan,vengeful and vicious activists want to wreck a teenager’s life, brand him a “white supremacist,” and see him convicted for murders despite strong evidence of self-defense that should make an acquittal on the most serious charges mandatory. Before this trial, Schroeder had a reputation as a strong law and order judge who had no sympathy for lawbreakers. But in the wake of the George Floyd Freakout, making sure a white defendant gets a fair trial when he’s been falsely labeled a racist takes courage and diligence.
11. Ann Althouse calculates that the news media is going to assist the impulse to riot “if Kyle Rittenhouse is acquitted (or the judge grants the motion for a mistrial with prejudice).” That will be perfect: an acquittal on charges based on deaths during a riot triggered by false assumptions and lies itself becomes a spark for riots.
And the Great Stupid lumbers along…