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WOMP, WOMP: NBC Freaks Over Rittenhouse Verdict, Warns of Rise in ‘Vigilantism’

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In contrast to the sober reactions ABC and CBS offered on the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, NBC News was less composed on Friday afternoon as two analysts fretted Rittenhouse’s innocence was a sad commentary on the “toxic” and “the really dangerous combination of liberal self-defense laws…and the accessibility of guns” with a “vindication of vigilantism” that could lead to more deadly shootings with “military-style…assault weapon[s].”

NBC legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Tali Farhadian Weinstein told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt that, “when we sit with this verdict,” the record will force us “to look at is the really dangerous combination of liberal self-defense laws like the ones in Wisconsin, around the country and the accessibility of guns.”

Farhadian Weinstein added that this entire matter was the fault of Rittenhouse and not those who attacked him, fretting that he “prevailed” despite his “own gun” being “what put him in danger and what justified him using deadly force.”

Continuing to double down on some sort of “her skirt was too short” line of attack, Farhadian Weinstein reiterated that Americans will be stewing over “that toxic combination of self-defense and the proliferation of guns for a really long time.”

A few minutes after she wrapped by warning of “Second Amendment activists already being on the ground,” Holt closed the Special Report by asking NBC contributor and longtime liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson for “the bigger context,” including the fact that the Rittenhouse incidents took place “during a protest over the shooting of a black man by police.”

Speaking in a despondent tone, Robinson slammed the prosecution for not arguing that, in reality, it was Rittenhouse who was the aggressor and looking for violence and those shot (Gaige Grosskreutz, Anthony Huber, and Joseph Rosenbaum) were actually engaging in self-defense because Rittenhouse was there with “this huge, military-style weapon and was running up and down the street.”

Robinson continued to spew race-baiting hate, calling the verdict “a vindication of vigilantism, of what Kyle Rittenhouse was doing” by traveling “across state lines carrying a military-style — style assault weapon.”

Of course, neither of those things were true and, in the second claim in particular, the AR-15 was already in Wisconsin.

Asking rhetorically to “what end” does self-defense extend, Robinson speculated about America’s “very dangerous” and “very worrisome” future with more people like Rittenhouse taking to the streets (click “expand”):

RITTENHOUSE: [H]e came across state lines carrying a military-style — style assault weapon with the — with what end? What end? What end? To protect property that he had nothing to do and wasn’t his property? There were police on the scene. You know, duly authorized and trained law enforcement officers who were prepared to handle whatever situation arose, yet he came in, you know, appointing himself as — as — as some sort of enforcer and to the extent that this legitimizes that line of thinking, that line of action, I think it’s very dangerous and — and it’s very worrisome going forward. You know, this is — this is a divided country, hair trigger on a lot of issues, and it’s a country in which there are more guns than people. And —

HOLT: I was going to say, you touched on a lot of points that are going to be the topic of a lot of conversations going forward based on what has happened today.

Yes, Eugene. In his world, there are going to be scores of white men taking to the streets with AR-15s to mow down people they believe are threats to the peace…or something like that.

Our liberal media, ladies and gentlemen.

Due to the fact that it was an NBC News Special Report, there were no commercials.

To see the relevant NBC transcript from November 19, click “expand.”

NBC News Special

November 19, 2021

1:22 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: The — the prosecution was criticized at times from many onlookers for the way it conducted the case. Do — when we look at this case, are we going to look at the performance of a prosecution or does — did the facts simply not make a case that argued against what Rittenhouse was saying? 

TALI FARHADIAN WEINSTEIN: No, I think when we sit with this verdict, what we are going to look at is the really dangerous combination of liberal self-defense laws like the ones in Wisconsin, around the country and the accessibility of guns because, in the end, his argument, which prevailed, was that his own gun, Kyle Rittenhouse’s own gun, is what put him in danger and what justified him using deadly force. If he had not had that gun in his hand, then he would not have been in a position to invoke the self-defense theory and I think we’re going to be sitting with that toxic combination of self-defense and the proliferation of guns for a really long time.

HOLT: The prosecution had made the argument, in their closing arguments, that you can’t provoke something and then claim it was self-defense. Maybe you can. Is that what this says? 

FARHADIAN WEINSTEIN: It says that, at least in this case, the jury read provocation really narrowly, so they did not accept the theory of him just being there with a dangerous weapon was provocative. And I think when they broke it down with each of the three victims, they stepped into his shoes and they agreed with Rittenhouse that he was in danger and that he was justified in taking the violent actions that he did. 

HOLT: And how do you think the social impact of this will be? It’s probably hard to read, but a lot of folks will take what they want out of this — out of this verdict. 

FARHADIAN WEINSTEIN: That’s right. It was polarizing going in and it’s going to be polarizing going out. You know, we just heard in your report about Second Amendment activists already being on the ground there in Wisconsin. And I think hanging over this is also a Supreme Court case that’s currently pending about whether states can be as restrictive as some of them are, as New York is, in prohibiting people from having concealed handguns and, you know, this — this verdict and this whole episode is a lesson that may well bear on decisions like that coming down. 

(….)

1:28 p.m. Eastern

HOLT: I want to go to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson to give us a little bit of the bigger context and the context, of course — this was all taking place, Eugene, during a protest over the shooting of a black man by police. When you — when you look at that bigger context, will this always stand apart, or will this be a case of strictly about self-defense? 

EUGENE ROBINSON: Well, it stands a bit apart, Lester, but it’s not strictly about self-defense, in my view. I mean, there is the issue of how the prosecution presented its case. Had the prosecution presented the case all along that it presented in its closing arguments, namely, that the people Kyle Rittenhouse says he perceives as a deadly threat — actually, the reason they were coming at him was they perceived him as a deadly threat because he had this huge, military-style weapon and was running up and down the street and they were just trying to, in effect, protect themselves. But the prosecution really didn’t make that case. They argued it in closing arguments. And then, of course, the judge in this case has a long history of being pro-defendant. You know, look, in our legal system, if you want a judge to lean one way or the other, you want the judge to lean towards all defendants rather than leaning towards all prosecutors. So, you know, it’s — so there are unique things about this case. But I — what concerns me, though, is that the result will be seen as a vindication of vigilantism, of what Kyle Rittenhouse was doing. The larger context of what he was doing, you know, during these demonstrations over the shooting of — of Jacob Blake, he came across state lines carrying a military-style — style assault weapon with the — with what end? What end? What end? To protect property that he had nothing to do and wasn’t his property? There were police on the scene. You know, duly authorized and trained law enforcement officers who were prepared to handle whatever situation arose, yet he came in, you know, appointing himself as — as — as some sort of enforcer and to the extent that this legitimizes that line of thinking, that line of action, I think it’s very dangerous and — and it’s very worrisome going forward. You know, this is — this is a divided country, hair trigger on a lot of issues, and it’s a country in which there are more guns than people. And — 

HOLT: I was going to say, you touched on a lot of points that are going to be the topic of a lot of conversations going forward based on what has happened today.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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