CBS News made itself the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial Thursday, tweeting out that Rittenhouse said in his testimony Wednesday that he “murdered two men.”
“Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his murder trial yesterday,” CBS Mornings tweeted, “breaking down in tears as he told the jury he murdered two men at a Black Lives Matter protest last year in self-defense.”
The show quickly pulled the tweet, replacing the “murder” claim with the word “killing.”
Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his murder trial yesterday, breaking down in tears as he told the jury he killed two men at a Black Lives Matter protest last year in self-defense. pic.twitter.com/ImQTlBbYM6
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) November 11, 2021
Rittenhouse testified during his trial that he “never intended to kill anyone” and said, “I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me.”
“No, I never wanted to shoot Mr. Rosenbaum,” he said. “He was chasing me. I was alone. He threatened to kill me earlier that night. I didn’t want to have to shoot him.”
Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
The emerging consensus among legal experts is the prosecution has a hard case to prove, as video shows that the individuals Rittenhouse shot were advancing on him, and one man Rittenhouse shot admitted on the stand that Rittenhouse only fired his AR-15 after he pointed his own gun at him.
Even on MSNBC, civil rights attorney Charles Coleman Jr. said Thursday on Morning Joe that “This is a high bar for the prosecution to clear, which is self-defense. How do you get inside the mind of Kyle Rittenhouse? Did he really feel like he had to defend his own life? Well, they got some support for that claim by some of the witnesses from the prosecution.”
And federal prosecutor Kristen Gibbons Feden said on MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Reports Thursday: “Honestly, the prosecution has a really challenging case.”
“In this case,” she said, “I don’t know that it was necessary for Kyle Rittenhouse to even take the stand because I thought that the case was weak, and I think that, you know, again, with the prosecutor’s very heavy burden, they probably could have still ended up with an acquittal without Kyle Rittenhouse taking the stand.”
“However, he was very rehearsed, well coached,” Feden continued. “He came off like a Boy Scout. And that really undermined the prosecution’s narrative that this was a cold-blooded killer coming down there to kind of, you know, just kill people.”
Feden’s analysis was shocking to Ruhle, who couldn’t understand how the case wasn’t clear-cut for the prosecution.
That legal consensus has not stopped the mainstream media from showing bias against Kyle Rittenhouse, as in CBS Morning’s Freudian slip. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough criticized the judge in the case, Bruce E. Schroeder, for allegedly gearing his statements towards a right-wing audience, saying, “It’s absolutely disgusting, the way [the judge is] conducting himself on the stand, he’s obviously playing for the audience, a certain audience.”
Vanity Fair’s political correspondent, Bess Levin, made a similar argument Wednesday, writing a piece with the headline: “The Kyle Rittenhouse judge is the absolute worst.” She wrote: “Schroeder has … seemed inclined to continue to go to bat for a kid who killed two people.” Critics of her piece pointed out that a judge has a responsibility to ensure a defendant receives a fair trial.
Not everyone is convinced the media is biased against Rittenhouse. Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted last year: “A 17 year old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR 15. He shot and killed 2 people who had assembled to affirm the value, dignity, and worth of Black lives. Fix your damn headlines.”