Rightbloggers Try Anti-Cop Angle on Ferguson, But Revert to Old Ooga-Booga

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[Roy Edroso dissects the right-wing blogosphere in this weekly feature]

By now you've heard what's been going on in Ferguson, Missouri: How an unarmed black man -- the latest in a long series, historically speaking -- was gunned down by a cop; how suspicion of a cop cover-up was followed by protests and rioting; and how people are appalled by the weird storm-trooper approach of the Ferguson PD.

Rightbloggers heard about it, and many took their traditional approach to such situations -- i.e. the old ooga booga attack on black people. Others, perhaps influenced by that "libertarian moment" thing all the kids are talking about, attempted to adopt a more civil-libertarian position -- but clumsily, like dogs trying to boil water, and with equally painful results.

After Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson on August 9 and word started to get around that the killing might not have been as kosher as the cops said it was, many of the brethren went about dealing with this dead unarmed black guy the way they deal with all dead unarmed black guys: slurring the deceased, and portraying the negative reaction of his friends, family, and community as proof that black people are thugs, the real racists, etc.

"BREAKING: Ferguson Police Chief Releases New Info That Turns Michael Brown Shooting Case On Its Head," announced B. Christopher Agee at Western Journalism. He meant the claim by Ferguson PD Chief Tom Jackson that the cop who shot Brown "was serious injured by the teen" -- which was already being contradicted by witnesses. But Agee had more: "reports indicate the New Black Panthers traveled to Ferguson to pass out a list of 'demands,'" he said.

Also, "As Fox News contributor Todd Starnes noted, Barack Obama spoke out on behalf of Brown and his family," said Agee, "but 'did not release a statement offering sympathy to the police officer who was allegedly attacked' or 'to the business owners whose stores were burned and looted.'" (Obama's statement was actually extremely conciliatory toward all parties; maybe Starnes only saw the Fox super-cut.)

"In my opinion there is no amount of information that could be released today that is going to satisfy the mob," said Scared Monkeys. "When they say they want justice, that means a scalp and they will not be happy until it happens."

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So, what -- Michael Brown shot himself? (Via.)
"Somebody has to say it," declared Ross Kaminsky at The American Spectator: "These rampaging thugs and criminals are neither white nor Asian nor Eskimo nor American Indian. They are, as far as one can discern from news footage, roughly 100 percent black." (He was talking about the looters, not the cops.)

"I'm getting reports that some protesters, including leaders are anarcho-communists bussed in from Chicago to incite more violence," reported Dana Loesch's husband Chris from Twitter. (That reminds us: has anyone checked with James O'Keefe?)

When a couple of reporters were arrested for disobeying the cops and then had the bad taste to report on it, Ace of Spades rushed to the cops' defense. "From the cops' point of view, they are presented with a choice of Two Evils," sententiated Spades -- "Intimidating citizens with a show of force and a show of barking, yelling physically-coercive authority, or resorting to some sort of physical restraint or weapon to secure compliance. They say, and I'm not sure they're wrong, that as bad and awful as the first choice it, it is preferable to the second choice." In case that wasn't convincing anyone, Spades added in italics and boldface, "I, like our semi-retired President, have not been following this story at all... I don't know about the specific facts at all." How about that stupid Obama, huh?

At National Review, Michelle Malkin reminded readers that "A Cop Is Killed Every 58 Hours ," despite what one might hear from "The Cirque du Cop-Bashing, with Al Sharpton as ringmaster," who were "working overtime to exploit the deadly incident in Ferguson, Mo." Malkin also opposed "narcissistic liberal journalists and college kids" who allegedly "are all posting 'hands up' selfies in hipster solidarity..."

The editors of National Review bitched that "Al Sharpton, an old hand at inciting riots, is on the scene" and that "the federal government already has poked its snout into the matter, with the Justice Department exploring a possible civil-rights case." As if the feds had any business exploring a possible racist conspiracy of local police! (When Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an autopsy for Mike Brown, Sissy Willis hollered "L'ÉTAT C'EST MOI!")

"We're told that the military style of the cops is 'provoking' the protesters," sneered National Review's Rich Lowry. "But these sorts of flare-ups over controversial shootings by police have been a part of American life for a very long time."

When Ferguson had a second wave of riots, Lowry said, "We've been told for days now that that the reason there was rioting in Ferguson is because protesters were 'provoked' by militarized police," and while Lowry admitted it was "deeply unsettling to see police atop armored vehicles," blah blah blah, still, "we've had a real world test of the 'provocation' thesis" because the new cops were more low-key, and people still rioted.

And guess whose fault that is? "This is what happens when you let your policing be dictated by MSNBC," sighed Lowry. "...First, [the police] gave in to the mob on the Internet and cable TV, and last night they gave in to the mob on the streets." So much for your Robocop theories, liberal wimps -- what these animals need is a touch of the old Nixon and he doesn't mean Jay!

When it was revealed that Brown might have stolen some cigars before the shooting, rightbloggers adopted the "see, he was a thug after all" approach they took during the Trayvon Martin controversy.

"Angelic Michael Brown Not So Angelic After All," snarled The Jawa Report, and offered a unique theory: "This new development might also explain why rioters focused their rage on the QuikTrip convenience store," they said. "Although the store isn't where the robbery took place, it was mentioned by the robbery victim as a possible destination of the two criminals. The angry mobs must have heard about the robbery some time before it was made public, yet they still pursued the 'cop executed innocent boy' narrative as an excuse to riot." We wonder why rioters would even need this "excuse" -- in case they run for office later, maybe?

"You can't blame this on the police being too aggressive during 'peaceful' protests," said William Teach at Right Wing News. "But, I guess the media (it's an AP article) can excuse looting and lawlessness on Something Else... at least in this case, police being too aggressive with their military style toys as being the cause of previous nights of rage might be a load of mule fritters."

Teach also had the best ex-post-facto one-liner on the rioting we're likely to see: "It doesn't provide justification for the shooting," he said, "but it does provide context."

When a couple of people got punched during the Ferguson unrest, The Daily Caller called it a "'Knockout Game' Attack" -- one of their go-to ooga-booga-isms. Inevitably, Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit announced, "BREAKING: Ferguson's Michael Brown PICTURED Flashing GANG SIGNS... One hand gesture means 'What's up blood?'"

And of course some old honky declared "the black family -- the absence of fathers -- is the problem" in the Wall Street Journal.

Some of the brethren, however, went another way, giving more grief to the local cops, and the tyrannical federal government that had financed their ordnance, than to the dead black guy.

One of the USPs of libertarianism is opposition to over-aggressive, militarized policing, and last week their major figures, including the editors of libertarian flagship Reason, TV presenter John Stossel, and Sen. Rand Paul decried the "militarized" police, and even expressed skepticism of the idea that if the Ferguson cops killed a black guy they must have had a good reason. (Paul went so far as to admit that race "skew[s] the application of criminal justice in this country." He's come a long way since 2010 when he was knocking the Civil Rights Act.)

Reason's Thaddeus Russell spoke of a "Rise of the 'Unholy Alliance' of Libertarians and Leftists" on such matters, which, given the usual safety-net-shredding temper of libertarian discourse, would be remarkable. But it was rightbloggers who were more likely to emulate the libertarian POV on Ferguson, resulting in some weird rhetorical hybrids.



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