Narrative Journalism Fail: HuffPo Blows Story of Last Night’s Police Shooting

Berkeley police

The Huffington Post closed out the year on a humiliating note after the left-wing online publication was forced to admit Tuesday night that it hadn’t properly vetted a source who claimed to have witnessed the fatal police shooting of Antonio Martin, an 18 year-old black man. The shooting took place just a few miles from Ferguson, Missouri, a city that still smolders thanks in large part to a mainstream media that spent months lying about the police shooting of a young black man at the hands of a white police officer.

Using Twitter, a user named “Jesus Christo” with the handle @DesJuanTheThug, not only claimed he was the best friend of Martin but that he had witnessed the shooting. None of this turned out to be true. Nevertheless, using Twitter’s direct message system, “Jesus Christo” told the Huffington Post that the police officer opened fire after Martin refused to be searched or lie down on the pavement. The Huffington Post then published the inflammatory interview:

“The officer then began to step back from us with his gun still aimed at us. He told Antonio to lay down once again and when Antonio didn’t lay down the officer opened fire. And when I tried to get up to help my friend he screamed at me to stay down with his weapon still drawn.”

After the interview published, “Jesus Christo” then openly mocked the Huffington Post for not vetting him. “Tell the Huffington Post to do a better job of finding credible sources,” he tweeted. With all this attention, “Jesus Christo” used the opportunity to promote his music, “Add me on soundcloud and listen to my mixtape.”

After the hoax was revealed, The Huffington Post removed the phony interview and posted a correction:

“A previous version of this story included an interview with a man claiming to have been at the scene of the shooting and friends with the deceased. As police have released statements saying the second person involved in the incident has fled the scene, the source is now suggesting he was never there.”

As of now, police officials say Martin pulled a gun on the police officer. A surveillance video appears to back the officer up.

Like the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” lie spread by a reckless and unquestioning media after the shooting death of Michael Brown at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson, the Huffington Post got it horribly wrong in an apparent rush to be the first to use the Martin shooting to further the phony and now-deadly  media narrative that cops are on the hunt to kill black men.

And just as the media’s “Hands Up, Don’t, Shoot Lie” lie resulted in months of hell raining down on the predominantly black working  class city of Ferguson, the Huffington Post’s recklessness (in the obvious name of Narrative Journalism) could have opened a whole new chapter of mob violence on that small city.

All the hell and wreckage caused in the name of Narrative Journalism in Ferguson was based on a lie. Before knowing all the facts, the media screamed racism, the city burned, and only afterwards did we learn that science and eyewitness testimony proved that Wilson shot Brown in a justified case of self-defense.

All the hell and wreckage caused by Narrative Journalism at the University of Virginia was based on a lie — on Rolling Stone reporting a rape hoax as true.

Narrative Journalism is an evil that might boost cable news ratings and increase clicks, but it also lays wastes to the reputations of the innocent and small business owners.

Last night The Huffingon Post told us the mainstream media doesn’t intend to do anything different.

Agenda and clicks still trump truth and decency.

Obviously, that is a rhetorical question.


John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC             



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