Open Letter To Channel Nine News

To: News Department, KMSP-TV (“Fox Nine”)
From: Mitch Berg, very occasional viewer
Re:  A Warning

To whom it may concern,

I don’t watch a lot of TV news – but for whatever reason, I do wind up watching your morning news; it does carry a fair amount of local news, and yeah, I like Marler’s weather.  So sue me.

But I had your 9PM news on last  night.  I noticed that you had jumped on the national “Trayvon Martin” bandwagon with both feet.  That’s understandable – it bled, so it led.

I could go over some of the points of your coverage that were, er, squishy – but that’s really not why I’m writing.

I noticed that you were very prominently using Heather Martens as a source for your coverage.  Martens, you note, is the “Executive Director” of “Protect Minnesota”.  If you check a little bit, you might also find she may very well be the sole member of “Protect Minnesota”; if there are half a dozen members, you might want to try to vet them, because I’ll lay odds that most of them are ringers from the Second Amendment movement.   The late Joel Rosenberg used to tell stories of going to Heather Martens’ meetings and finding that every single person at the gathering other than Martens was a Second Amendment activist.    At any rate – it’s not a “group”; it’s a checkbook advocacy front.  It’s also the third name Martens has been through in the past ten years.  For most of the past decade, “they” were “Citizens For A “Safer” Minnesota”; before that, they were something like “Gun-Free Minnesota” or “Minnesota Without Guns” or something like that; I’ve forgotten, but let’s be honest, so have you.  They keep getting shredded in the marketplace of ideas;  they keep having to change their name.

Anyway, my point is this – if Heather Martens says it, it’s most likely wrong.  I was going to say “it’s most likely a lie”, and that is the truth, but I’m trying to be all calm and measured here.

No, seriously; have me on one of your debate segments – if she’ll agree to come on against me.  I’ve shredded everything she’s said and written for a decade now.  There is not even a faded patina of fact in a single utterance she makes.

Just saying – while there are lots of things to be written about the Trayvon Martin case, and even some about Minnesota’s proposed Stand Your Ground Bill (although most of your other sources on that subject are also lying hacks), Heather Martens is not the one you should be going to to find them.

Presuming, of course, “covering the news” is your goal, rather than “fluffing the narrative”.

I just thought you should know.

Have your people call my people – or the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, of course – if you ever want the whole story, complete with real facts.

That is all.

8 thoughts on “Open Letter To Channel Nine News

  1. A story – complete with facts? C’mon, Mitch. We’re talking about the media here. Facts tend to crowd out the narrative and make people watch Wheel of Fortune.

  2. This is going to be Rodney King X1000, there is no good outcome for this and we can thank the media for hyping this up. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story

  3. “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story derail the narrative”.

    There. Now it’s accurate.

  4. The Chicago Tribune is reporting some actual facts:

    The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that police sources say Martin was the aggressor on Feb. 26, knocking Zimmerman to the ground with a single punch and then climbing on top of the 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain and slamming the back of his head into the ground. Police say this account, given by Zimmerman, is supported by eyewitnesses, according to the Sentinel’s report.

    One such witness reportedly told police that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, striking the man, while Zimmerman cried out for help. The attack left Zimmerman bloodied, police sources told the Sentinel, and led him to fire at Martin in self-defense.

    Police say Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a fat lip and confirm that the back of his head was cut. He received first aid at the scene but refused to go to the hospital and received medical treatment the following day, according to the Sentinel’s sources.

    The Sentinel’s story also makes public new details about the circumstances leading up to the deadly confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin.

    At the time, Martin was suspended from high school after he was found to be in possession of an empty marijuana baggie, according to the Sentinel. Martin’s school has a “zero-tolerance” drug policy, the newspaper added.

    Zimmerman was heading to the grocery store when he spotted Martin and called police to report a black youth acting suspiciously, possibly on drugs.

    Zimmerman stepped out of his SUV to follow Martin, even though a police dispatcher told him he didn’t need to do so.

    Zimmerman told police he he’d lost sight of Martin and was heading back to his car when the youth suddenly stepped into his path. According to the Sentinel, Martin asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cellphone. Martin then said something like, “Well, you do now” and punched him, according to the Sentinel’s sources.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-nn-trayvon-martin-case-20120326,0,3121664.story

    Compare this line to what you’ve heard liberal pundits say about the case:

    Zimmerman stepped out of his SUV to follow Martin, even though a police dispatcher told him he didn’t need to do so.

    Liberals are saying that police told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. This makes it appear that Zimmerman had disobeyed a police order not to follow Martin. In fact it was nothing at all like that, just advice from a 9/11 dispatcher that he didn’t need to follow Martin when Zimmerman said he going to do so. This lie (that Zimmerman was told not follow Martin by the police) is then repeated by every media outlet in the country. It pushes the narrative that Zimmerman was some out-of-control wacko looking for a confrontation with Martin.
    Ditto the oft repeated story that Martin was carrying only some candy and a can of ice tea while Zimmerman was armed. Exactly how did Zimmerman know this? This was FL. Zimmerman had no idea if Martin was carrying a gun, but by reporting that Martin was only carrying candy and ice tea, they suggest that Zimmerman knew Martin was unarmed.

  5. Narrative framing in action:

    [Martin family lawyer Ben] Crump said. “Trayvon is dead and can’t defend himself. Had Zimmerman not disobeyed the police dispatcher and got out of his car and pursued Trayvon, Trayvon would still be living today.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57404609/trayvon-parents-son-disrespected-even-in-death/

    Note that Crump says “disobeyed” when records clearly show Zimmerman was not told to do anything. Also the “dispatcher” becomes “the police dispatcher”.

  6. Also note that Crump’s statement about Trayvon still being alive today if Zimmerman hadn’t followed him would be true even if what witnesses are reporting — that Martin attacked Zimmerman — is true.

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