The attorney who defended Kyle Rittenhouse at trial has slammed CNN and MSNBC’s coverage of the case, accusing the networks of biased and misleading coverage.
Lawyer Mark Richards told News Nation anchor Ashleigh Banfield on Friday that while he’s ‘not a big Fox guy,’ he was furious with coverage of the case he saw on CNN and MSNBC.
‘It makes me angry that they can’t take the time to at least get the generic, basic facts correct, because it didn’t fit into the story they wanted to tell,’ he said.
‘Much of the coverage at the beginning was wrong, the trial proved that. But just in the past two weeks — people might not believe this, but I watch MSNBC, CNN,’ he said.
Lawyer Mark Richards (above) said on Sunday that while he’s ‘not a big Fox guy,’ he was furious with coverage of the case he saw on CNN and MSNBC
The attorney who defended Kyle Rittenhouse at trial has slammed CNN and MSNBC’s coverage of the case, accusing the networks of biased and misleading coverage
‘When I hear Joe Scarborough saying that my client shot his gun 60 times, that’s wrong,’ said Richards.
Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, made a series of inaccurate statements about Rittenhouse as the trial wrapped up last week.
‘He had his mother drive him across state lines, he appointed himself a militia member. He goes around and he ends up unloading — what? — 60 rounds, kills 2 people, wounds a third person…’ Scarborough said on-air.
In reality, Rittenhouse fired some eight shots, and he testified that he drove himself the 20 miles from his home in Antioch to Kenosha. He is not accused of being a member of any militia or extremist group.
Scarborough later took to Twitter to say he misspoke.
‘This is obviously wrong to anyone following the case for more than a minute. I meant to say he unloaded his rounds in about 60 seconds. Thanks for pointing this out,’ he tweeted.
Richards also slammed a ‘guest host on Joy Reid’ who said Rittenhouse drove four hours to go to a riot with his AR-14 rifle.
‘That’s wrong, it’s false,’ remarked Richards.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (left) wrongly claimed that Rittenhouse fired 60 rounds, while CNN anchor Don Lemon (right) characterized the case as an example of white vigilantism
During the interview, Banfield also asked Richards about a guest column that Covington Catholic teen Nick Sandmann wrote for DailyMail.com, advising Rittenhouse to sue media outlets for libel.
Richards explained that as a criminal attorney, he would not normally advise clients on civil actions, and said that no such actions were filed by Rittenhouse during the trial.
‘When I got involved in this case and there were a couple of other prominent lawyers who were involved and trying to make some calls and I said, “Look, all of your riches and civil lawsuits are going nowhere if this kid is found guilty of anything,”‘ he said. ‘So let’s worry about what’s important.’
Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted of all charges on Friday after the jury accepted that he acted in self-defense in shooting three men, killing two, in confrontations during anti-police protests last August.
Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and fired a bullet that tore a chunk off the arm of Gaige Grosskreutz, 28.
As the facts of the Rittenhouse case emerged, it became clear that many of the prominent media narratives about it it were false, or at best lacking clear evidence.
Nevertheless, many pundits seemed to cling to a distorted view of the case, which was highly politically polarizing.
On November 12, with the trial underway, CNN’s Brianna Keilar drew a parallel between the Rittenhouse case and the trial of three white men accused of chasing down and murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020.
Keilar argued both cases were examples of ‘white wannabe vigilantism.’
Don Lemon, CNN’s primetime host, agreed, saying Americans are, ‘not supposed to be taking justice into our own hands.’
The commentary seemingly ignoring testimony that suggested that the men who Rittenhouse shot were aggressors who chased him — not to mention that all of those involved were white.
Rosenbaum, who had been released earlier the same day from psychiatric in-patient treatment, was seen on surveillance camera rushing the teenager, before he was killed.
An eye-witness, Daily Caller reporter Richie McGinniss, testified that Rosenbaum tried to grab Rittenhouse’s gun. Rittenhouse said the same under oath.
Huber, who was also shot and killed by Rittenhouse, was seen on video hitting Rittenhouse in the head with a skateboard.
Grosskreutz, who was wounded by the teen, admitted on the witness stand that he was pointing a handgun at Rittenhouse when the teen shot him.
Truth and Lies: Rhetoric of the Kyle Rittenhouse case
LIE: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) claimed that Rittenhouse ‘executed two people.’
TRUTH: The prosecution only charged Rittenhouse with one count of first-degree intentional homicide, for which the jury found him ‘not guilty.’
LIE: Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) tweeted that Rittenhouse is a ‘white supremacist domestic terrorist.’ Then-candidate Biden also suggested that the teen was a white supremacist.
TRUTH: The Anti-Defamation League reportedly determined that there were no connections to extremist movements on Rittenhouse’s social media.
LIE: The Intercept referred to the teen as one of several apparent ‘white supremacist defendants’ in an article exploring the ‘explosive rise of organized white supremacist extremism in the last decade’
TRUTH: The phrases ‘white supremacist,’ ‘extremist,’ ‘racist’ or ‘domestic terrorist’ were not uttered once in the prosecutions’ closing argument.
LIE: Politifact reported that it was illegal for Rittenhouse, as a 17-year-old, to carry the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 used in the shootings.
TRUTH: It was not illegal for Rittenhouse to possess the rifle under state law, as the barrel was over 12 inches long.
LIE: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Rittenhouse’s mother drove him ‘across state lines’ as riots erupted in Kenosha.
TRUTH: Rittenhouse testified that he went to Kenosha with his sister and friends.
LIE: ‘The View’s’ Joy Behar claimed Rittenhouse illegally crossed state lines, from Illinois to Wisconsin, with a firearm.
TRUTH: Dominick Black, Rittenhouse’s friend, testified that he stored the weapon used in the incident in his Kenosha home. An Illinois county probe determined Rittenhouse did not travel across state borders with a gun.
LIE: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (R-NY) alleged the Kenosha killings were part of a plot to spark a ‘race war’
TRUTH: This allegation was never backed up reporting or brought up by the prosecution in the course of the trial