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Vile: CNN Savages ‘Disingenuous,’ ‘Juvenile’ Kentucky AG as a Right-Wing Hack



On Wednesday afternoon, the vitriol was flowing on CNN for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) after he gave a lengthy press conference explaining his office’s actions investigating Breonna Taylor’s death and the grand jury choosing to levy charges against one of the three officers involved. 

In the moments afterward, CNNers denounced Cameron as a partisan tool of Republicans, attacking the “disingenuous” and “very juvenile” Cameron as having used “hidden gestures,” “pejorative terms,” and “triggering words.”

Legal analyst Laura Coates griped that it’s “very confusing for people…to reconcile” how Cameron’s “real focus” wasn’t on finding charges to charge the officers with her death but instead “those who could have died, which is important but those who could have died versus as woman who actually did.”

 

 

Fellow legal analyst Areva Martin expressed doubt about the validity of the one witness who told investigators they heard Louisville police announce their presence before entering Taylor’s apartment (as police had a warrant regarding a drug trafficking ring an ex-boyfriend had been involved in).

After she laid seeds of a conspiracy about the case, she impugned Cameron’s presentation and dismissed him having been “emotional” and “preaching to people about stay focused on the facts and understand” what role each law enforcement agency played, because he spoke on August 25 at the RNC.

Martin then ripped him for having been at the RNC despite “knowing that his office was investigating a case of this magnitude that would take on the kind of, you know, grand magnitude it does in terms of Black Lives Matter movement too, have him associated with that convention and Donald Trump’s message about mobs and law and order and riots and all the pejorative terms he’s attached to people who are peacefully protesting.”

“I just think it left something to be desired and probably undermined his credibility to a certain extent,” she added.

The ever-partisan host Brianna Keilar concurred and complained that he would dare to talk about the American justice system and how it doesn’t operate based on “mob justice.” Instead, Keilar implied he was doing so to parrot Trump and use “politically-loaded language.”

Coates didn’t hold back when maligning Cameron, starting with him denouncing outside groups and individuals acting as though they know what happened and how the investigation should have gone before emptying her thesaurus of disdain and concluding with the term “very juvenile.”

In other words, she aptly described how CNN goes about its news presentation (click “expand”):

Well it was not coincidental, nor was his statements about, ‘well, don’t let outsiders or celebrities or the media or influencers try tell Kentucky people how to feel, that you should make sure — these are all outsiders.’ These are triggering words for people, all nod to hidden gestures to show he was demonstrating that he was well aware of the talking points that are out there. And I found it very problematic, particularly given the great odds and length that he went through, excuse me, to talk about why he took so long to come to his conclusion too, put it before the grand jury, that he wanted to make sure there was objectivity, that there was no hint of impropriety. Then you have a bull horn in front of your face as you use these certain words. 

And, of course, that — Areva was talking about — the idea this will ring hollow and disingenuous. But remember, all the discussions about mob violence really are an attempt to try to conflate people who are rightfully and righteously, peacefully protesting with those engaged in behavior that might be criminal. But people are asking him why did you not choose manslaughter? Why, if there was a wanton disregard for human life, why was that not an available option for the grand jury? The idea that, ‘oh, it was the grand jury who chose those charges and the grand jury who decided on the claims.’ Every time I have indicted someone, it was me, as the prosecutor, who was presenting the relevant statutes to the grand jury. It wasn’t the other way around where they told me how to prosecute a case, so I found that to be very juvenile.

With more prodding from Keilar, Coates seemed to argue that, if Cameron wanted to have the grand jury return more severe charges, he could have forced them into that corner: “Remember, prosecutors, for good or bad, can prosecute ham sandwiches if not because the deli tells us what to do. It’s because we are in control of that particular room.”

CNN Tonight host Don Lemon took the same tract as Martin and took issue with Cameron as if he’s no more than a partisan actor who spoke at the RNC (click “expand”):

Now, I do agree with the attorney general, that says we have to be prudent.  We — we — we should protest with this. I don’t believe in the violence. But also, it is, to me, I don’t understand, Brianna, why this attorney general, who had such a big case ahead of him, knowing he was going to have to announce whatever charges, whatever came out of this case, why he would choose to go speak at the Republican convention? Remember, this was the same convention with the St. Louis couple who pulled guns on protesters in St. Louis. Why he would go on such a politically-charged event, at such a politically-charged and racially-charged time and do that. So, his creditability is at stake with announcing these charges. 

So, again, work out the evidence. I think everyone should listen to the evidence. We should be prudent about it. There should be no violence. People should protest if they want. That is their prerogative….I call it the summer of George Floyd. And perhaps this may be — this may be — the fall of Breonna Taylor. 

For those that are unaware, state attorneys general are elected in 43 states (whereas the other seven are appointed by the governor) and thus run political campaigns just like a race for auditor general, governor, House, Senate, state legislature, or state court seats (which is the case in 20 states).

Due to the breaking news, CNN was in rolling coverage and thus there were no advertisements. However, to read more about the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back campaign, go here.

To see the relevant CNN transcript from August 23, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom
September 23, 2020
2:42 p.m. Eastern

LAURA COATES: The fact that was not the real focus, it seems, of the grand jury process, the idea they were focusing instead on those who could have died, which is important but those who could have died versus as woman who actually did. That’s very confusing for people to think about and try to reconcile that point when they’re shouting in the streets that black lives matter. Apparently, it took the potential for life to be lost and I think that he tried in what seems his best effort, as attorney general, to try to quell an eventual unrest by pointing out there was not enough information to conclude that their actions were unjustified and that, as you see, once again, shows why often times justice just feels like the carat always dangled and never actually caught. 

BRIANNA KEILAR: Yeah. Areva, I wonder what you think, especially as we talk about these charges when they have to do with Detective Henkinson. What we heard from the Attorney General was none of the shots that he fired, which appeared to be indiscriminately fired, ten of them through a window and a screen — a sliding door that had shades or some sort of — of visible obstruction on it, none of those were responsible or shot Brianna Taylor, but that is — that is of little comfort to those looking at this process and hoping that there would be more accountability. 

AREVA MARTIN: Yeah, Brianna. There are a couple of things that struck me about the press conference and the attorney general. Definitely the point that Laura made and that you’re making about the charges with respect to bullets that didn’t shoot any person, that went into a wall, went into empty space space but there are no charges with respect to the many bullets that we know — at least six that went into Brianna Taylor’s body that ultimately resulted in her death. And then the conversation about the witnesses. That The New York Times reporter said that, you know, investigators, reporters all over this country have combed that apartment complex, they’ve talked to as many as 12 witnesses and only one person heard the police announce themselves and somehow in the basis of that one witnesses, verses 12 that heard nothing, there was a determination the police did announce themselves. I think all people are going to have a really difficult time believing that and being able to accept that as a justification for the police entering of the apartment. And the other thing, even though the attorney general got emotional, at times, and, you know, he was preaching to people about stay focused on the facts and understand the role of an attorney general is and, you know,  police investigators and grand juries are. I don’t think people are going to be — it’s not going to be lost on people that this is an attorney general that appeared at the Republican National Convention and spoke on behalf of Donald Trump. And knowing that his office was investigating a case of this magnitude that would take on the kind of, you know, grand magnitude it does in terms of black lives matter movement too, have him associated with that convention and Donald Trump’s message about mobs and law and order and riots and all the pejorative terms he’s attached to people who are peacefully protesting. I just think it left something to be desired and probably undermined his credibility to a certain extent. 

KEILAR: And — and to that point, I wonder what both of you think about that. I question the judgment of the Kentucky attorney general saying, “mob justice is not justice.” He said it becomes revenge. And, you know, that’s not being said in a vacuum, Laura because that word “the mob” and the President having said that if Joe Biden wins, the mob wins, that’s what he said — we know this is very politically-loaded language. It’s already been seized by people on both sides of this debate in what we’re seeing in this fight for criminal justice reform in this country. I wonder what you thought about him choosing those words when clearly, this was something he — he chose his words carefully. 

COATES: Well it was not coincidental, nor was his statements about, ‘well, don’t let outsiders or celebrities or the media or influencers try tell Kentucky people how to feel, that you should make sure — these are all outsiders.’ These are triggering words for people, all nod to hidden gestures to show he was demonstrating that he was well aware of the talking points that are out there. And I found it very problematic, particularly given the great odds and length that he went through, excuse me, to talk about why he took so long to come to his conclusion too, put it before the grand jury, that he wanted to make sure there was objectivity, that there was no hint of impropriety. Then you have a bull horn in front of your face as you use these certain words. And, of course, that — Areva was talking about — the idea this will ring hollow and disingenuous. But remember, all the discussions about mob violence really are an attempt to try to conflate people who are rightfully and righteously, peacefully protesting with those engaged in behavior that might be criminal. But people are asking him why did you not choose manslaughter? Why, if there was a wanton disregard for human life, why was that not an available option for the grand jury? The idea that, ‘oh, it was the grand jury who chose those charges and the grand jury who decided on the claims.’ Every time I have indicted someone, it was me, as the prosecutor, who was presenting the relevant statutes to the grand jury. It wasn’t the other way around where they told me how to prosecute a case, so I found that to be very —

KEILAR: And did you — did you —

COATES: — juvenile.

KEILAR: — was that clear to you? Was that clear to you, Laura?

COATES: No.

KEILAR: Because there was a reporter who asked were they presented with counts regarding Cosgrove and Mattingly and perhaps your legal ear might have discerned an answer to that question that mine did not. 

COATES: — right. They had all the actual statutes of homicide and all the different levels but did not answer the specific question which was ‘I could describe to you what the Kentucky laws say about murder and homicide and — and manslaughter.’ But did I present those actual charges? Did I tell you here are the charges I’m seeking an indictment on. Here are the factual statements I’m using to support these charges. Can you vote whether to indict on these charges.’ What he suggested and, Areva, I’d love to hear your opinion, what he suggested was instead of ‘waell, we told them the universe and they told us what they want us to do with it. That’s not how indictments work. Remember, prosecutors, for good or bad, can prosecute ham sandwiches if not because the deli tells us what to do. It’s because we are in control of that particular room.

(….)

2:56 p.m. Eastern

LEMON: Now, I do agree with the attorney general, that says we have to be prudent.  We — we — we should protest with this. I don’t believe in the violence. But also, it is, to me, I don’t understand, Brianna, why this attorney general, who had such a big case ahead of him, knowing he was going to have to announce whatever charges, whatever came out of this case, why he would choose to go speak at the Republican convention? Remember, this was the same convention with the St. Louis couple who pulled guns on protesters in St. Louis. Why he would go on such a politically-charged event, at such a politically-charged and racially-charged time and do that. So, his creditability is at stake with announcing these charges. So, again, work out the evidence. I think everyone should listen to the evidence. We should be prudent about it. There should be no violence. People should protest if they want. That is their prerogative. But I want you to think, as an Amer — as a person, someone knocks on your door in the middle of the night looking for something that is not there, and for, I would imagine, a person, evidence, that is not there. And all of a sudden, your loved one — your loved one, ends up dying from it. That’s where my heart goes. They will figure out what happens to the officers and he said he’s going to investigate it vigorously. Okay, investigate it vigorously, but what is — what happens to Breonna Taylor’s family? Nobody can bring Breonna Taylor back. No one can make up for the heartbreak for Tamika Palmer and for the rest of the family. That is what I’m thinking right now as we are looking at all of this unfolding. I call it the summer of George Floyd. And perhaps this may be — this may be — the fall of Breonna Taylor. 



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