Even a press critic cannot avoid injecting moral equivalency sewage into her criticism.
Bari Weiss wrote what could have been a very good dismantling of her industry’s intrinsically dishonest portrayal of Kyle Rittenhouse and the events surrounding him that led to his being put on trial. She had this, in the main, for her piece:
To admit that the press, in the main, got just about every key fact in the Rittenhouse case wrong—that he crossed state lines with a gun, that he had the gun illegally, that he had no connection to Kenosha, that he was connected to white supremacist groups—has nothing to do with whether Kyle Rittenhouse should have gone to Kenosha that day. It has nothing to do with where one stands on the question of open carry….
But then she ruined the entire piece with this moral equivalency:
Or whether or not a teenager should be allowed to walk around with a semiautomatic rifle. No teenager should have been walking around the chaos in Kenosha with a semiautomatic rifle that night.
Why not? Based on what journalistic holier-than-thou requirement is that?
One salient fact Weiss carefully chose to ignore was that, as a 17-year-old, Rittenhouse was legally barred from possessing a handgun, but he could possess a rifle.
Another salient fact that Weiss carefully chose to ignore was that Rittenhouse’s purpose in “walking around the chaos” was to render first aid to people injured in the riot that Weiss hides behind her euphemism and, at the request of some of the folks there, to protect one of the businesses under threat from that riot.
Does Weiss expect anyone to enter that riot wholly unarmed and incapable of defending himself, much less those injured he’s trying to treat, or the business he was asked to protect?
Or does she expect no one to go into an area from which—as she acknowledged—the police had been withdrawn by the decision of a cynical city government to abandon its own responsibilities and allow the rioters to wreak their havoc?
Does she believe that no citizen has a duty to his community and his fellows in that community, especially when its government has abandoned it—that duty always is someone else’s, some other entity’s, to satisfy? Who might that other be, who might that entity be, when government has run away?
And so, here we are: Weiss can’t bear to criticize her industry’s assault without also criticizing her industry’s target.
…that gets people who join it to subordinate their integrity, their morality, to their telling of a story?