The CBS Mornings’ Twitter account posted, then deleted, a tweet claiming Kyle Rittenhouse “murdered two men” on Thursday while the teen’s self-defense trial is ongoing.
Social media users blasted the news organization for the slip, with many using the tweet as an example of a much larger problem of biased media reporting and commentary that has surrounded the trial.
“Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his murder trial yesterday, breaking down in tears as he told the jury he murdered two men at a Black Lives Matter protest last year in self-defense,” the CBS Mornings tweet said.
“Bang up job, guys,” Washington Examiner senior commentary writer Becket Adams said.
bang up job, guys. pic.twitter.com/bhQVfYMcpZ
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) November 11, 2021
Real Clear Investigations senior writer Mark Hemingway noted, “Again, a lot of Rittenhouse coverage and commentary is straight up libelous.”
The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney called the CBS tweet politically motivated “slander.” “They will slander you happily if they think you have bad politics,” he tweeted.
“Oh, well, then. No need for trials, CBS News has delivered its verdict!” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin sarcastically quipped.
Earlier in the week, multiple media outlets downplayed testimony from Gaige Grosskreutz — whom Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree attempted homicide for shooting him in the arm — that Grosskreutz had leveled a gun at Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse shot his own. As The Daily Wire reported:
Headlines from most left-leaning outlets focused on Grosskreutz’s statements about fearing for his life, or his claim that he had surrendered to Rittenhouse, even though video shows otherwise and defense questioning also led to him admitting that was not the case.
For example, The Washington Post’s original headline read: “Gaige Grosskreutz says he feared for his life before Kyle Rittenhouse shot him during Kenosha unrest.” The headline has been altered to read: “Gaige Grosskreutz says he feared for his life, pointed gun at Kyle Rittenhouse before getting shot.”
MSNBC also posted a tweet with a caption that read: Man shot and seriously wounded by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year recounts the moments leading up to the near-fatal interaction, telling jurors he thought he “was going to die.”
Outlets also continually referred to Grosskreutz as the “lone survivor” of the men shot by Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz and killed two other men on August 25, 2020, amid riots and violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, sparked over the lawful police shooting of Jacob Blake. Court testimony has revealed that in each case, Rittenhouse was either being pursued, attacked, or threatened before he fired.
During his testimony, Grosskreutz admitted that Rittenhouse did not fire until Grosskreutz had pointed his own gun at the younger man. The exchange with Rittenhouse defense attorney Corey Chirafisi went as follows:
Corey Chirafisi: Now, you’d agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse. Correct?
Gaige Grosskreutz: Yes.
CC: Okay. And once your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, that’s when he fires his gun. Yes?
CC: Sir, look, I don’t want to – does this look like right now your arm is being shot?
GG: That looks like my bicep being vaporized, yes.
CC: Okay. And it’s being vaporized as you’re pointing your gun directly at him. Yes?
CC: Okay. So when you were standing 3-5 feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired. Right?
CC: It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun — now your hands down — pointed at him that he fired. Right?