Opportunities to congratulate CNN for getting things right don’t often present themselves, so they shouldn’t pass unremarked. On his Saturday show, Michael Smerconish did yeoman’s work dismantling the myth of one social justice martyr while exposing the ignorance of another.
Colin Kaepernick, former QB-turned-lefty gadfly, recently took up the cause of Mumia Abu-Jamal a former Black Panther serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia has maintained his innocence, and gullible (or ruthless) left-wingers have been calling for Mumia’s release for decades. He was surely framed and railroaded by a racist system, they’ve argued. Kaepernick has lent his woke celebrity appeal to the effort, recording a video in which he repeats Mumia’s lies and calls for his release.
Smerconish who, along with Officer Faulkner’s widow, wrote “Murdered by Mumia,” a book about the case, isn’t having it. On show, he thoroughly dismantled Kapernick’s arguments. After a nod to Kaepernick’s self-invented status as a free-speech martyr, Smerconish admitted he doesn’t know an awful lot about football. Addressing Kaepernick directly, he said, “And might I suggest that when it comes to Mumia Abu-Jamal, you are similarly out of your depth.”
He briefly summarized the evidence presented at trial by eyewitnesses, noting that after Mumia shot Faulkner in the back, he “executed” him with a shot “between the eyes.” Before that, Faulkner managed to get a shot off, hitting Mumia in the stomach. “With that bullet, you can say that he confirmed the identity of his executioner,” Smerconish said. The bullet taken from Faulkner’s brain was an exact match to Mumia’s gun, and witnesses at the ER where Mumia was taken heard him say, “I shot the motherfucker and I hope the motherfucker dies.”
“The case,” Smerconish said, “had eyewitnesses, a ballistics match and a confession.” But “For reasons that have never made any sense, Abu-Jamal has over the years become the darling of Hollywood activists, rock bands, documentarians and college kids.” Mumia “has snowed a lot of people with rhetoric that is simply nonsense.and now he seeks to do so with a new generation led apparently by Colin Kaepernick.” Smerconish noted that Abu-Jamal has written books and was given a radio show by NPR. (Move that to the top of your Defund NPR list.)
Kaepernick’s call won’t make any difference because, Smerconish said,“Abu-Jamal will die in jail -- a fate more civilized than that which he gave to Danny Faulkner.” But he thanked Kaepernick for listening and addressed him in closing: “You should know that Maureen Faulkner, Police Officer Danny Falkner’s widow, would love to talk to you about the case. Will you take that meeting?”