Just after midnight, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin turned deadly after a teenager allegedly killed two and injured a third. The protracted incident was an apparent case of self-defense (though he was charged with first-degree intentional homicide), as the teen was fleeing from a mob of violent rioters. But the viewers of ABC, CBS, and NBC were treated to lies and misinformation during their evening newscasts later that day.
Video evidence from multiple angles show 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse running into a parking lot as a violent rioter chased after him and threw something at him. As the assailant got closer, Rittenhouse turned and fired his rifle. The 17-year-old was then chased down the street as a violent mob attacked him. He fell to the ground and was beaten with a skateboard by one assailant and another brandished a handgun at him. Again Rittenhouse defended himself with his rifle.
But that’s not the story that was told to network news viewers.
According to ABC correspondent Alex Perez on World News Tonight, “this graphic video shows a man opening fire on a crowd in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shortly after another nearby shooting…” He said this while playing video of Rittenhouse falling to the ground.
“A video showing a man running down the street with a firearm. A crowd chasing behind him. That man falls to the ground and begins shooting,” Perez added, with no mention of the fact that one of the people bearing down on him (and who was shot in the arm) was holding a handgun.
On CBS Evening News, correspondent Mola Lenghi painted Rittenhouse as a mass shooter on a rampage. “It allegedly began when he shot one person in the head at this boarded up business. Then fired on protesters in the middle of the street as they tried to subdue him,” he claimed.
And no other details were given about what happened in the chaos, even though plenty of on-the-ground accounts from reporters who witnessed it existed.
NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez somehow found a way to be even more vague about the incident. “This video captured part of the chaos. Shots ringing out. A man on the ground firing a long gun. Bystanders running in horror. It is unclear what happened before or after this video,” he told viewers.
What also went unmentioned by all three networks was how Daily Caller chief video director Richie McGinniss was inches away when the first shooting in the parking lot. He took the shirt off his back and used it to render aid. He then helped to carry the wounded man to the hospital. McGinniss had also interviewed Rittenhouse earlier in the night.
These lies and misinformation were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Verizon on ABC, Allstate on CBS, and Farmers Insurance on NBC. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about what they’re funding. CBS Evening News has also asked people to text anchor Norah O’Donnell at this number: (202) 217-1107.
The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:
ABC’s World News Tonight
August 26, 2020
6:40:47 p.m. Eastern
ALEX PEREZ: Tonight, this graphic video shows a man opening fire on a crowd in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shortly after another nearby shooting, as authorities braced for a fourth night of demonstrations in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting by police.
Officers trying to disperse a crowd violating curfew Tuesday, when the chaos spirals. A video showing a man running down the street with a firearm. A crowd chasing behind him. That man falls to the ground and begins shooting.
Kenosha police saying two were killed and one was injured in shootings overnight. And that a group of men, many armed, had been patrolling the area where the violence happened. Authorities in neighboring Illinois today arresting 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to face, according to court documents, first degree intentional homicide for his alleged role in the fatal shootings.
CBS Evening News
August 26, 2020
6:40:44 p.m. Eastern
MOLA LENGHI: The shootings erupted just before midnight. The shooter, alleged to be 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse. It allegedly began when he shot one person in the head at this boarded up business. Then fired on protesters in the middle of the street as they tried to subdue him.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He just shot them!
LENGHI: The gunman is then seen walking past multiple law enforcement vehicles with his hands raised, assault rifle in toe, leaving the scene without being stopped. Today, Rittenhouse was taken into custody in his home town of Antioch, Illinois, just 15 miles from Kenosha, and is being held on first-degree intentional homicide charges.
NBC Nightly News
August 26, 2020
7:06:27 p.m. Eastern
LESTER HOLT: Now to another major story we’re following, the deadly shooting that erupted during the Jacob Blake protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Two people killed, a third injured and late today a 17-year-old under arrest. Gabe Gutierrez is there. We want to warn you some of the video is disturbing.
[Cuts to video]
GABE GUTIERREZ: Tonight, an arrest in the deadly violence that broke out last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the shooting of Jacob Blake. This video captured part of the chaos. Shots ringing out. A man on the ground firing a long gun. Bystanders running in horror. It is unclear what happened before or after this video.