CBS News is under fire over a recent social media post shared by the network about the ongoing trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.
According to Fox News, in a tweet, CBS News “reported” that Rittenhouse had testified this week that he “murdered two men” amid unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
“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,” CBS said.
The problem with CBS’s tweet is that the whole point of the ongoing trial is to determine whether Rittenhouse “murdered two men.” But, as many users on Twitter pointed out, CBS appeared to have already made up its mind that Rittenhouse is guilty — a conclusion that the jury has not reached.
“Oh, well, then. No need for trials, CBS News has delivered its verdict!” Dan McLaughlin of National Review remarked.
McLaughlin added in a subsequent tweet, “In the event of a conviction, a national news organization saying that will go straight into the appeal brief.”
Meanwhile, Mark Hemingway of RealClearInvestigations pointed out that “a lot of Rittenhouse coverage and commentary is straight up libelous.”
According to Fox, following the backlash, CBS News replaced its tweet with a new message: “Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his murder trial yesterday, breaking down in tears as he told the jury he killed two men at a Black Lives Matter protest last year in self-defense.”
The teenager, who was 17 at the time of the protest, is facing two counts of intentional homicide, one count of attempted homicide, one count of recklessly endangering safety, and one count of illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 years of age.
Rittenhouse indeed broke down crying as he explained that his fatal shooting of two men was in self defense. And witness testimony has supported this: One of Rittenhouse’s victims who survived even admitted to pointing a gun at Rittenhouse first.
Separately, Rittenhouse’s defense team has moved for a mistrial after the judge scolded the prosecution for infringing on the teenager’s Constitutionally-protected rights.
The judge has yet to rule on this motion.