After mocking, accusing, condemning, and declaring Kyle Rittenhouse guilty daily since the shootings on August 25, 2020, the Cable News Network appeared to have put their in-the-field correspondent on, to go down a list of items that legal was worried about. Watch:
Almost immediately following the reading of the non-guilty verdict exonerating Kyle Rittenhouse, CNN went into what is referred to as CYA mode.
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Here are some of the corrections and previously reported accusations (lies) the network had made against Rittenhouse, but now are saying they learned a lot of things from the trial and thus implying they no longer believe them.
- Kyle and his AR-15 were already in Kenosha and that he did not cross over state lines to go to the protest. CNN had previously reported the opposite.
- The rifle was legal for Kyle to carry because of the length, CNN had been reporting it was not.
- Kyle was working that night and stayed over, again the opposite of what had been reported.
- Drone video showed Joseph Rosenbaum chasing Kyle and kept charging right before getting shot, media had reported Kyle shot without any provocation.
Regardless of what appears to be a clean-up act, the network might have opened themselves up for a liable suit similar to the one brought by Nick Sandmann, in which CNN and other liberal publishing companies have settled for purportedly large sums of money, out of court.
Here are some excerpts from it:
And while the jury’s decision drew harsh criticism from the victims’ loved ones, legal experts say they were not surprised by the verdict.
These were the factors experts said helped lead to Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
Among the trial’s most key moments was the testimony from Rittenhouse, who told the court he acted in self-defense when he shot Rosenbaum, who he said threatened him earlier, chased him, threw a bag at him, and lunged for his gun. At one point, 18-year-old Rittenhouse broke down in tears while on the stand.
Rittenhouse’s testimony was key
“Number one, you humanize him… More important, number two, he explained his uses of force,” CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson said.
Rittenhouse’s testimony gave jurors the ability to hear what he thought at the time and whether he believed he was in danger — a claim the prosecution, ultimately failed to undermine, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said.
State did not prove Rittenhouse provoked violence
What the trial came down to, according to civil rights attorney Charles F. Coleman Jr. were two competing narratives: one of Rittenhouse being a victim who was attacked, and one of being a vigilante who provoked the violence.
“The jury bought the narrative of Kyle Rittenhouse being a victim, they thought that his self-defense claim was a lot stronger than the prosecution’s provocation claim,” he said.
Prosecutors also took missteps
There were mistakes the state made as well, including overselling the case by trying to paint Rittenhouse as an active shooter, Honig, the former federal prosecutor, said.
Jury instructions were consequential, expert says
Finally, the jury instructions also helped lead to Rittenhouse’s acquittal, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates said.
Coates said the instructions said jurors had to look at the case through the eyes of then 17-year-old Rittenhouse, not in hindsight, and assess the reasonableness of his actions.