Friday, May 24th, 2019

5 Stories the Media Ignored While Reporting on Kanye’s Meeting with Trump

Published on December 15, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

VIDEO: Donald Trump & Kanye West Awkwardly Pose For Photos, Answer Press Questions After Meeting

CAREY WEDLER

Regardless of one’s opinions on the two eccentric men and their meeting this week, it’s impossible to deny that other stories with far-reaching implications flew under the radar — stories more relevant than whether or not Kim Kardashian’s husband Kanye will run for office in the next presidential election:

1. Drug overdose deaths have surpassed gun deaths and car accidents: It emerged this week that according to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drug overdose deaths, largely driven by the nation’s ongoing opiate epidemic, have soared in the last year. Though heart disease is still the leading killer in the United States, over 55,000 Americans have died from drugs. The staggering figure comes even as the federal government has stepped up its efforts to combat opiate addiction, which have apparently failed to curb the health crisis brought on largely by pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and overzealous doctors. This data suggests American’s aren’t getting their money’s worth: the DEA’s budget is almost $3 billion — but they’re still concerned about not being able to arrest people for weed.

2. Journalist calls CIA’s bluff on Russian hack claims: One angle the media has made sure to perpetuate is its unsubstantiated narrative that Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election. Over the last week, mainstream headlines have promoted the CIA’s anonymous claims of ‘Russian infiltration’ as fact, but while that story has received widespread attention, journalistic attempts to challenge it have not. Nevertheless, Jeremy Scahill, investigative journalist and author of Dirty Wars, offered a chance for the intelligence community to prove its claims. “U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly demonstrated that they regularly both lie and get things horribly wrong. In this case they may well be correct, but they cannot expect Americans to simply take their word for it,” Scahill wrote for The Intercept, pointing out the CIA’s own history of tampering with foreign elections and, worse, overthrowing elected leaders. Scahill effectively called the agency’s bluff and offered individuals within it a chance to validate the claims. “[I]f it comes to pass that the U.S. government refuses to back up these serious claims with evidence, then perhaps a patriotic whistleblower will do the public an important service,” he wrote, providing a link to The Intercept’s secure drop. One would think a media apparatus concerned with unearthing the facts about Russia’s involvement would promote an effort to substantiate their claims — claims other agencies have since disputed.

3. Man acquitted of charges of shooting at cops: After awaiting trial behind bars for nearly two years, this week Texan Ray Rosas was acquitted of attempted capital murder and aggravated assault charges against three police officers who incorrectly raided his home. The prosecution opted to drop those charges while retaining the counts of aggravated assault. But as local Corpus Christi outlet KRISTV reported, “The defense argued Rosas did not know he was firing at police, after SWAT actions were not carried out simultaneously and he was disoriented by a flash-bang grenade going off in his bedroom.” The jury acquitted Rosas of the remaining charges, setting a precedent that police should face consequences for incompetence and overzealous raid tactics (a similar scenario unfolded in Texas in 2014). Notable examples of police misconduct during raids include a baby who was seriously injured by a flash grenade that landed in its crib, as well as dogs killed by officers raiding the wrong homes. Considering SWAT raids have been on the rise in recent years — and according to the ACLU, 80 percent have been for search warrants — this court case is especially timely.

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