Sunday, December 20, 2009

A DC Snowball fight, A Gun, And FOX News

Yesterday in Washington DC a twitter organized snowball fight broke out, and in the mayham, snow was hurled and yes, police guns were drawn. And though every other news source has reported these snowballers to be young revelers just attempting to have fun, a video on FOX news claims these young people were in actuality anti-war protesters. However in comparison to the FOX news updated story on its website which makes no mention of that fact and in comparison to every other report the attribution of an anti-war position to the snowballers was wrong, and one must wonder why FOX ever made it in the first place.

The DC snowball fight was captured fruitously on multiple hand held video cameras, (H/T to Red Tory), and the recorded video shows the aftermath of snowballs hitting a marone Hummer occupied by an off-duty police detective.

The video continues with detective Baylor upon getting out of his vehicle is hit with a snowball and then without identifying himself pulls out his gun. The crowd becomes vocal to this disproportionate response and a worried citizen calls the police, not aware that the man with a gun was actually a detective. Other policemen arrive and eventually any hostilities are quieted; however the shock that a member of the police force would draw his weapon in response to a snowball is continuing to draw much unwanted attention to the DC police department.

In the early hours after this story went viral, many news outlets reported the story as an innocent snowball fight that went wrong, however FOX news added a previously unmentioned aspect, that these weren't just any snowballers, they were anti-war protesters who got out of hand.

It is hard to say defintively whether FOX news made up this fact or a source was wrong, but when considering FOX's updated news page reports otherwise it is clear FOX news' initial story involving anti-protesters was wrong. FOX news on its updated page states:

But what started as a good-natured romp in the snow soon took a turn toward the unexpected — and potentially dangerous — when an undercover D.C. police officer became involved in a verbal altercation with members of the crowd and allegedly pulled out his gun.
With FOX news now omitting the anti-war protest aspect of its earlier version, I am left wondering why was it included in the first place? Was it because an original source was in error? Or was it something more? Where prior to the full footage being released (as FOX's video using differnt footage, it's clear this wasn't available at the time), was the original story an attempt to make anti-war protesters appear so unruly and hostile, police action was needed to break up the protest?


Other video demonstrating the snowball fight was not a protest of any kind and was intended to be all in good fun:


dhinge said...

It doesn't matter whether what you say is a lie, untruth, or misstatement, if it's heard, it's true to the person who heard it. said...

Until proven false. And FOX, I believe, was proven false.

Blogger said...

ABC News reported about the Anti war protestors too said...

No where in the ABC video do they mention anti-war protesters. Only in the short sparse text at the bottom, and then it's only that some anti-war protesters showed up to the snowball fight, not that it was an anti-war protest.

A snowball fight where some anti-war protesters show up is different from an anti-war protest that has a snowball fight.

Mel Holden said...

DC Police Department Strategic Goals (per their website):

 Reduce and prevent crime and criminal victimization.
 Produce justice by calling offenders to account for their crimes.
 Enhance the sense of safety and security in public spaces.
 Use force and authority judiciously and fairly.
 Assure customer satisfaction.
 Develop an organization that is competitive, professional,
equitable, and equipped with state-of-art tools and systems.

- - -
I'd have to say they've got a ways to go to meet their goals if this is how their officers behave.

WesternGrit said...

The Fox News agenda marches hand in hand with the "police state" agenda. The USA (in some quarters, and undetected by some) has become a military/police state. According to many of the Fox News side of the equation, the "men in uniform" can never make a mistake.

This is a simple spin-off of that idiocy. 12-year-olds with water pistols being shot is another. When the public perception of rampant crime and "terrorism" is so all-encompassing, EVERYTHING becomes a threat - even snowballs.


Kluge said...

I think they got the "Anti-War Protest" angle from the homemade shield (looks like the side of a 55gal drum) that one kid was holding which had "US OUT OF..." someplace painted on it. Add to that the inordinate amount of people on the scene with video cameras (plus even a two second bit showing a guy lugging around a professional/commercial setup on his shoulder) and you get == Fox News doing what it does best...sensationalizing the news and shoving the whole mess out on the air before some other network scoops 'em.

Personally, I'd love to see footage showing what led up to all this... The detective obviously over-reacted by brandishing a firearm, not identifying himself, and letting himself get dragged into a shouting match with dozens of kids. This could have really gone down horribly for everyone.