International media outlets reported that Kyle Rittenhouse was exonerated of shooting three black men, killing two, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020. But Rittenhouse didn't shoot black men; he shot three white men, and he was found not guilty Friday because he acted in self-defense.
Despite this, British online newspaper The Independent wrote that Rittenhouse was "cleared of murder after shooting dead two Black Lives Matters protestors," and claimed that the "Teenager who shot three black men with rifle found not guilty on all charges." The Independent changed their reporting to reflect reality, but they were not the only outlet to make this claim.
Media said Jacob Blake was killed by police; he wasn't. They said Rittenhouse crossed state lines with a gun; he didn't. They said it was illegal for him to carry this gun; those charges were thrown out, because it was legal.
They said he had no connection to the community; he had deep ties. They said he brought a gun to a Black Lives Matter protest, but it was where rioters had burned down local businesses. They said he was there to kill people, yet a jury of his peers determined that he acted in self-defense. And they inferred that and allowed readers to believe Rittenhouse shot three black men.
The Independent was not the only international outlet to report that Rittenhouse shot and killed black men who were protesting on behalf of Black Lives Matter. During his podcast on Saturday on the Callin app, journalist Glenn Greenwald told listeners that the top daily papers in Brazil led with headlines claiming that Rittenhouse got off after shooting three black men.
He noted that a Dutch newspaper made this same claim. He questioned how these outlets could have gotten this idea, noting that The Intercept, among others, noted repeatedly that Rittenhouse was white, and by not reporting on the race of those who were shot, obfuscated their race entirely.
An outlet in Singapore also made the error.
On Twitter, many social media users noted that they had thought that Rittenhouse had shot and killed black men during the riot in Kenosha.
Writing in the Washington Examiner, senior columnist Tim Carney noted that "It's hard to avoid the conclusion that some liberal outlets want to fool their readers about what happened the night Kyle Rittenhouse shot three men."
People believed this because it seemed to be what they were being told by media. It would have taken reading beyond the mainstream media headlines and looking past the left-wing narrative to realize that Rittenhouse shot three white men, killing two, and that all of them were a threat to his life.
Liberal ice cream company Ben & Jerry's inferred that Rittenhouse shot black men by saying discussing how reporting would have been done if a black man "crossed state lines" and "shot 3 white protestors."
CNN, which had been one of those labeling Rittenhouse "a white supremacist" domestic terrorist vigilante, had to go back and correct their record.