On Thursday’s Good Morning America, co-host Michael Strahan performed the first interview with Jacob Blake, who’s partially paralyzed after being shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which was followed by destructive rioting. The “objective” media contributed to the unrest by claiming Blake was “unarmed” when he was shot. As John Sexton at Hot Air and others noted, Blake himself admitted on ABC that he had a knife, that it fell out of his pocket after being tased twice by the cops. Then he picked it back up.
“I shouldn’t have picked it up,” Blake admitted. “I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Strahan attempted to help him explain: “You were thinking once you get the knife into the car you were going to just say…”
Blake said, “Throw myself to the ground and put my arms behind my back.”
On Twitter, Jeryl Bier brought the sarcasm: “Jacob Blake says he was ready to surrender before being shot, but after he was tased, pulled out the taser darts & put his OPEN KNIFE back in his car. Then he’d surrender…” That doesn’t make any sense, especially if you’re the police.
ABC noted there was a warrant for Blake based on accusations of domestic violence and sexual assault. Sexton pointed out that ABC does not explain to viewers that once officers encounter Blake, “they have no choice but to arrest him for the warrant. There is no discretion under which they can decide to allow him to leave.”
Then there’s this:
After the shooting, Blake told investigators that he didn’t know why officers were trying to arrest him and that he didn’t know he had a felony warrant out for his arrest. But investigators found a text message on his phone in which Blake mentioned having a warrant for his arrest (he only had one so there’s no confusion about which warrant). Investigators looked at his internet search history and found that he had looked up information on his own warrant on a police website.
So when Blake claims in this interview, “I hadn’t done anything so I didn’t feel like they were there for me,” that’s just not true. He had done something and the moment he saw the police he must have known they could be there for him because of the warrant.
ABC did note that Blake had previously been arrested for attempting to resist arrest and flee police, but did not point out that the previous instance from 2010 also involved Blake waving a knife at a group of officers as they tried to arrest him. Did he really seem like a low risk to officer safety?
At least Strahan took all of Blake’s curious testimony and pressed him with a critical perspective. He said some people watching the video of this incident ask “Why didn’t he just stop and do what the police are asking him to do?” Blake claimed he couldn’t hear the cops.
Even Strahan is skeptical. “If the police were fighting me, if they were tasing me, I would stop walking away from them and they would have my attention.” But the dominant narrative remains that the police are usually wrong in these situations.
This is the sympathetic narrative you’d find on the GMA website: