By now it is a matter of public knowledge that a 69-year-old Jewish man protesting in California died as a result of striking his head on the pavement subsequent to being hit in the face with a megaphone by an anti-Israel protester. For some unexplained reason, CBS News continues to refuse to fully report the circumstances of this crime.
Our friend Curtis Houck spotted this trend earlier today. Since then, ABC and NBC have course-corrected their earlier reporting and it is a testament to the times we live in that we now acknowledge media outlets for calling a murder a murder.
CBS, however, remains unfazed. Here’s how Norah O’Donnell opened and framed the report:
NORAH O’DONNELL: Well, back here at home, protests and demonstrations on both sides of the conflict are taking place almost daily in cities across the country. While most are peaceful, some rallies have turned violent. Tonight, an investigation is underway after the death of a 69-year-old Jewish man who was fatally injured at a rally near Los Angeles. CBS’s Elise Preston reports on the disturbing details.
So these rallies are violent but mostly peaceful. Got it.
Norah O’Donnell promises us that correspondent Elise Preston is going to report on “the disturbing details.” Such as cause of death, perhaps?
ELISE PRESTON: Thousand Oaks, California, is trying to come to grips with why 69-year-old Paul Kessler lay dying after a confrontation. Moments earlier, he had held an Israeli flag. Nearby, pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
Care to fill in the details, Elise? Will a soundbite from the local sheriff shed any light?
VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF JAMES FRYHOFF: Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime.
OK, so a hate crime. Has anyone been charged? Any specific details on how this hate crime occurred? O’Donnell said there would be details. Disturbing, even.
PRESTON: But no one has been charged. And police say they still have no video showing why, and how, Kessler fell to the ground. Fracturing his skull. He died hours later.
How did he fall? Surely there are some witnesses that could corroborate what seems to be public knowledge? That the man fell backwards after being cracked in the face with a megaphone?
FRYHOFF: These witnesses are providing conflicting statements about what the altercation and who the aggressor was.
Conflicting statements. Can we get some rational analysis of what happened?
[Chanting “Free Palestine”]
PRESTON: With emotions often reaching a fever pitch nationwide, and with attacks on the rise fueled by antisemitism and islamophobia, this community may be the latest impacted.
Emotions. Both sides. This about sums up a huge chunk of the reporting so far. Nothing yet about those details we were promised. Does the local constabulary seem to have contingencies in place so this doesn’t happen again?
PRESTON: Does this incident change your safety and patrol measures at demonstrations regardless of the size?
FRYHOFF: No- so we are not changing our protocol. 15 minutes prior to this confrontation, there was no indication of impending violence.
PRESTON: The Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations said in a statement: we join local Jewish leaders in calling on all individuals to refrain from jumping to conclusions. At a makeshift vigil, tributes and anguish.
MOURNER: My heart hurts that someone innocently left home and he never came back.
Why is it that he never came back? What happened? Instead of parroting CAIR’s warnings against “jumping to conclusions”, why has there been no utterance of what actually led to this man’s death?
PRESTON: Now investigators tell us there have been many conflicting statements about who actually started this incident. They are asking anyone with video to come forward. They are actually hoping someone who drove by captured the altercation on their car cameras. Norah.
NORAH O’DONNELL: There are cameras everywhere. Elise Preston, thank you.
Conflicting statements, you see. CBS needs car camera video, you see. Without those, CBS can’t possibly report what actually happened, and viewers are left to infer as to how the man died.
What you saw quoted above was the FULL transcript of the report as aired on the CBS Evening News on Tuesday, November 7th, 2023. There were no details whatsoever, disturbing or otherwise.
CBS News could not bring themselves to report that a Jewish man, holding an Israeli flag while standing on a street corner, was struck in the face with a bullhorn by a pro-Hamas protester, subsequent to which he fell backwards, struck his head on the pavement, and died. Contrary to O’Donnell’s promises, there were NO details- disturbing or otherwise.
It bears asking again: Whose reputation is CBS trying to preserve?