UPDATE: The Baltimore Fox-affiliate WBFF fired the reporter and photographer who doctored video to create this story (see below). The producer who assigned this story received only a one-day suspension, and the Fox network has not taken responsibility for its lies, defamation of character, or incitement to violence. See City Paper update on this story (12/31/14). The petition is on-going.

“They were terrified,” reads Genesis 42:35, as 11 of Jacob’s sons realize that their brother Joseph faked evidence that would link them to crime against the state [theft from Pharaoh’s household]. Just a few days ago, a Fox station in Baltimore similarly faked evidence of a crime against the state. Bible readers know that Joseph faked the crime for his own reasons, and that the act will eventually leads to a sort of reconciliation in this troubled family. Nonetheless, the brothers and their father are rightly terrified at the dangerous manipulation. Fox acted for its own reasons, as well, but it remains to be seen if there is any kind of reconciliation possible in this situation.

The shortest version: My friend, Kymone Freeman of We Act Radio, was at the large protest march in DC on December 13. He was filmed by C-SPAN holding a mic and portable amp while people are chanting “We won’t stop ’til killer cops are in cell blocks.” But Fox aired the clip, severely edited — on December 21, after the deaths of two police officers in NYC — claiming it was a chant of “kill a cop.”

Insult to injury: Tawanda Jones, who was filmed leading the chant, has been an especially peaceful activist, who persists in advocating for indictment of “killer cops” — including those responsible for death of her brother, Tyrone West, in custody of Baltimore City Police last year — while insisting that the existence of bad (“killer”) police tarnish the reputations of the entire force, which she supports.

Anyone who does evil, according to a medieval Jewish source, “is punished not only for the specific victim but for all who sorrow for him, as it is said, ‘Now comes the reckoning for his blood’ (Genesis 42:22)” — Sefer Hasidim, 131 (found in Zornberg’s Genesis: The Beginning of Desire, on the Joseph story).

  • This Fox story has not only damaged the specific victims — Tawanda Jones, Kymone Freeman, and others at the Dec. 13 march — but so many more.
  • Fox perpetrated reckless endangerment of individuals and a whole community.

 

These lies would never have aired without dangerous, racist assumptions

— on the part of Fox staff and viewers — behind them.

Jews know this story.

Anyone who has studied Jewish history knows this story.

Anyone who has studied black history knows this story.

Anyone who has studied Muslim history knows this story.

We all know this story!

It’s time to change the story!!

More Background

Here is a bit more background, the WBFF “apology,” and Kymone’s petition petition in response to being used in this ugly, dangerous manipulation.

Here is Tawanda Jones’ interview with the station that defamed her:

Note, please, that the interviewer has the audacity to say to Ms. Jones “you seem sincere,” as though THEIR distortion of her views deserved as much credence as HER OWN. Also, please note that Ms. Jones says the false story “killed a piece of me.” The Talmudic adage, “Just as the sword can kill so can the tongue” (Arachin 15b), seems amazingly and heart-breakingly apt.

Please read and consider signing and sharing.

Deeper Responses

Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

One Comment

  1. akismet-456787ca6b220d61e7627f573a62946a December 26, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Virginia,
    Thank you for writing and distributing this.

    You are a’ daughter of righteousness’.

    Ivan

    Reply

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