The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.
In fact, Franklin contends that nearly every aspect of the popular narrative is wrong. He goes through it one-by-one. The whites-only tree wasn't really whites only. The nooses hung on the tree were aimed not at black students but instead at members of the school's rodeo team. The District Attorney never threatened black students. Robert Bailey was punched in the face, not hit with a beer bottle, as he subesequently claimed. (True to form, Newsweek embelished this to his being pelted with beer bottles.) Bailey and his friends did indeed jump a white guy at a convenience store and steal his shotgun. And, finally, Mychall Bell really did hit Justin Barker from behind, and he really was stomped upon by a mob of black students.
Gosh, who could have predicted that the media narrative would turn out to be a bit overstated? Me, maybe? In fact, my first post on the topic, back on September 7, was a call for skepticism about the media narrative. I hate to say "I told you so, but . . ." OK, who am I kidding. I LOVE to say I told you so.
I told you so.
UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Glenn. A hearty welcome to all my new readers. Feel free to check out all my posts on the Jena 6 matter, or look around and see what I have to say about torture, or George W. Bush, or even read some of my restaurant reviews.
UPDATE 2: Minor error fixed.