The judge overseeing the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin announced from the bench on Thursday morning that any and all personnel from MSNBC are barred from the courthouse after allegations that one of the network’s employees was following the bus containing the Rittenhouse jurors as it left the courthouse Wednesday evening.
Judge Bruce Schroeder said a man who identified himself as James J. Morrison was behind the wheel of the car when it was stopped by officers who observed the vehicle running a red light, and Morrison told police that he’d been instructed by an MSNBC producer in New York to follow and observe the bus.
Morrison wasn’t in the courtroom this morning, and Schroeder, describing the matter as “very serious,” announced that while the issue is being investigated the network won’t be allowed inside.
According to the Kenosha News, it has been confirmed that an NBC producer was involved in the incident.
Morrison allegedly said he was told to follow the jury bus by his boss in New York, identified as Irene Byon. “He was taken in for violating a traffic control signal,” Schroeder said.
According to Schroeder, nobody else from NBC News “will be permitted in this building,” the Kenosha County Courthouse, “for the duration of this trial. This is a very serious matter … Someone following a jury bus, that is a very serious matter that will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”
Channel 5 Chicago (NBC) confirmed that an NBC producer was the party involved Thursday morning.
Late Thursday morning, Schroeder said that the individual was following the jury bus the night prior. “The jury in this case is being transported from a different location in a bus with windows covered so that they aren’t exposed to anything on one side or the other,” Schroeder explained. “That’s been done every day.”
MSNBC has been home to some of the most vitriolic coverage of the trial that I’ve seen; in particular Joy Ann Reid, who has drawn criticism from conservatives for mocking Kyle Rittenhouse’s tearful testimony in his own defense.
“It reminded a lot of people of something … Oh, the Brett Kavanaugh hearing,” the far-left host said about the images of Rittenhouse, 18, sobbing during his murder trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Kavanaugh also broke down during his 2018 Senate Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Kavanaugh “cried his way through the hearings” Reid, 52, said, as he sought to become “permanent member and associate justice of the Supreme Court.”
“And his [Kavanaugh’s] tears turned out to be more powerful than the tears of Christine Blasey Ford [his accuser],” the liberal host said.
“But in America, there’s a thing about both white vigilantism and white tears, particularly male white tears. Really white tears in general, because, that’s what Karens are, right?”
She added: “They can Karen out and then as soon as they get caught, bring waterworks.”
Apparently the despicable behavior from NBC News employees takes place off-camera as well. I’ll be interested to see MSNBC’s response here. Will they accuse Judge Schroeder of white fragility? Will Joy Ann Reid refer to the officers who stopped the network’s producer as a bunch of Karens? Maybe the network will bemoan the police state encroaching on the freedom of the press?
Much of the media coverage of the Rittenhouse trial has been abhorrently biased in favor of the prosecution, and MSNBC has been one of the prime offenders. In fact, the network even aired the prosecution’s closing arguments but declined to air the defense’s arguments that directly followed. The bias has been off the charts, and I expect it will get even worse now that MSNBC has been (rightfully) barred from the courthouse.
Here’s the lawyered up, non-denial denial from NBC.
NBC News statement: "Last night, a freelancer received a traffic citation. While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them" (1/2)
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 18, 2021