Marble Halls & Silver Screens With Sarah Lee Ep. 113: The 'Rittenhouse Misinfo, Finch, and Books on Film Edition' Edition

The Rittenhouse trial is wrapping up as I write, and there is much consternation and debate about whether Kyle Rittenhouse will be acquitted of all charges now that word has come down that the judge threw out the weapons possession charge. Of course many are concerned that, no matter what, Kenosha may light up again as it did when Kyle Rittenhouse, at 17 years old, felt compelled to go into the street to try to defend a community he arguably felt close with because he had family living there.

As I listen to the prosecution lay out its closing argument, it’s striking to hear the characterizations of the men shot by Rittenhouse, who were, by almost every account, criminals who ran down Rittenhouse, tried to harm him, and threatened to kill him along the way. Let’s just say the prosecution is very much playing up the victim angle, despite not being allowed to refer to these men (one of whom was a serial child molester) as such in court. This is all especially interesting in light of a recent development that has been building as the trial plays out on TV: left-leaning twitter users have been admitting — even apologizing — for not knowing the facts of the Rittenhouse case and rushing to judge the kid. Here are just two examples:

This is a remarkable turn of events for several reasons. First, it indicates there are still people on the left who recognize when they’ve been had, and they don’t like it all that much. That’s a sign that inspires hopefulness in a way I’ve not personally felt since protestors began roaming our city streets in the summer of 2020, damaging property, assaulting police and pedestrians, and just generally being antisocial and nihilistic for months.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, it places some of the blame squarely where it belongs (which is especially poignant to me as I listen to TV news coverage of the closing arguments): on the media. The reason some of these people never knew the facts of the Rittenhouse trial, and indeed what actually happened in Kenosha, is because news outlets and reporters were absolutely negligent in not telling the whole, true story. The now-infamous image of a CNN reporter standing in front of a burning street in Kenosha with a chyron that read: “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shooting” is leaping to mind and tap dancing.

There is a very real possibility that the mainstream press — and that’s a many-headed hydra that includes the innocent as well as the guilty — are just as much to blame for the descent into madness our culture has been grappling with these last several years as the wild children who actually took to the streets to burn them down in the summer of 2020. And it’s a very, very good thing that their most vulnerable targets — the American left, with their tendency to believe propaganda — are becoming wise to the problem.

I talk about all that on today’s show, and offer thoughts on the interesting and feel-good Tom Hanks vehicle “Finch” (trailer below). There’s also some stuff in there about the delightful reemergence of literature in filmmaking.

Settle in with your earbuds and give it a go.

The show lives on Spotify and you can also find me at iHeartRadio, Apple PodcastsFCB Radio’s Spreaker, and Deezer.