On Thursday evening, a social media company confirmed that the audio recording that CNN released Monday purporting to be from the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson was recorded at the same exact time that the killing took place. Glide, a video texting service, released a statement saying that the sounds of gunshots on the recording was captured by a user in Ferguson at 12:02 PM on August 9th. In essence, the company has authenticated the recording as the shots fired by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
A Glide user living nearby (whose identity is being protected) was simply using the Glide app on their smartphone exactly as it was designed – to instantly communicate with a friend through our real-time video texting service. Simultaneously, they also captured audio in the background of the gunshots allegedly fired at Michael Brown.
Because Glide is the only messaging application using streaming video technology, each message is simultaneously recorded and transmitted, so the exact time can be verified to the second. In this case, the video in question was created at 12:02:14 PM CDT on Saturday, August 9th.
Over the past few days, conservative media have lambasted CNN for releasing the audio. One of the main issues right-wingers have had with the recording is that CNN’s Don Lemon, when breaking the news, specifically pointed out that the network could not independently verify the recording. Of course, Lemon did have on the lawyer of the man who recorded the shots (the Ferguson resident remains unidentified) and stated that the FBI had already interviewed the lawyer and man. While covering themselves with a blanket disclaimer, CNN was still confident enough to run the recording with the knowledge that it wouldn’t come back to bite them as a hoax.
However, that wasn’t good enough for the conservative media entertainment complex. They latched onto any spurious details they could find that might somehow prove that the recording was indeed fake. It started earlier this week when CNN had two former police officers on to discuss the authenticity of the recording. Even though both so-called experts specifically said they no idea one way or the other of the legitimacy of the recording, they both provided their personal opinions and thoughts regarding the tape. Basically, they thought it was likely a hoax and a way for someone to “punk” the network.
Below is video of the CNN segment:
Well, that was enough to start the right-wing screech-a-thon. All the usual suspects jumped on this huge ‘bombshell’ right away – The Daily Caller, Breitbart, Hot Air – declaring that experts debunked the recording as a hoax. Of course, nothing of the sort actually occurred. But that isn’t going to stop conservative media outlets from trying to change the narrative. The king of right-wing blubbery, Rush Limbaugh, not only claimed that the audio was a hoax, but attacked the man who made the recording for allegedly using Glide for sexting.
RUSH: Wait a second, stop the tape, stop, stop, cue this back. So now (laughing) this is great, CNN. Here we’ve got a guy involved in a — what do you call it, sexting? Here’s a guy involved in a sex chat, and he happens now to be a CNN source, so of course the first thing we have to do is say, “Hey, hey, nothing strange here. A lot of red-blooded American men do this. Ain’t no big deal, audience. So don’t discredit our new source because you might think he is a reprobate. No, no, no, no, no. We even have some people at CNN that do this.” Well, he didn’t say that, but that’s how — (laughing) and they tape themselves doing it, too. It’s just so common, nothing to see here on that score. Don’t be negatively affected by the fact that the guy is doing whatever he’s doing to his computer. Okay, here it is again from the top.
RUSH: Oh, is that why it took over a week, the guy didn’t know who to call? CNN’s probably walking by the house every day. How many media people were there? This guy is close enough to hear the shots, right? He and his computer are close enough for his computer to pick up the shots, and he can’t find a media person. He doesn’t know who to call. He doesn’t know how to reach them. He apparently can’t look out the window that picked up all these shots and see an army of media people out there. He didn’t know what to do. So somehow the guy finds CNN.
Now, we love Don Lemon here. Don Lemon, I mean, this guy’s a gem. We love him here. I hope nothing ever happens to him.
Salon’s John Avignone had the perfect response to Rush’s criticism of the man for apparently using his computer to chat with a female in a provocative way.
It was an ironic line of criticism to be sure, coming from a man detained at Customs over a jumbo-size bottle of Viagra after returning from a jaunt to the Dominican Republic.
With Glide’s statement on Thursday, another right-wing narrative has been destroyed. Last week, CNN blew a hole in the false story spread by conservative media that Darren Wilson suffered a blowout orbital fracture at the hands of Michael Brown prior to shooting him dead. The story had been making the rounds in the conservative blogosphere for a couple of days before Fox News attempted to give it credibility by running a confirmed report on it. Eventually, CNN’s Don Lemon confirmed that Wilson did not suffer an eye bone fracture, ripping apart the poorly constructed lie set forth by agenda-driven right-wingers.
Now, the same has happened with the audio recording. Conservatives, who fully want to believe that the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man at the hands of a white police officer was perfectly acceptable and called for, continue to put all of their eggs in non-existent baskets. What is mind-boggling is that the stories they toss out there are eventually found to be false. Obviously, we would all discover whether or not Wilson sustained a broken orbital. Same goes for this audio recording. Down the line, a full authentication would be made public.
The attempt to distract and create false narratives may work for 24-48 hour time periods, but in the end, it only serves to discredit the outlets doing it even more. The more one cries wolf, the less one trusts them as a reliable source of news and information.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).