“We Were Just Trying to … Find Any Leads about the Case”: A Police Video Raises New Questions About NBC’s Rittenhouse Statement

In the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, proceedings were disrupted by what Judge Bruce Schroeder considered a major breach of security after NBC was found to be following the van of jurors. Given the threats in the case and the concern over jury intimidation, Schroeder was irate. In response, NBC released a statement that some of us found vague and misleading. Now a police video at the scene with NBC freelancer James Morrison confirms that the statement was intentionally misleading on the critical question of whether Morrison was ordered to follow jurors.

In the hearing, Schroeder announced that Morrison was pulled over after he sped through a red light to continue to follow the van.  He said that Morrison confirmed that a NBC producer (later identified as Irene Byon) told him to follow the jurors. The incident led to MSNBC being banned from the entire courthouse for the duration of the case.

After the incident, NBC released the following 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. We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”

At the time, I wrote the statement was notably ambiguous and possibly misleading:

NBC’s statement is confusing in one respect in starting with “while the traffic violation took place near the jury van.” That suggests that it was a coincidence that the traffic accident occurred near the jury van. The question is whether the freelancer was instructed by NBC to follow the jury bus. That should be easy to deny if it is untrue.

Finally, the fact that he is a freelancer is immaterial. News organizations commonly use freelancers for a host of different positions. When they are working for a network, they are agents of that network.  Again, NBC is ambiguous. It goes out of its way to note that this person is a freelancer but not whether he was working freelance for NBC at the time.

Now, the video seems to confirm that NBC was intentionally misleading on the key fact of whether it ordered Morrison to follow the jurors.

In the video from the night of Nov. 17, police ask Morrison why he was following the vehicle.

The officer asks Morrison “so were you following a vehicle?” and Morrison responded “I was trying to see – I was being called by New York going, maybe these are the people you need to follow, but I don’t know, I was trying to –”

The officer then interrupts and asks directly “You were trying to what?”

“Just do what they told me to do,” Morrison said.

“New York told you to follow a vehicle?” the officer asked.

“Yes,” Morrison responded.

The officer continued to ask how they knew about this van as the one carrying the jurors and Morrison just said that he did what “New York” told him to do. He said he was “just trying to find a location, that’s all.”

Morrison then called Byon and put her on the phone with the police officer. The officer asked Byon about why NBC ordered the following of certain “vehicles.” It was Byon who inadvertently admitted that they wanted to specifically follow jurors. She said that they were not trying to actually speak to “any of the jury members.”

Byon could be heard saying

“Hi officer, my name is Irene. I’m a booking producer with NBC News. We were just trying to respectfully – just trying to see if it’s possible to find any leads about the case. And so we were just keeping our distance, just to see where people involved in the trial are positioned. By no means were we trying to get in contact with any of the jury members or whoever is in the car. We just were trying to see where key players in the trial may be at.”

The officer then asked “You advised him to follow any vehicle? Did you know which vehicle he was following?”

Byon responded that “We just had our people positioned in different areas of the courthouse to see if anyone would be able to –”

The important take away is that there was never any question that NBC ordered Morrison to follow the jurors. That was the critical question for the officer and for the Court. Yet, it is the one thing that NBC left out of its statement. As a news organization, NBC would shred a subject of a story who happened to leave out such a material fact. Instead, NBC issued a statement that could be read to suggest that this was just a total and unfortunate coincidence.  It was merely a “traffic violation took place near the jury van.”

There is unlikely to be any media demands for NBC to address the misleading statement, but the tape shows that Judge Schroeder was right to ban MSNBC, which not only followed jurors but then failed to be open about its own conduct in the controversy.

116 thoughts on ““We Were Just Trying to … Find Any Leads about the Case”: A Police Video Raises New Questions About NBC’s Rittenhouse Statement”

  1. Maybe the Left is using the common street rabble as shock troops, sticking their toes in the water to see what they can get away with. Maybe someday they will do something like the invasion of the Rhineland, but domestically, kind of like how the invasion of the Rhineland was a rehearsal for an even bigger conflict. They see white men with rifles as an obstacle to their ambitions.

  2. There should be a law that requires people to obey the law.
    Then there would be no more crime. You’re welcome.

  3. Bob Woodward is only against abuses of power when they are done by conservatives.
    He’s all in for abuses of power committed by liberals. Hence is silence on Veritas-Gate.

  4. Anonymous said:

    “[Jeff Silberman] can’t seem to find anything to complain about Fox.

    “Unfortunately, Mespo in .7 seconds found: https://jonathanturley.org/2018/11/06/covering-or-campaigning-fox-news-anchors-appear-with-trump-at-missouri-rally/“

    ————

    I wish I was able to search all my comments on this blog in order to prove that I had noted weeks ago that this link was the sole criticism of hosts at Fox that I could find searching Turley’s archive.

    It would appear that Turley criticized Hannity and Pirro BEFORE he became employed by Fox because of his then statement:

    “Both are known to be close confidants of Trump, but they also work for a news organization that is covering Trump and this election.”

    Turley would not have referred to Fox in that manner had he been an employee. Nor did he state in that article that he was engaged by Fox.

    He also stated very disingenuously this:

    “Referring to Fox anchors as his people who are doing “an incredible job for us” is a serious problem for network. Hannity then declared (likely in jest), in pointing at reporters at the rally, “By the way, all those people in the back are fake news.”

    Anyone who has ever watched Hannity knows that he is NOT joking that the non-Fox media is “fake news.” Were Turley to make that claim nowadays, it would be an abject lie.

    Turley goes on to say:

    “the allegiance of hosts is obvious every night in programming and the question is now whether there show [sic] be a new status of a commentator host who is no longer subject to journalistic standard. The problem is that these networks continue to define themselves as journalistic organizations and rely on that status.”

    Absolutely true. Hannity, Carlson, Ingraham, Pirro are NOT journalists, and yet they are the celebrity prime time hosts who account for the vast majority of viewers and profits. These hosts are opinion makers, but their opinions are regarded by their viewers as facts. That is the heart of the problem.

    Turley concludes by asking:

    “Should networks abandon the rules of apolitical status for employees and allow some hosts to be openly partisan?”

    That ship has long sailed. Now that Turley is on the Fox payroll, he no longer denounces the open partisanship at Fox- ONLY at his employer’s cable media competitors, CNN and MSNBC. Indeed, he will NOT even single out Newsmax or One America Network for the indisputable “allegiance of [their] hosts.”

    Incredible!

    1. You didn’t talk about NBC’s attempted jury tampering and their lie about it afterwards. Were you doing the classic Dem Marxist progressive leftist tactic of changing the subject?

    2. To all in involved in trying to follow the jury van should be brought to justice and after they are found guilty put in jail for as long as possible.

      1. Vaughn, this nation depends on those law-abiding working citizens that believe in individual freedom enough that they are willing to support their individual freedoms rather than have government scratch their backs. Ethics and morality don’t exist when it comes to the left. When it comes to Jeff, please take note, he is an armchair rioter who doesn’t give a hoot about our liberties, only caring about the space he occupies. That is partly why he is referred to as an American Nazi or an American Marxist. He hates those terms leveled against him, but they can be proven should Jeff ever get out of that chair.

        1. That is partly why he is referred to as an American Nazi or an American Marxist.

          Your comment reminded me of a letter John Adams sent to his son when John Quincy was 14 years old. In it, he’s commending his son on his Latin studies and what he will learn through this process. John Adams understood that the purpose of education was to develop virtuous and useful citizens for the benefit of our country. Marxist’s don’t want that. They need useful idiots that will do the dirty work to destroy the country. The blog archives show this to be the calling of Silberman, Paint Chips, Svelaz, Natacha, Fishwings, to name the most prominent.

          In Company with Sallust, Cicero, Tacitus and Livy, you will learn Wisdom and Virtue. You will see them represented, with all the Charms which Language and Imagination can exhibit, and Vice and Folly painted in all their Deformity and Horror. You will ever remember that all the End of study is to make you a good Man and a useful Citizen.—This will ever be the Sum total of the Advice of your affectionate Father,
          https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/04-04-02-0082

          1. “the purpose of education was to develop virtuous and useful citizens for the benefit of our country.”

            Olly, these words should be ingrained in everyone’s heads. Our Marxist Nazi Jeff was provided an education that made him a smooth talker but, nonetheless, a talker that had no substance behind him.

          2. Olly, from Rufo’s column today:

            “Public school officials should give all members of the public comprehensive access in-person and online to school curricular materials including syllabi, lists of textbooks, and teacher-created assignments and books, worksheets, along with content that educators use for teacher professional development training sessions. Parents should be able to see, at-a-glance online, what their children are being taught. State officials should bolster their sunshine laws to stop school districts from stonewalling parents’ public records requests.”

            Presently we are seeing some teachers attempting to hide from parents what is going on in the school. Club names have been changed, certain things are occurring during lunch hour so no notice is paid and children are being encouraged to keep secrets from their parents.

            https://christopherrufo.com/a-pro-parent-education-agenda/?mc_cid=d89864f563&mc_eid=4ac790b60f

              1. We both eradicate people to make the world a better place. I just want to be a little tidier.”

                RAMI MALEK – Lyutsifer Safin in “No Time to Die” film

              1. I don’t know and haven’t seen any studies on the subject. What I do know is that some teachers have crossed the line and they are the ones that have direct contact with the kids. They can do a dirty job much more quietly than an administrator can since what the administrator does is more likely to quickly become public. There are a lot of bad teachers out there whether it be low skill, inadequate care, or those attempting to indoctrinate the students.

                1. S. Meyer,
                  “what the administrator does is more likely to quickly become public.”

                  Not necessarily. Administration leads teachers. They can say teach to the test; they can initiate classes that are woke if they can find a willing teacher; they can erode what content kids should be learning; they can suggest and push curricular, instructional, and grading materials. If parents aren’t paying attention to what kids are learning and doing (cause homework might be downplayed), then their kid might graduated with an awesome ability to take tests (so they look good with their scores) but not much knowledge of history, literature, writing, or the arts.

                  1. AS I said, I haven’t seen any type of study where one could draw a conclusion. I don’t like to grasp ideas from thin air. Too anything’s contribute making the number of variables high and the results variable as well.

            1. While Rufo has some good things to say, I disagree with:

              “Public school board elections should be held on-cycle—in the same years and at the same time as the election for the highest office in a given state. When school board elections are held with general elections, school board members more closely reflect the preferences of their constituents.”

              School boards should be apolitical. It should be about the kids and education, not Ds or Rs.

              1. And I disagree with his #7. Unelected parents should not be deciding how to use the tax money of their neighbors.

                1. In other words, in the highly political world of NYC leftists should decide how they should educate children based on what the teachers union and teachers want.

                  Their choice leads to most of the children of the inner city graduating without proficiency in math and English despite proof that the vast majority of them could have graduated with proficiency. I guess that makes sense to you, but it doesn’t make sense to me.

                  1. The craziness of NYC needs to stay in NYC. The rest of the US, barring a few other gargantuan districts, does not look like it. The NYC school district should be broken up to into probably at least 20 smaller districts so parents and community members can have control over their districts and their children’s education again.

                    1. “The craziness of NYC needs to stay in NYC. ”

                      You are very cavalier in your comment. NYC has over 8 million people and is a city mixed with multiple minorities. Manhattan alone has about half the population of Iowa in 23 square miles. How many people are in your town that makes you so haughty? Do you think NYC is the only city in America with problems in its education system? I think you live in Iowa. What is the population of Iowa? What are its demographics? You view things from your perspective that have no relationship to large cities or metropolitan areas that are larger than your state,

                      “The rest of the US, barring a few other gargantuan districts, does not look like it.”

                      The population of Chicago isn’t that much smaller than the population of Iowa.

                      What is the specific expertise that provides you insight into the workings of these large cities?

              2. “School boards should be apolitical.”

                It should be apolitical but apparently they aren’t.

                Look around at the world and all the things that shouldn’t be political, but are.

                1. Most school boards aim to be apolitical. It is in oversized districts where problems are going to arise. Too much concentration of power increases the politicization.

                  1. “Most school boards aim to be apolitical.”

                    How do you know that?

                    Let’s think for a minute and go to a different time when segregation was very prominent in the South. Do you think the school boards were apolitical then?

    3. “I wish I was able to search all my comments on this blog ”

      Yes, searching is difficult, but Turley has disagreed with Fox numerous times. If not in a singular op-ed like the one just provided, making Jeff’s continuous hyperbole seem foolish, he has interwoven such comments throughout many of his op-eds.

      Turley is not a media critic but a lawyer who deals with the law and its consequences. The MSM spins events when they print fake news. Rittenhouse is a prime example. The MSM lied to the public, so many thought Rittenhouse killed black people, others thought he sought out people, and many didn’t know that these people he shot were the dregs of society trying to kill him.

      Despite the abundance of video evidence available for the MSM to review, they lied and engaged in fake news. Fox was more honest, but that is not what people like Jeff want. Jeff’s life here on the blog is based on fake news. We can wait until the sun burns out for Jeff to explain why the media didn’t bother to make sure they matched the videos with their reporting.

      Fox News doesn’t generally engage in fake news reporting. There are disputes. Fox spins rightward, but the news is far more balanced than what we see from the MSM. I’m still waiting for Anonymous the Stupid to prove his case as well, but he and Jeff are good friends because both are empty vessels littering the blog.

      Jeff has taken a particular attitude towards professor Turley. Jeff wants Turley to fight the battles Jeff is unable to fight. Turley doesn’t bother with know-nothings of that type, so we all have to listen to Jeff moaning and groaning about Turley several times a day.

  5. Facebook and Twitter would not exist without the Internet, which was developed by DARPA using government money, so the First Amendment does indeed apply.

  6. Most of the media tries to shape public opinion, rather than just report the facts.

    If NBC had identified jurors, or where they were staying, then that would allow activists to target and threaten them, either resulting in pressure to get the verdict they wanted, a mistrial, or even violence against the jury.

    What irresponsible, disgusting, unethical behavior.

    1. This is yet another reason why there is so much animus against the media. News media react with outrage at criticism that they are hostile to democracy or a free republic. Then they go and do this. Those two things are connected.

      1. Karen says:

        “Most of the media tries to shape public opinion, rather than just report the facts…. This is yet another reason why there is so much animus against the media.”

        I congratulate you for NOT excluding Turley’s Fox News from “the media.” Like you, Turley criticizes “the media” generally without expressly excepting his network. However, he only finds fault with Fox’s cable competitors. He can’t seem to find anything to complain about Fox which others at his network have found wanting.

  7. Currentsitguy says:

    “Fox offers a counterpoint to the CNN’s and MSNBC’s of today’s market.”

    It used to do so. Now, it attacks CNN and MSNBC as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people” because they had to adopt Trump’s lies in order to placate and pander to its viewers who are overwhelmingly Trumpist. Trumpism has pushed Fox into a corner which explains why people have resigned from the network. Even those who have stayed have expressed their objection to Tucker Carlson, Fox’s biggest star attraction.

    Have we all forgotten that one of Fox’s biggest stars in the straight news division departed after 23 years at the network:

    “Shepard Smith Opens Up About Leaving Fox News After 23 Years: “I Stuck With It for as Long as I Could”

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/shepard-smith-opens-up-about-leaving-fox-news-after-23-years-i-stuck-with-it-for-as-long-as-i-could-4118614/

    He stated:

    “Opine all you like, but if you’re going to opine, begin with the truth and go from there. It’s that deviation from that that has caused me the greatest concern. And I believe that when people begin with a false premise and lead people astray, that’s injurious to society, and it’s the antithesis of what we should be doing.”

    Why would such a long-standing and loyal Fox employee depart his network unless his conscience ailed him? He added:

    “I don’t know how some people sleep at night because I know there are a lot of people who have propagated the lies and pushed them forward over and over again who are smart enough and educated enough to know better. And I hope that at some point, those who have done us harm as a nation — and, I might add, as a world — will look around and realize what they’ve done. But I’m not holding my breath.”

    All I want to know is how Turley is sleeping. Does he lie awake at night wondering how he will explain to his family, friends, students and colleagues why he has remained silent in the face of all this principled dissension at Fox? Why does he continue to legitimate the conspiracy-driven “1/6 FBI false flag” propagandist, Carlson, by appearing on his show?

      1. Independent,

        My point is Shep Smith’s point, but my questions are left hanging in the air…

        1. Take note how Shep Smith was kept on Fox News despite his liberality. The left is not banned from Fox News like it is from the MSM.

  8. In Arizona, brainwashed students are marching AGAINST the civil rights of an individual citizen, like a bunch of witch hunters with pitchforks and torches.
    MLK would be so proud.

  9. Hickdead asks:

    “Should we be more like the Turley you say has a free speech principle, or the one you decry as a hypocrite? Your positions are hard to follow sometimes.”

    That’s a fair question! I have said all along that my respect for Turley brought me to his blog. However, I have grown disenchanted by his blatant selling out to Fox News. Except for his hypocrisy, Turley is an admirable person.

    I have read he is currently writing a book. I suspect his signing on to Fox was a business decision in order to promote his book during his future Fox appearances. I am speculating, but let’s see if I am proven correct.

    Even a hypocrite can make a good point. And Turley is right to state that name-calling has no place in a civil discussion. I hope that answers your question.

    1. We should all recognize how well JeffSilberman the one trick pony does his trick so well. Ladies and gentleman direct your eyes to circle number one to see an act that your eyes can not possibly believe. The little dog laughed to see such sport and Jeff ran away with the spoon who hated Fox News.

      1. Think says:

        “We should all recognize how well JeffSilberman, the one-trick pony, does his trick so well.” (Punctuation added)

        That’s the nicest thing you have EVER said to me! I confess that I am a one-trick pony. Like a successful politician, I stay on message!

        But I do provide additional examples to make my point. Just today I reminded the readers why Shep Smith left Fox after 23 years. Conservative commentators Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg recently resigned. And let’s not forget that Brett Baier and Chris Wallace are on the record disapproving Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” conspiracy theory.

        I can’t help but wonder what Turley’s reaction is when those close to him ask what he thinks of his uncomfortable alliance with Fox? It can’t be a feather in his cap that there is such internal principled dissension at his network. He must say something to them to defend his decision not to leave quietly. What would he say? He better have a good answer.

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