How do you report an event? Maybe you could just open up your news broadcast to whatever knob can dial a phone and report, unverified, everything he says:
But of all the local media outlets, TMJ4 had the most interesting—and rash—approach to the story: printing nothing but testimonies from Newsradio 620 WTMJ callers. Here’s one of the more levelheaded:
“It was 100% racial,” claimed Eric, an Iraq war veteran from St. Francis who says young people beat on his car.
“I had a black couple on my right side, and these black kids were running in between all the cars, and they were pounding on my doors and trying to open up doors on my car, and they didn't do one thing to this black couple that was in this car next to us. They just kept walking right past their car. They were looking in everybody's windshield as they were running by, seeing who was white and who was black. Guarantee it.”
First of all, I don't know who was cruise director on the HMS Amateur Hour that night, but what the hell does his status as a veteran have to do with this? Does this make his "testimony" more trustworthy? Or do we just think serving in the military gives you a special edge when it comes to identifying black people?
Second of all, for those of you unfamiliar, NewsRadio 620 hosts fantastic broadcasts of Brewer games, and then a stream of "news" broadcasting that runs the gamut from smugly self-satisfied suburban fear-mongering to outright racist wingnuttery. Their callers are exactly who you think they are, even adjusted for the normal psycho shut-in percentage of talk radio listeners.
So if I'm the cruise director here, I'm asking what in the blue fuck is so hard for the reporter to go out and interview some eyewitnesses to this apparently very violent event him- or herself, rather than sitting and listening to the radio and reporting on what various people who claim to be eyewitnesses have said after the fact. That way, there could be a story with actual sources, numbers, police report information, and other such quaint relics of a bygone era of journalism.
TODAY'S TMJ4 video shows West Allis police handcuffing at least one person, but they won't say how many people they took into custody.
Some witnesses described attacks on the State Fair Grounds as well.
Milwaukee Police said that their officers were sent to State Fair Park for "complaints of battery, fighting and property damage due to a large, unruly crowd."
A police sergeant told TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady that the number of calls describing injuries are still coming in, so they could not give an accurate number of people who were injured.
That sergeant explained that some injuries were serious, and local hospitals were attending to the injured.
As of early Friday morning, Milwaukee Police said they had no one in custody.
Unanswered questions: WHY wouldn't West Allis police say how many people they arrested? And why was no one in custody Friday morning, if this was such a catastrophic event? Did everybody just sober up and go home? That doesn't sound like something you do after a OMG RACE WAR.
The Journal Sentinel cites "at least" 24 people being arrested.
This is the sort of story you start to recognize after a while. Like the Trench Coat Mafia bullshit, the Marilyn Manson crap that came out after Columbine. Like Jessica Lynch, like half the shit we thought we knew about most major disasters. Things move fast. I am not questioning that something happened here. I am questioning that running with the loudest nutjobs you can find who are claiming it was basically the Titanic out there might be a thing best done on day two, when everyone has sobered up.
Or you can just get some really quality conversation going before the ink's even dry on the police reports:
Alds. Bob Donovan and Joe Dudzik issued a joint statement in reaction to the violence: "Let's face it, it also has much to do with a deteriorating African American culture in our city. Are large groups of Hispanics or Hmong going out in large mobs and viciously attacking whites? No."