On CNN Thursday, Don Lemon confirmed through a source that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson did not sustain a broken bone in his face prior to shooting unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown six times. Recently, right-wing media sources have been running with the news that sources close to the situation revealed that Wilson was treated at a hospital for an orbital fracture and that his face was severely swollen. After rumors had been swirling in the conservative blogosphere about the fracture, Hollie McKay at Fox News reported on Wednesday that Wilson was beaten nearly to the point of unconsciousness:
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told FoxNews.com.
“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”
With a major news network giving credibility to the story, The Blaze, and other conservative websites and newspapers, ran with it. Ann Coulter, who never, ever makes unfounded and wholly inaccurate statements, wrote a piece for NewsBusters claiming that there was already an X-ray of Wilson’s busted eye publicly released. Of course, no such image exists. My guess is that Coulter got her bit of info from stock images that wingnuts were passing around via blogs showing what an orbital fracture looks like. Allen West used the image in a blogpost of his Tuesday claiming Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture.”
It didn’t seem to matter that videos taken from the scene of Brown’s shooting show Wilson walking around seemingly injury-free and not tending to his face. Nope. When a good rumor comes along that fits nicely within the narrative you’ve set, you need to push it, and push it hard. Well, right-wingers intent on assassinating Brown’s character and placing Wilson on a pedestal took a big hit Thursday when Lemon revealed Brown did not break Wilson’s eye socket.
So, how will Fox News and the conservative media entertainment complex spin this over the coming days? What gets me is that inevitably, the truth was going to come out about this anyway. Somewhere down the line, we would all see that Wilson didn’t have his face smashed in and his eye bone broken. While saying these things might make those who support Wilson feel good about themselves for a bit, the truth still catches up eventually.