EXCLUSIVE: How @GotNewsDotCom tells half-truths about #OluStevens to get racist clicks

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Artist's conception of  scary black judge terrorizing white folk
Artist’s conception of scary black judge terrorizing white folk
Really, there are no surprises here for watchers of the Chuck C. Johnson/GotNews juggernaut, but his recent GotSmear of Louisville Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens takes the cake for lurid race-based clickbait.

Here’s the screaming GNDC headline:

EXCLUSIVE: Corrupt Black Judge Lets Black Thug Out of Prison Because White Victim’s Toddler Is ‘Racist’ #OluStevens

The headline bears little resemblance to what actually happened.

Wherefore art thou art wrong? Let me count the ways:

  1. The judge is not corrupt, and Johnson offers no proof.
  2. The “black thug” was sentenced to five years’ probation, not freedom.
  3. The judge did not say the toddler was racist.
  4. The man got probation because he had no prior arrests for violent crimes.

Four lies in one headline! Quite a feat.

There are more. Here’s a less lurid article by Andrew Wolfson (a real journalist) of the Courier-Journal laying out the details of this case.

Here’s the short version.

Two armed men, both African-American, broke into a white family’s home and robbed them at gunpoint. The couple’s three-year-old was understandably terrified at the time, and her parents have stated for the record that the girl, now 5, fears black men, even family friends.

The robbers were arrested, and plead guilty to armed robbery and attempted burglary. Marquis McAfee, 27, was already on probation for a prior crime and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Gregory Wallace, 27, received five year’s probation. Stevens said Wallace had no prior record of violent crimes and he wanted to give him the chance to “redeem himself.”

But before setting that sentence, Stevens said he was “offended” that the family was encouraging their daughter’s racist feelings.

“I am offended. … I am deeply offended that they would be victimized by an individual and express some kind of fear of all black men,” he [Stevens] said.

“This little girl certainly has been victimized, and she can’t help the way she feels,” he said. “My exception is more with her parents and their accepting that kind of mentality and fostering those type of stereotypes.”

After taking heat for these remarks, Stevens insisted that the girl’s fear of black men had nothing to do with the probation sentence. He then took further heat by discussing the case on his Facebook page.

So, how does Award Winning Journalist™ Chuck C. Johnson play this story?

His headline suggests Stevens is corrupt, but his article doesn’t back up the accusation with any, like, you know, facts. Instead, Johnson typically falls back on innuendo. He reports (accurately) that Stevens lives in a $2 million home in Prospect, a ritzy, mostly white bedroom community east of Louisville. The implication, one supposes, is that clearly this black judge must have done something shady to afford that kind of home.

Johnson fails to mention that Stevens was a practicing lawyer before being elected judge in 2009. His wife is a radiologist. Moreover, Stevens’ father is a surgeon and his mother is also a lawyer.

Lawyers and doctors can afford fancy homes, y’all.

Then, as icing on the cake, Johnson uses the Prospect home to essentially call Stevens an “Uncle Tom,” without using those exact words, of course.

What’s more, Judge Stevens, who is black, must also dislike black men, too. His revealed preference [to what? Johnson doesn’t say] suggests he hates black people.

The judge lives in a $2 million mansion on Woodbridge Hill Lane in Prospect, KY.

The town is one of the wealthiest in all of Kentucky and the estimated black population is less than three percent.

I guess those 3% all hate black people, because they want to live in a fancy house in the East End.

[In local parlance, the East End is the upper middle class/upper class part of town, stretching by extension into the neighboring counties. The West End is the historically African-American section of town; there are fancy houses there, too, just not as fancy as those in Prospect. The South End — where the robbery took place — is historically the working class/white section of town, now very multicultural with immigrants. There is no North End; it’s called Indiana.]

Far from being corrupt, Stevens’ is well respected in the Louisville legal community, although that standing has suffered by his tendency to speak his mind at inappropriate times. Source Johnson naturally omits that little detail.

As for Stevens’ remarks at Wallace’s sentencing, Johnson makes no effort to recount the real facts. Instead he lazily links to Wolfson’s article, while calling the judge “disgusting.”

Johnson’s SOP in reporting crimes is to smear the victims, particularly if they are female or non-white. But this time he tries to smear Wallace by publishing photos of Wallace posing with firearms and bringing up his non-violent rap sheet.

True facts: Johnson himself has posed with his own handgun, and even tweeted his willingness to use it in self-defense. Once upon a time, he was also real tight with fellow gun posers Dana Loesch and Holly “Hobby Lobby” Fisher. But it’s totally OK for white folks to pose with guns, y’know.

As for Wallace’s “scary black man” rap sheet, here’s what Johnson’s vaunted “research team” found:

In September 2012 he was charged with contempt of court, libel, slander, and resistance to order.

In August 2012, he was charged with speeding 26 miles over the limit, careless driving, failure to wear seat belt, criminal possession of forged instrument, and operating on a suspended/revoked driver’s license.

Real thuggish behavior there. Certainly, no white people ever speed, drive carelessly, forget to buckle up, or try to drive with a forged drivers license.

As Judge Stevens said, Wallace had no prior record of violent crime. So, publishing Wallace’s non-violent charges — no word on whether he was convicted or fined for them, of course — serves only one purpose: to suggest that Wallace is a hardened and dangerous criminal and Stevens (who sentenced the other man to 10 years in the slammer) is somehow “soft” on scary black men crime.

It’s just a classic example of pandering to the lowest sort of racist white web surfers.

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