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Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder specifically called out Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst, and “another attorney there” on Wednesday as an example of the media’s sometimes poor coverage of the ongoing Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

The criticism towards CNN and some of those in the media started after the defense did not want commentary to be aired in a video the prosecution was showing the jury because it was hearsay and the man airing the livestream has not been called up as a witness so they could cross-examine him. Schroeder and Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger then got into a back and forth about the defense wanting to admit evidence about what Joseph Rosenbaum had said and done in the moments leading up to the shooting. Schroeder ruled such evidence could be presented to the jury.

Schroeder said it is critical for the people of Kenosha and the rest of the country to have faith in the final verdict at the end of the trial. “I’m gonna comment about the media, again, because there was a gentleman on TV night before last who said, ‘This is the most divisive case in the country today’…There are people on the media, on reputable sites, that are saying things that are totally bizarre,” he said, adding the reason why he is bringing up CNN is due to how it is a prime example of talking heads making comments about state law they know nothing about, in this case, the “uncommunicated threat rule.”

The rule states the defendant does not need to be aware of the deceased past violent actions in order to claim self-defense if circumstantial evidence shows such evidence. Schroeder allowed evidence of Rosenbaum’s actions on August 25 to be admitted.

“Now one of these, this was on CNN, Jeffrey Toobin and another attorney there, and a comment was made the ruling was ‘incomprehensible.’ They obviously are not familiar with this rule. That’s our law,” Schroeder said.

In response, Binger said he hasn’t paid attention to what Toobin has said on the network: “It is of no concern to me.”

CNN legal analyst Areva Martin had stated it was “incomprehensible” for Schroeder to prevent the prosecution from calling the men Rittenhouse shot as “victims” but the defense can call the men either arsonists, rioters, or looters if the evidence showed they engaged in such behavior. Schroeder’s reasoning for the ban is because if the prosecution calls the men “victims” then it could prejudice the jury when the jury could rule Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, making the men “assailants.”

“It’s a very troubling situation because … using that word suggests that Rittenhouse was justified in what he was doing because these were bad people that he shot,” Toobin said. “They were committing crimes. They were out there looting. They were out there being arsonists when that is very much in dispute in the trial, what these people were doing.”

During the trial’s jury selection, Schroeder told potential jurors he was not attacking the media but said there have been instances where stories were written about the Rittenhouse trial by people who knew nothing about the case.

“The price we pay for having a free press is a lot of irresponsible and sloppy journalism,” he explained, adding some “reputable” news outlets have been sloppy in their reporting of the case while others have been “perfect” in their reporting.

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