It seems you can’t go too far on any social media stream with out encountering an anti police story. Heck there are also a few anti-fire and anti-EMS stories creeping up more often. I bring this up because today I saw an anti-police meme that takes some liberties with reality.
Before I say much more let me give some backstory…
In high school I worked at a local movie theater. I love movies and got much of that love from my Dad, who always seemed to be up late watching old movies on cable. Long story short I have many fond memories of sitting up late with dad enjoying the classics. His favorites were westerns and WWII movies, so we watched a lot of John Wayne.
One movie that I always loved is called The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. If you have not seen this movie it is currently streaming on Netflix. Anyhow the plot of the movie is that Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) is a old west outlaw and gang leader. Ranse Stoddard (Jimmy Stewart) is a lawyer robbed and beaten by Valance. Stoddard then opens a law office in a small westren town hoping to bring legal justice the savage west.
John Wayne plays Tom Doniphon, a local rancher and cowboy. Basically John Wayne plays a typical John Wayne type role.
Anyhow both Doniphon and Stoddard are both terrorized by Valance to the point they are willing to kill him. Both men go to Valance’s home the same night. Stoddard is not a killer and can’t do what he set out to, but Doniphon the cowboy can and does. Members of the public see Stoddard with a gun leaving the scene and assume he did it. Soon the rumor turns into a legend of Stoddard killing the criminal old west style.
Later in life Stoddard tells the truth to a reporter. The reporter does not seem to care about the truth. He utters a classic line “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.
So that brings us to the meme I saw today. It was an image of a t-shirt saying “Hate cops? Next time you need help call a crackhead” under it is a screen capture of a news report about a police officer arrested for smoking crack on duty. That officer was busted back in 2010.
The anti-cop people have to go back five years to find a suitable story push forward their agenda. But this got me thinking about a number of new sources and blogs sharing anti police feelings.
They all keep spinning a few incidents to make it sound like police are out of control. To back up their claims they go back and dig up some past incident to try to show a history of abuse.
This morning seeing that meme I had my ah-ha moment. Society has created a legend of police rampant police abuse and non-stop killing of innocent civilians. Enough people report this legend so now it has become fact. As such the news prints the legend.
Who would have thought it… we can explain how the world works through a John Wayne Movie.