A couple of weeks ago I was on a cruise ship. One of the entertainers was a comedian from Kansas City. I saw him perform three times and in at least two of his performances, two of which were more like seminars, he commented that the media lies to us. Now, I don’t know if their lies are always deliberate but there is one thing for certain – very little you see and hear in the media is true. In fact, barley 48 hours after we returned home an incident occurred near my house that shows just how true his statement is.
On Monday morning after we got home on Saturday, a light sport airplane crashed at an airport less than two miles from our house. A flight instructor was killed and his student badly burned. The first reports were that the airplane was in maintenance when it suddenly burst into flames. Then the account changed to a crash for awhile before going back to the mechanic story. I finally drove over to the airport to see what I could learn, which turned out to be nothing. I found several vehicles from news outlets with the reporters and camera crews sitting inside waiting for somebody to tell them something (one blonde TV reporter apparently spent the entire day out there waiting to report on the noon and 6 o’clock news.)
Yet, NONE of them got the story straight! The airplane was taking off with a strong, gusty crosswind. Yet the story reported by most of the news outlets is that the airplane “suddenly lost altitude” and some said it hit another airplane while taking off, even though the closest airplanes were at least 100 yards away. No mention of the strong, gusty winds was mentioned even though such winds frequently cause accidents, particularly with light airplanes. Not a single one of the news outlets bothered to do any research. This brings me to Johnny Manziel.
I won’t go into Manziel’s history other than to say that he is probably the most-reported individual in history; in sports for sure. Most of it is rumor and/or exaggeration. Ever since 2012 when he came out as one of the most outstanding football players of all time, sports media has followed him like a hawk and bloggers have used him to draw attention to their pages. When I finally got around to going online a week ago today, I learned that there had been an incident earlier that morning between him and his former girlfriend. A statement was released by the Fort Worth PD about an investigation of an incident involving a 23-year old woman and her ex-boyfriend. Although the statement did not mention Manziel by name, the police sergeant who tweeted it mentioned that it involved Manziel. The Johnny Manziel circus was about to turn into Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey.
The details of the allegations claimed by the girl friend, one Colleen Cowley, are here: https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/298200241?access_key=key-Izp0DTFdyZxM1N6LB5QC&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll. The Fort Worth PD informational report is here: http://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Police-report-Johnny-Manziel-struck-6807830.php/
Crowley’s statement says that she and three friends went from Fort Worth to Dallas to have dinner at a posh restaurant where they remained until after eleven, then went club hopping. She mentions three clubs in her statement but her car ended up at a fourth. Manziel, with whom Crowley says she had broken up in December, was not with them. However, Crowley says they were texting back and forth. She says they made plans for an “after party” at his hotel. She and two of her friends eventually went to Manziel’s room at what appears to have been somewhere around 1 AM or possibly later. The two friends left to “do their own thing” and she remained at the hotel, although whether they were alone or not is not stated. She said that she had made plans to spend the night in the hotel with Manziel.
After the friends left, the two former lovers got into an argument about another girl that “had caused problems for us in the past.” She apparently got mad and told him that if she was going to stay, she was going to sleep on the couch. She claims that Manziel then threw her on the bed but states that he claimed it was “playfully” but she “took it seriously” and decided to leave, but when she went to the door Manziel “restrained her.” She would later tell police that Manziel didn’t want her to drive because she was intoxicated. (She undoubtedly was since she had been to a restaurant and at least three clubs before she went to his room and is known to imbibe.)
What happened after that is uncertain. Crowley has made numerous allegations of assault and abuse on Manziel’s part but also stated in her affidavit that she went at him with a kitchen knife, at which point he fled her apartment in Fort Worth. It was after he left that she went to neighbors and got them to make a 911 call. The Fort Worth PD concluded that no assault had occurred within their jurisdiction (the knife attack is not mentioned in their informational report) and forwarded it to the Dallas PD to investigate. The DPD conducted an investigation and declared it closed with no charges filed. The following day word came out that Crowley had requested a protective order.
The protective order has been misreported. A DFW news outlet reported that the judge had granted the request for a protective order for two years. However, Texas judges do not have that authority without a hearing. Prescribed procedures in Texas are for a hearing to be set for a date within 14 days of the request. A judge may decide to issue a temporary order but it is valid for only 20 days, at which time it may be lifted or, once a hearing has been held, replaced by a permanent order valid for not more than two years. A DFW area TV station reported that Manziel had been ordered to stay away from Crowley for two years, but this would be contrary to Texas law since no hearing has taken place.
Crowley has also gone to the Dallas County DA’s office and pressed charges. As a result, the DPD reopened their investigation. The media, however, has been reporting this as if a new “criminal” investigation has been opened. In fact, all police investigations are “criminal.” The ongoing investigation has simply been reopened.
Whether the DPD investigation will uncover anything new is anyone’s guess, but it’s doubtful. With one exception, Crowley’s allegations all took place either in his room or in her car while he was driving her to Fort Worth. The one possible exception is in a parking lot. She mentions an encounter with a valet but doesn’t relate any abuse that might have occurred that would have witnessed. (There is also a question – how long was the couple in the valet’s presence? Unless Manziel called to ask to have his car brought up, the valet would have had to go get it while they were waiting.) She incriminates herself in her statement but the assault with the kitchen knife took place in Forth Worth. Whether she will be charged remains to be seen and may depend on Manziel’s actions. (He should press charges against her since she threatened him with a deadly weapon, an assault at minimum.)
Reporting of the Manziel/Crowley incident basically has him tried and convicted and on his way to jail, or on his way out of the NFL at least. In fact, all the police have are allegations by Crowley, allegations that have yet to be proved. Charges are based on evidence, not suspicion – except in the media and the court of public opinion the media seeks to influence.