CNN’s Jim Acosta Saturday compared the judge in Kyle Rittenhouse’s homicide trial to well-known conservatives both real and fictional, including the infamously bigoted “All in the Family” character, Archie Bunker.
Last August, Rittenhouse crossed state lines into Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he shot three and killed two people amid ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The 17-year-old Illinois teenager and self-described militia member was arrested and charged for the murders.
Now, Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over Rittenhouse’s trial, is being called into question over his impartiality (or lack there of), as his behavior in the court room has drawn considerable attention over the past few days.
“He sounds like he’s watched too much Bill O’Reilly. I mean, he’s acting like Archie Bunker in there and I’m sorry, it’s supposed to be a court room. I don’t get it,” the “CNN Newsroom” anchor said on Saturday of Shroeder.
While Rittenhouse’s defense attorney spoke on Wednesday, Schroeder’s phone rang. Its ringtone raised eyebrows, as it was “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood — the song former President Donald Trump frequently uses when he comes out on stage during his rallies.
And on Thursday, Schroeder paused the proceedings to ask if any veterans were present in the courtroom, offering them applause. The one man who did identify himself as a veteran turned out to be a witness for the defense.
With Saturday’s segment captioned “Judge Becomes Polarizing Figure in Homicide Case,” former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske told Acosta, “Whether it’s the applause for a defense witness because he was a veteran– those things really impact people’s feeling that this is a court room that we can have trust in.”
Acosta agreed. “Yeah. I mean, he sounds like he’s watched too much Bill O’Reilly. I mean he’s acting like Archie Bunker in there and, I’m sorry, it’s supposed to be a court room. I don’t get it. I know there are cameras in the court room. It’s really sort of an argument against cameras in the court room, which I’m a big proponent of. We should have cameras in the court room. But not if the judge is going to act like Archie Bunker.”
Acosta is not the only cable news personality to criticize Schroeder.
“This judge is just … this judge is an absolute joke. He’s been a joke from the very beginning,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough host fumed Thursday after playing a video of Schroeder yelling at the prosecution.
Scarborough pointed out that the prosecution has been prevented from presenting “basic” evidence and added, “This judge, again, it’s absolutely disgusting the way he’s conducting himself on the stand there. He’s obviously playing for the audience — a certain audience.”