Monday, March 12, 2007

The MSM: Stuck on the Stupidly Obvious

There are lots of examples of the color/race/ethnic identity problem in the press when it comes to stating facts about the criminal class. It’s expected by now: if they don’t name a color, the perp is probably a minority. Thus, you can read between the coy lines of the report to figure out the real story.

These p.c. rules about reporting crimes committed by persons of color can be violated in certain cases - e.g., if the criminal is white. Saying that out loud is merely a venial sin and will pass unnoticed by the race hawks. But if the serial rapist currently rampaging through various neighborhoods is black, you’ll have to look out for yourself, because the MSM won’t give you enough information to go on.

There are ways of getting around this. For example, if you have the name of the malefactor, and it’s something obvious, like Martinez, you can guess his ethnicity at least. Or, in the case of the latest baby-snatching in New Mexico, the first name of the woman being held is Rayshaun. Three guesses.

But what happens when there is no name and the police limit the suspect’s description to his size and clothing? Good luck identifying him. Of course, if his clothing list mentions “do rag” you have a good clue there, too.

John Leo fisked this problem recently in City Journal, in his essay, Sins of Omission:

A current example is the so-called “second rape case in Durham,” an eerie mirror image of the Duke lacrosse case: here the suspect is black and the alleged victim is white. North Carolina’s News & Observer described the suspect as “in his late teens or early 20s, about 6 feet 1 and wearing a do-rag, a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.” That’s word-for-word from the police description, except that the police said that the suspect was black. The newspaper deleted the reference. It also couldn’t bring itself to mention that the attack allegedly took place at an African-American fraternity at Duke.

Notice he says the police did say the suspect as black, even though that bit disappeared from the media description.

But such bluntness by the police can raise the roof, too.

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A few years back, in Li’l Kumquat the university community and the professionally hypersensitive African American community got together to holler about their deep outrage at the police department’s handling of a serial rapist’s story. Those insensitive officers had dared to say that the man had been identified by his victims as being…well, dark-complected. By the time the Hypersensitive were finished with the police department, everyone there was eating humble pie, at least publicly. I think they also got in hot water for suggesting that given the rapidly increasing number of victims, perhaps known sexual offenders in Li’l Kumquat who were of the African American persuasion ought to have DNA screenings for possible matches.

The only match that came out of that common sense suggestion was the one the pee cee community used to light a media conflagration about the insensitive pigs.

John Leo has another cute example:

Sometimes news stories omit important religious and political identifications, too. In Nashville last week, readers of the Tennessean were probably able to deduce the religious affiliation of a cabbie who tried to run over two Christian students after a heated discussion of religion. His name: Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed. The paper reported: “Metro police spokeswoman Kris Mumford said one of the students is Catholic and the other is Lutheran. Mumford said that Ahmed’s religion was not known.” Maybe so, but many readers probably wondered: if the driver had been a conservative Christian trying to run down a Muslim, wouldn’t the newsroom have summoned the energy to find out, and to confront Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the evils of Islamophobia?

You’re darn right they would have found the “necessary energy.” And after they produced their factoids, they’d have been patting one another on the back for their edgy, head-of-the-class reporting.

The MSM: definitely your grandfather’s news source. At least if said ancestor is still stuck on Edward R. Murrow and is in day care for his Alzheimer’s. Let us stand for a moment of silence for the cracked crock that Walter Cronkite and Co. eventually became.

These people are in a time warp, an endless loop of 1974. They have become embarrassing to read or to hear, like watching someone make a fool of himself in front of God and everybody while the onlookers know the performers haven’t a clue about how asinine they look.


Zerosumgame said...

Worse is when the media lies about the race of the suspect.

Remember how our entire leftist media said the beltway sniper was white while he was still on the loose?

History Snark said...

Imagine the efforts they'd have had to go to if the sniper had also turned out to be Muslim.

Oh wait, he was. But at least it wasn't "terrorism".

Walter Clark said...

Cronkite and Co. destroyed what little veracity and respect I had for them when they made the Communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong propaganda the MSM's party line long before 1974.

He was wrong about the Tet Offensive in 1978. When the US pulled out the last combat troops in 1972 the war was won. The North invaded in 1973 and the South soundly defeated them. It was only after the USSR resupplied, rearmed and rebuilt the North Vietnamese Army and the Democratic Congress that had been elected in 1974 cut off funding and assistance to the South when the North invaded in 1975 (President Ford vetoed that bill and the Democratic Congress overrode his veto) did the North finally conquer the South.

They say that history repeats itself, and I shudder to think what the resulting fallout from a repeat of the 1974-75 Democratic Congress will be when the support for the Iraqi Government is cut off in the same way. It won't be pretty, and the impact will be a lot more than the several million South Vietnamese and Cambodians who died after the Democratic Congress turned its back on South Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Remember how our entire leftist media said the beltway sniper was white while he was still on the loose?

Yep, exactly. And how Susan Smith claimed her children had been kidnapped by a black man before confessing to killing them.

Clovis Sangrail said...

It's nice to hear that the USA can still occasionaly be as asinine about such things as the UK currently is.

History Snark said...

Lucille, you rather miss the point. There's a difference between one sick woman and the entire media.

Up here, last year there were a few moments of hysteria, when a local police officer was shot. He had a story of a black man shooting him, blah blah blah. Massive (by local standards) manhunt, streets closed off, residents warned to stay inside,etc. The next day, it came out that the officer has shot himself, for some bizarre reason.

The usual groups made a huge stink about how the authorities insisted on looking for a black man, and how racist everyone is, since we assumed the shooter [sic] was black, and oh we're all racist (rather, "you're all racist") because the cop described his assailant [sic] as black.

Nobody could seem to explain to them that, in the first instance, the police were going off of a description from a (presumed) reliable witness, secondly that they were looking for someone matching that description, and thirdly, that a police officer who deliberately shoots himself is probably not completely sane, and therefore can't be presumed to be typical.

Don't confuse the general with the specific.

Bastiat said...

Much less serious, but this reminded me of another recent story.

6 Kids, 6 Women, 1 Piece of Work

I am somewhat embarrassed to say my first reaction was to reread it to find the race of the individual, not because I assumed one race or another but the phrase, "I be concubining," makes me laugh.

John Champagne said...

I wonder, what is the most outrageous or mistaken thing that you (or Walter Clark) have ever heard or read from Cronkite?