Tag Archives: bias

Where Did All The Cameras Go?

31 Mar

Remember two weeks ago when we were talking about the shootings in Atlanta? Remember how there was serious consideration for new gun control legislation? Then the shootings in Colorado happened… and all that coverage suddenly stopped. Why?

The answer is: “It didn’t fit the narrative.” What the press was more interested in was NOT the shooting, or the epidemic of gun violence, it was white men shooting Asians. Right after the headline in the New York Times article were the words, “Six of the victims were Asian, the authorities said, raising fears that there may have been a racial motivation to the crimes.” The shooter? Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white guy.

When ten people were gunned down in one of the most liberal (and most federal government employee living) towns in America, naturally that made headlines. But then they found the shooter. Sure, from the mugshot, it looks like a white guy, but his name is Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa, a Syrian immigrant who has lived almost his entire life in Colorado. Suddenly the press wasn’t that interested, and once the horror was over, they picked up and moved on.

Why? Because they want to show white guys killing minorities, preferably blacks. That’s what gets ratings. To quote the book Bias by Bernard Goldberg, a reporter who worked for CBS News for decades, “the true bias of the media is towards conflict.” I used to say they didn’t care about left or right, but rather what made headlines, but that’s not true anymore. Contrary to popular belief, mass shootings don’t keep eyeballs on 24-hour news coverage–the “impending race war” does. If minorities are killing white people, or worse, minorities are killing minorities, that doesn’t help keep viewers. They are appealing to their audience, and their audience believes “white man bad, dark man good.” They will tune out anything that contradicts that.

If you’ve read an article about a subject you know well, you’ve probably noticed that it is usually wrong. Take this screen shot from the AP, generally considered one of the most balanced news sources. On the same screen, they have two articles: “Indian farmers mark 100th day of protests with road blockade.” And right frickin’ below it, is “Indian farmers protest new laws with road block.” Well, gee… it’s not “new” if they’ve been at it for three months! The finance and the economy editors aren’t talking to each other. Their job is to get new content up as fast as possible. The headline gets the clicks, the clicks show advertisers that they get eyeballs, and the advertisers buy ads on their feed.

Let’s keep with the story of mass shootings and take another news story you didn’t read. On March 24th, guy walks into a Publix grocery store in Atlanta, Georgia. The manager goes into the bathroom and a shopper notices that guy suddenly taking out body armor and several guns. Manager calls the police and they get there quick enough to stop the guy from causing another mass shooting. it didn’t make the headlines for two reasons. One, no one died. Remember, the bias of the media is towards conflict. Second, the name of the would-be shooter was Rico Abednego Neequaye Marley. If you read the NYT article, you can’t guess the race of the shooter. Rico Marley could be anybody. “Neequaye” is a dead giveaway that the shooter is African-American. Doesn’t fit the narrative, doesn’t make the headlines.

Do we have a problem with gun violence in America, absolutely. Do we have an impending race war? No. In Chicago, where there are more murders than anywhere else in America, more African-Americans kill their fellow minority than anyone else. That doesn’t make headlines, but mostly because it’s a daily occurrence. My fear is that if the media keep pounding the drumbeat of “White Men Are Out to Kill You,” minorities will believe it, and will decide “I’m gonna get them before they get me.” You don’t want that.

Am I overreacting? Should we be more concerned about white men killing minorities? Let me know in the comments below! If you like my writing, pick up one of my books. But if you’re still not sold, download one of my stories for free! You’ll be glad you did.

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