Saturday, August 06, 2011

A random day's worth of whining about media bias

Instead of just speaking to the walls as I work out while listening to the news, I'll mix it up by soiling this blog a bit by griping about a few examples of the media's sins of omission. In my personal life I'm hesitant to moan about this kind of thing not so much for fear of the censure it provokes (it's not like talking about differences in IQ or athleticism, where egalitarian sacred cows are butchered left and right--I'm just after fair, objective reporting is all!) as from an ethos from which taking offense, soliciting pity, or feeling sorry for oneself are precluded. I suppose I'm a throwback in that regard, playing by a hidebound set of self-imposed rules that an increasing number of people in the West have no concept of, let alone any intention of imposing on themselves.

From yesterday's All Things Considered (a misnomer if I've ever heard one) comes a report on protests against high housing costs in a posh area of Tel Aviv. More recently, these inclusive protests have expanded to take in other malcontents. The addition of Jewish settlers from the 'West Bank' appears to be an especially sore spot for many of the original protesters:
SHEERA FRENKEL [correspondent]: The settlers want the government to solve the housing issue by expanding the settlements. And they have secured the backing of 42 members of the Knesset, Israel's parliament. But the arrival of the settlers incensed Assi Rothbard, who has been living in the protest camp for the past week with his three young children.

ASSI ROTHBARD [protester]: They are doing the smartest thing that they can do because they want to destroy the protest. So the best thing they can do is build a tent here. Because these lunatic extreme settlers, I have nothing with them.

FRENKEL: Rothbard notes that the settlers have already received subsidized housing. Figures published by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics show that Israel spends 15 percent of its housing budget on the settlements, though less than 4 percent of Israelis live there. Haim Ramon, a liberal lawmaker, says the government spends twice as much per capita on the settlers as it does on other Israelis. Rothbard says the issue is one of priorities. [emphasis added]

Without pretending to have a firm grasp on the dynamics of Israeli society, the open pronouncement of such statistics is something to be envied by those of us on the other side of the Atlantic. It's difficult to imagine HUD publishing similar stats on per capita federal subsidization by race for housing in the US. It's equally difficult to imagine a media organ like NPR seeking such data out even if it did (or even 'considering' criticism of disproportionate spending blacks or Hispanics in the first place).

Orthogonally, the five New Orleans police officers who were charged with, among other things, multiple civil rights violations in the notorious Danziger Bridge killings are quite the diverse bunch (two whites, two blacks, and one Hispanic). That the victims are black is made clear in the same NPR program's story on the convictions, but nothing descriptive about the officers is offered--not even their names, as Anthony Villavaso distorts the images of the crooked cops that listeners are supposed to have in their heads:

Of course, nothing was to be heard about the racially-motivated attacks against whites at the opening night of Wisconsin's State Fair, where one white boy under the age of 16 was severely beaten by a group of black 'youths', one of whom pushed a construction sign over on him before tossing him from the sidewalk into the bushes. And why would there be any coverage of such an incident, anyway? After all, what does could it possibly have to do with civil rights?


Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

So the Wisconsin attacks were racially motivated, eh? I'm not surprised, although even rightwing Fox failed to mention the hate crime aspect. Incidentally, if you Google "beat whitey des moines" you'll see that something similar happened at the Iowa State Fair recently. Looks to be a trend. At any rate, it seems like our grand "celebrate diversity" national narrative, the ever expanding "civil rights" movement, and lavish social spending on blacks isn't buying whitey much love.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

The Fox story on the Wiscy racial pogroms no longer exists on the front page. And nobody at NRO's The Corner has commented on the story.

I hate to be the oracle of the obvious, but can you imagine the media paroxysm had a mob of whites singled out blacks for assault? The media's bias and concatenation of double standards could not be more obvious.

Audacious Epigone said...


Yes, there would have been one hell of a paroxysm had the roles been reversed. If anyone at NRO's Corner will touch it, it'll be John Derbyshire.

For those interested, here's a nice amalgamation of incidents of flash mob violence over the last several years.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...


Derb isn't touching it. In a bit of irony, however, CNN has been playing up the murder of a black man by some whites in the Deep South.

When Fox buries a more societally significant story about black-on-white crime while CNN trumpets a lesser white-on-black crime story we see clearly who has the will to win the culture wars and who remains hamstrung by guilt.