Skip to comments.Scant Coverage of Brutal Crime Called 'Journalistic Malpractice' (Hate Crime?)
Posted on 05/16/2007 5:33:02 PM PDT by Sybeck1
(CNSNews.com) - The national news media demonstrates a double standard in covering "hate crimes," as evidenced by the lack of attention given to the murder of a white couple in Tennessee last January, a conservative columnist charged on Monday.
However, a media analyst responded that a crime is not necessarily a hate crime simply because the victims are white and those accused of perpetrating it are black.
Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, were out on a dinner date in Knoxville, Tenn. on Jan. 6, when they were carjacked, kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered.
According to published news reports, the two were tortured at length in each other's presence, strangled and shot. Newsom's mutilated and burned remains were found along a railroad track the following day. Two days later, Christian's battered and burned body was found in a trash bin.
Five men and a woman, all African-American, have been arrested and face up to 46 charges, including carjacking, kidnapping, rape, premeditated murder, theft and robbery.
The case sparked considerable debate on Internet blogs, but mainstream media coverage has been modest.
AP wire reports of the killings were carried by Knoxville news outlets, CBS News and Fox News, but other major media outlets including CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post apparently have yet to mention the story. This so angered Mark Alexander, executive editor and publisher of the online Patriot Post, that in a column entitled "Murder in Black and White," he said the attack was "more than a case study in sociopathic evil. It is also a case study in journalistic malpractice.
"True, there are some 17,000 murders committed in the U.S. each year, but this double murder was clearly far more barbaric, far more monstrous than most," he wrote. "Yet, this story has failed to attract the attention of the national media.
"Could it be because the two victims were white and the five defendants are black?" Alexander asked.
He pointed to the case in 1998 when "three white men in Jasper, Texas, beat James Byrd -- a black man -- then chained him to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him three miles to his death. Not surprisingly, Byrd's murder received national media attention -- as it should have."
When Democratic politicians seized on Byrd's murder to call for hate crimes laws, "then-Governor of Texas George Bush said there was little need for such legislation -- after all, two of the defendants were sentenced to death and the third received a life sentence," Alexander stated.
"Clearly, hate was a motivating factor in Jasper, but it was also a motivating factor in Knoxville, which leads us to ask: Why do white-on-black hate crimes invariably result in a media feeding frenzy, while black-on-white hate crimes receive nary a mention?" he asked.
Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute -- a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla. -- told Cybercast News Service on Monday that just because a crime involves black perpetrators and white victims "doesn't mean it's a hate crime. You have to have specific evidence, such as some sort of racial epithet," which was the case in the Byrd murder.
The Knoxville double homicide "sounds like a horrible, heinous crime, but horrible, heinous crimes are not the standard for what become national stories," she said.
One reason the networks haven't run this story "is because they can't fit it into a narrative of anything other than shock and horror, and you can find that in any crime story anywhere."
In addition, "the suspects are not still at large, so it won't fit into a 'this could happen to your child' kind of story," McBride said. And most importantly, she added, the crime was not perpetrated on a lone white female. The fact that she was accompanied by a man at the time of the attack was a factor.
"The crimes that make national news tend to be Elizabeth Smart [the 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002], Natalee Holloway [the Alabama teenager who disappeared during her senior class trip to Aruba in 2005] -- that kind of story," she said.
In the Knoxville case, the fact that the alleged perpetrators are black and the victims are white would be an argument in favor of the crime getting press, McBride said. "The national media tend to play into black-predator-white-victim-type stories much more than they're comfortable with."
The Patriot Post's Alexander told Cybercast News Service that he strongly disagreed with McBride's arguments.
"Although blacks represent just 12 percent of the U.S. population, black perpetrators are convicted by their peers in more than half of all murder and manslaughter cases," he stated "Per-capita black-on-white crime is far more prevalent than the inverse."
While "these cases happen with some regularity, they never get picked up by the national press -- and that's my point," Alexander said. "I would suggest to anybody that you can't take the hate out of this kind of crime. Who knows whether the attackers said racial things to these victims? They're dead and can't report it.
When the suspects in the Christian-Newsom case next appear in court on May 17, he said, "it's safe to say that they will do so without a satellite news-link truck anywhere in sight."
Bill O’Reilly? Where are you?
When Is A News Story Not A News Story?
Jawa Report, TX - 10 hours ago
The Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom murder is a perfect teaching moment about liberal media bias in the mainstream press. Simple explanation? ...
Why The Silence On The Christian-Newsom Case
The Chattanoogan, TN - May 15, 2007
Christopher Newsom, 23, was gang-raped, shot and set on fire. The murderers made Channon Christian, 21, and then they gang-raped her over four days and left ...
Media Blackout of Murdered Couple Suggests PC at Work NewsBusters
Stand Up For What’s Right, Not Against What’s White The Chattanoogan
all 3 news articles »
Murder in Black and White
theOneRepublic, CA - May 6, 2007
Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were described by family and friends as a “clean-cut and faithful couple — good kids.” Channon was a senior at the ...
Rally will protest black-against-white crime
Knoxville News Sentinel (subscription), TN - Apr 19, 2007
Apparently prompted by the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a group is planning a rally in Knoxville to protest crimes against white ...
Suspect arraigned in carjacking slayings
WMC-TV, TN - Apr 18, 2007
The four are accused of kidnapping, beating, raping and killing 21-year-old Channon Christian and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Christopher Newsom. ...
Interest in handgun carry permits up
Knoxville News Sentinel (subscription), TN - May 1, 2007
... off,” said Sgt. Mike Lett of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, referring to the January torture and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. ...
Local Religious Leaders Hope to “Save Our City”
WVLT, TN - Apr 24, 2007
Knoxville (WVLT) - It’s crimes, like the stabbing in North Knoxville Monday night and the double murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in early ...
Scant Coverage of Brutal Crime Called ‘’Journalistic Malpractice’’
CNSNews.com, VA - May 8, 2007
Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, were out on a dinner date in Knoxville, Tenn. on Jan. 6, when they were carjacked, kidnapped, tortured, ...
Double murder suspect gets preliminary hearing date
WATE.com, TN - Apr 18, 2007
She’s indicted in Knox County for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. She was extradited from Kentucky, ...
Organizers seek to end ‘07 violent crime wave
Knoxville News Sentinel (subscription), TN - Apr 23, 2007
“The young lady who (was) killed, somebody saw that going on,” Hamilton said, referring to the January murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. ...
And like that Matthew Shepherd case which has been the cause celebre for hate crimes against homosexuals. The criminals said they didn’t know Matthew Shepherd was gay. That was a heinous crime of course, which the gay community has latched onto as evidence of homophobia.
True, you can only fit it into the Who, What, When , Where, and How of good ethical journalism, not an agenda-ized version of journalism.
On top at Malkin’s Vent:
ping to track
DOUBLE STANDARD. RACIST MEDIA. period.
That’s beyond disgusting.
It makes me absolutely sick that horrific things like this are so well-covered up by the media that one would have to tune in to the G.Gordon Liddy show or surf the Net to stumble across it.The real travesty is that if these two innocent victims were any ethnicity other than Caucasian,this would be screamed from every rooftop,crammed into every newspaper and magazine and blasted into every livingroom in the world.Absolutely shameful.
I was afraid stuff like this would happen after the OJ verdict. Sad to see I was right.
A You Tube tribute
Well, it's slightly more newsworthy than blacks raping and killing other blacks, but not much.
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