Archive for November, 2009

Fox 31 promotes Rush-inspired scare tactics

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I haven’t yet seen evidence of systemic media bias at local Fox TV stations, like there is at the national level. Mostly, their reporting mirrors the kind of mayhem-and-fluff focus you see at other local outlets.

 But you have to wonder about bias when you see something like this:

Last Monday, Fox 31 did a report on the possibly racially targeted assaults that have occurred on 16th St. Mall.

The Fox reporter interviewed one of the victims and out of nowhere asked him if he thought the police would have handled the case differently if the victim were black and the attackers were white.  The victim responded with more or less, “Oh yeah. You know, things work differently the other way.” Cut. End of scene.

There was no further reporting about this charged comment whatsoever.

The suggestion from the reporter and the victim was that the police would have acted more swiftly and warned the public if it had been a white-against-black hate crime, because there is a politically correct double standard.  In other words, the accusation is that police go easier on blacks than whites. Since Fox just let it hang out there, without offering more details or different views, we’re left to guess what was behind the comment by the white victim, but the implication is fairly clear.

There’s been the invidious thread in public discourse recently that, somehow, kid-glove treatment by liberals of minorities–as well as the actual power people of color now have in America–has literally led to murder and violence against whites.

This narrative has surged forward after Rush Limbaugh hyped a school bus beating of a white student and said, “This is what happens in Obama’s America.” 

Now you have righty pundits talking about political correctness leading to Ft. Hood, which is the underlying message of the billboard at Wolf Automotive, and it all leads to some paranoia among talk radio listeners that white people are under siege by rampaging minorities and Islamists who are enabled by soft liberals. Hence, wink, wink, we have to vote them out of power before the mobs are at your door.

Anyone steeped in this mythology would have picked up on the cues from the Fox report. It doesn’t represent the kind of reporting you typically see in the local mainstream media, even on local TV news, so let’s hope it was a bizarre mistake.

Or better yet, let’s hope Fox 31 takes up the issue again in a future story–and gives it serious treatment.