Patterico's Pontifications


Kate Coe on Press Coverage (Including LAT Coverage) of the Long Beach Black-on-White Hate Crimes

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Race — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Kate Coe has an interesting piece in the L.A. Weekly about local media news coverage of the black-on-white hate crime in Long Beach. She has a few things to say about the L.A. Times:

The bizarre case, now in its fifth week of trial, resulted in hate-crime charges against nine girls and three boys, two of whom will be tried later. Yet the story didn’t run in the Los Angeles Times until November 7, buried inside local news. In that piece, writer J. Michael Kennedy quoted the Press-Telegram’s interview with the victims, watering down the racist language to the vague and more acceptable phrase “a series of antiwhite epithets.”

It didn’t get any better:

. . . [T]he Times sent its sixth reporter to cover the story — its constant rotation of writers a hint that the paper had assigned the issue a low-priority. That reporter, Joe Mozingo, published a jarring — some say biased — juxtaposition of facts by identifying one of the victims of the violent attack — who had begged the court for anonymity — while granting one of the defense lawyers anonymity in the same story.

By naming the victim against her wishes, Mozingo arguably followed a Times policy of identifying all individuals aged 18 or over in criminal cases. However, the Times has touted another policy in the wake of media scandals, to keep self-serving anonymous quotes out of the paper. Yet Mozingo let an unnamed defense attorney brag he’d “impeach how the police handled the identifications.”

The Press-Telegram’s recounting of the same courtroom day was so different — filled with extensive detail about eyewitnesses’ descriptions of the clothing, jewelry and hairstyles of victims and defendants alike — that black activist Najee Ali and conservative KFI radio talk-show host John Ziegler, though strange bedfellows, publicly derided the differing accounts, with Ziegler saying, “It’s as if they were at two different places.”

Is this a coincidence? Not if the editors on the news side shared one editorial writer’s attitude about black-on-white hate crimes:

Then, in an opinion piece on December 3, Times senior editorial writer Michael McGough floated an argument critics said reflected the Times’ shading of news-side race stories. In the op-ed, he wrote that hate-crime laws “could end up punishing blacks who commit violence against whites — which is a far cry from the historical experience that inspired hate-crime statutes.”

The piece prompted a fiery response by David Mills, a black former Washington Post reporter turned Emmy-winning screenwriter. In a letter to the popular Romenesko media blog, the Glendale-based Mills wrote: “You don’t have to be a card-carrying Klansman to point out that the L.A. Times surely would be treating this story differently if three black women had been attacked by 30 white teenagers hurling words like ‘F— black people.’ ”

Mills was also aghast that Times editors buried a vivid story a day after newspapers in 20 states, Canada, the U.K. and Australia published a wire-story account of how reputed gang members rammed and ruined the car of a black woman, Kiana Alford, who testified that she saw a crowd of black youths attack, kick and beat the white women without provocation on Halloween.

I told you about Mills’s letter on December 18 (as it happens, thanks to an e-mail tip from Kate Coe). Weirdest thing — and I do believe it’s a coincidence — but Coe says the paper finally published a detailed and unsanitized piece on December 19, the day after I published my post noting Mills’s letter. According to Coe, the reporter “wouldn’t comment on his December 19 piece, but he must have won an argument with his editors.” For one thing, the fact that the defendants used the phrase “white bitches” was reported for the first time.

Read the whole thing. It’s an interesting look into how media cover a story that clearly makes them uncomfortable.

5 Responses to “Kate Coe on Press Coverage (Including LAT Coverage) of the Long Beach Black-on-White Hate Crimes”

  1. Hispanic-on-Black Violence: Protestors, Where Are You?…

    Update: Good news about black folks! The man’s a hero. That was a totally selfless act.
    Warning: Rant below.
    This post is c…

    La Shawn Barber's Corner (1b383c)

  2. as i commented on the earlier blogpost, all batteries are hate crimes, and distinctions should not be drawn among them based on the races of the actors.
    the judge barred the dna evidence because he wanted to save courtroom time? ok, we can see where this is going to end up. can’t the prosecutor get an interlocutory writ from the appellate court forcing admission of this evidence, or is the prosecutor in on the conspiracy too?
    reiterating a theme from my manuel real comments, when public justice breaks down, private justice stands ready to fill the vacuum. the white residents of bixby knolls are watching this and i don’t think they’re all stupid. when they realize that black criminals are more equal than they are, the next time black teenagers surround white girls in that neighborhood, one of them will step up and administer summary private justice. it’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.

    assistant devil's advocate (6432b0)

  3. I’ll concede that the Long Beach black-on-white assault case has degenerated into a hateful mess. But the story here isn’t the reluctance of the “liberal press” to cover a story “that makes them uncomfortable.”

    The story here is the incompetence of the Long Beach Police and the District Attorney’s Office prosecuting the case. Amazing, the DDA is surprised by a defense assertion that two of the victims had been drinking while underage, because she didn’t recognize what ETOH in a medical report meant and didn’t ask anyone. Improper line-ups and identification procedures. Taping an interview with a crucial witness then not revealing there was a taping and finally discovering the tape had “inadvertantly” been taped over. The inability of the D.A.’s office and the police to protect the crucial witness from alleged intimidation.

    Who is more uncomfortable? The media or the DDA prosecuting the case or the DDA who is so outraged by the Durham D.A. in the Duke case and who edits this blog?

    (Oh, my…now you can dismiss me as being “confrontational” again without addressing any of the embarrassing foibles of your office.)

    Oh, and I do realize that many of these kids might end up being found guilty. Or more correctly, the judge may sustain some of the allegations in the petition against many of the minors. Juvenile Court — no jury, and very varying interpretations of “reasonable doubt” by various bench officers. Easy way out — find kids guilty, make them wards of the court, send them home on probation. No harm, no foul.

    nosh (ee9fe2)

  4. TO BE FILED UNDER: One gets the government one deserves.
    This trial, and its’ attendant media coverage, is what you reap when you ride the PC whirlwind. The complete lack of ability (or desire) to “call a spade a spade” within media/academic/intellectual circles is what will destroy Western Civilization. These distractions will not happen under Sharia.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  5. “Easy way out — find kids guilty, make them wards of the court, send them home on probation. No harm, no foul.”

    Maybe. BUT, it won’t be so “easy” for these young people who obviously had no parental training and who are very likely to violate probation. There won’t be any second chance.

    Probably? They won’t get just probation if the judge “convicts.” The crimes are far too serious. No hate crime conviction, though…the concession the judge will make in order to justify convictions.

    ALL of the principals in this case are whacko. Never in my life have I seen a judge deny DNA evidence to be heard because it might take too much time. THIS IS PROOF and he won’t hear it.

    Case is both fixed and fiddled…heh, heh….by political correctness and incompetence.

    But, these kids have spent a lot of time in JuvieJail…let’s hope they learned something from that, even if it was probably that the race card just isn’t going to get you off when you assault people?

    Twaddlefree (61fe49)

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