Constitutional Vanguard: Big Media’s Remarkable Lack of Curiosity on Race
Big Media has its narratives, and Big Media does not like to question those narratives. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to race.
Today I have a Substack post about two issues that demonstrate this. The bulk of it is free, and discusses the prevailing narrative about the famous incident in Central Park between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper. It’s in the news again because Christian Cooper, the media hero of the encounter, has been given a hosting gig for a National Geographic TV show on birding. The news stories about the episode repeat, as fact, the narrative that Amy Cooper “falsely claimed that [Christian Cooper] was threatening her.”
Using Kmele Foster’s podcast about the episode as a jumping off point, I take issue with that conclusion.
There is nothing in this piece about Christian Cooper’s threat to do something Amy Cooper isn’t going to like. Nothing about the numerous other instances of Christian Cooper making similar threats to other people. Nothing about the isolation of the area, Amy Cooper’s background as a sexual assault victim, the inability of the 911 operator to hear her — all facts that contextualize her fear and agitation before and during the 911 call.
Nope, it is the simple narrative of a curiously incurious newspaper hellbent on repeating the established narrative. Next to this, a sheep being led to slaughter is a positive free thinker . . . and at least has the wisdom to keep its mouth shut.
There is also a second portion to the post, behind a paywall, discussing Big Media’s lack of curiosity on the narrative that black men are racially targeted for shootings by the police. A Reuters data scientist was fired not too long ago for making this case at length to co-workers on an internal social media site. His purpose was quite legitimate, as he questioned Reuters’s tendency to repeat the Black Lives Matter narrative as if it were true. But, he said, the statistics show otherwise — and guess who he cites? [Patterico blushes.] In the piece, I quote Kriegman as he cites a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney named Patrick Frey, and then I note:
I assume most of you know that my real name is Patrick Frey. And as it turns out, the hyperlink to the word “calculations” in the above quote goes to one of my Substack posts — a post, I should add, that is one of my proudest achievements on this platform to date. The reason I value that Substack post so highly is that it makes a point that I basically never see made anywhere, ever. Namely, my thesis is: “If police shootings are a response to deadly threats, rather than motivated by bias, then the total percentage of people (armed or not) of any population shot and killed by police should roughly correspond to the total percentage of people (armed or not) in that same population who pose a deadly threat to police.” And when you dig through the publicly available data on who fatally attacks police, that is exactly what you see: the percentages of fatal attacks on police by race (and by sex, by the way) happen to line up pretty closely with the data on who police shoot.
This is another epic one, over 5300 words long. I have been working on it for quite a while now. But the topics are important and the media is getting it all wrong. The stakes are too high for us to get it wrong too.
Great post, sir! 5300+ words flew by quickly for me. And you are right, in my case, I hesitated to listen to the podcast, but I will listen it as soon as I have ample time to complete it with the attention it deserves.felipe (484255) — 6/2/2022 @ 6:56 am
Patterico – Thank you for taking on this difficult subject.
For years, I have thought that the most serious problem of bias in our news media is in what they choose to cover — and choose not to cover. That is an almost universal human failing, but I am not sure how many journalists recognize it in themselves, or see it as a fault, when they do.
(One of the most ludicrous examples in this area is the refusal of our local monopoly newspaper, the Seattle Times, to even mention Lincoln — on his birthday. Most people, certainly most Americans, love to read about Lincoln.)Jim Miller (406a93) — 6/2/2022 @ 10:31 am
Wonderful and worrying essay, Patterico. I’m happy to have subscribed.Simon Jester (c8876d) — 6/2/2022 @ 11:31 am
Patrick, for some reason I feel moved to say a prayer of protection over you, your family, your reputation. Probably because that subject brings out slithering broods of hissing viperssteveg (12b3b5) — 6/2/2022 @ 12:30 pm
Can Amy Cooper not sue for the wrongs done? I believe that the only way to push back at the Woke Mob is to make them pay damages for their doxxing, and for their vile threats. This is defamation at its most basic and the doxxing would seem proof that she was not a public figure at the time.
She should sue Cooper, O’Brien and 1000 John Does, then subpoena ISP records and those other people who had a conflict with Cooper.
After all, our courts are where we try facts, not the press. Someone would take this case on contingency, if only to make a name.Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/2/2022 @ 12:36 pm
steveg (12b3b5) — 6/2/2022 @ 12:30 pm
That’s a good idea. I’ll join you.felipe (484255) — 6/2/2022 @ 12:49 pm
I agree that she should be afforded her day in court. But what kind of name will her lawyer achieve? Therein lies the rub.felipe (484255) — 6/2/2022 @ 12:54 pm
On my so far extremely underappreciated site, I’ve spent rather a lot of time on the censorship of The Philadelphia Inquirer, deleting all racial references to murder victims — if they even cover the story — because if the newspaper did report the race of the victims of homicide in the City of Brotherly Love, people would see documented what they already know: the vast majority of murder victims are black, in a city which is 38.3% non-Hispanic black.
In May, there were 226 shooting victims, of which 77.44% were black; there were 48 homicides by gunfire, of which 81.25% were black. The city reports these numbers, in a very difficult to read database format, and the Philadelphia Police Department sends out press releases on homicides, which include the race of the victim, but the Inquirer scrubs that part.
The credentialed media don’t have a lack of curiosity about race, because they already know the facts; they just don’t want to tell people what the facts are, because doing so might seem raaaaacist.
The Sacramento Bee, the lead McClatchy newspaper, actually put it bluntly when the editors announced that the paper would no longer print mugshots, because to do so could “perpetuat(e) stereotypes about who commits crime in our community.” The McClatchy Company then adopted that policy for its newspapers nationwide. The Inquirer is not a McClatchy paper, but does the same thing.
You cannot solve a problem is you are unwilling to identify the problem.The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (b45cb3) — 6/2/2022 @ 4:07 pm
But what kind of name will her lawyer achieve? Therein lies the rub.
William Kunstler never cared.Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/2/2022 @ 7:37 pm
filipe, but you hit the nail on the head here. The problem is not that no one cares about race, or that no one is willing to talk about it, just that those who express a view contrary to the Woke are not just refuted, not just opposed, but have their lives destroyed by the mob.
In short, we have a new Klan, and a new Jim Crow.Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/2/2022 @ 7:39 pm
I hate that society is so willing to ruin a complete stranger’s life to satisfy its need for outrage. My sense is that both Coopers were not at their finest that evening, but Patt highlights some important perspective….while the media went with its preferred narrative. This should have been an innocuous situation, but the “death by cop” over tone was too much to pass up. The people that pushed the narrative should be reminded daily of what it’s doing to Amy’s life, though I’m sure they may be well practiced at rationalizing it. We’re drowning in confirmation bias. Where were the editors?AJ_Liberty (a36eed) — 6/2/2022 @ 9:01 pm
It’s a wedge issue.DCSCA (2a0a36) — 6/3/2022 @ 2:13 am
Out: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
In: “In the future, everyone will be literally Hitler for 15 minutes.”Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/3/2022 @ 7:03 am
Once more we discover that there are hierarchies of victim-classes, and black men currently outrank white women.
I’d actually advocate a sting, setting this clown up for a camera close-up.Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/3/2022 @ 4:03 pm