Crime: The media doesn't want to touch it in that much detail.
|As the Press-Telegram reported on November 3, three white women aged 19 to 21 emerged from a “maze” walk in a house and were confronted by up to 40 black teenagers who pelted them with pumpkins and lemons. The paper said, “The taunts and jeers grew more aggressive, the victims recalled, as did the size of the crowd. Now females joined in, and everyone began saying, ‘We hate white people, f--- whites!’ ”
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.”
While some media tiptoed around the story, another outlook was emerging as the fast-tracked trial — required in youth cases — hurtled toward its late-November start date. Well-known black political columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who has explored both sides of the story in a levelheaded manner, was quoted by City News Service as noting that the latest FBI hate-crimes report showed that blacks now commit more than 20 percent of the hate crimes, the majority of victims white. |
LATIMES is desperate not to report on it because.
|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.’|