Media Selective, Ignores mass murder story

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Sniper[MI], Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Media Keep Ignoring Interracial Mass Murder in Wichita
    Jim Burns,
    Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002
    The trial in Wichita, Kan., of two brothers charged with murdering five people and wounding a sixth in a December 2000 rampage has local residents and prominent black leaders wondering why the national media have been relatively silent in the matter.
    Because the suspects, Jonathan and Reginald Carr, are black and their victims white, many observers in Wichita expected the brothers to be charged with "hate crimes," which presumably would have sparked national news coverage.

    It didn't happen, and some are raising the specter of a racial double standard by the national media, based on the lack of news coverage of this mass murder.

    Wichita District Attorney Nola Foulston said earlier that the crimes were motivated by robbery and not racial hatred. In addition, she said, the state of Kansas has no hate crime law.

    Neither Foulston nor defense attorneys Val Wachtel and Jay Greeno representing the brothers would grant interviews to until the trial was over, saying the judge in the case has placed them under gag orders.

    Blacks Question Dearth of National Coverage

    Ken Hamblin, a black syndicated radio talk show host, said he thinks the case should be prosecuted from a hate crime standpoint.

    "Clearly, it was a hate crime. It was a very malicious hate crime. It was brutal hate crime. When you look at how brutal and malicious the act was, there was a venomous attitude towards people in a particular race in question because they didn't know them," he said.

    Hamblin said he wasn't even aware of the case, even in his capacity as a talk show host, and despite the fact that "this is exactly the kind of stuff we cover ... I had no clue.

    "It's another perfect example of the double standard brought about by the media," Hamblin said.

    Akbar Shabazz of the black conservative group Project 21 is not surprised that the trial is receiving minimal coverage.

    Though Shabazz does not believe the Carrs committed "hate crimes," he added, "It's not popular to portray black-on-white crimes in the national media today because it's politically incorrect.

    "The cases are very rare when you do have black-on-white hate crime prosecutions. But I don't see the hate crimes angle. I feel that these are some brutal guys who definitely deserve the death penalty, but I didn't think that they took them and killed them strictly because they were white," Shabazz said.

    Limited National News Attention

    Local news coverage of the trial has been intensive, but even local residents have taken note of the absence of national attention.

    One recent letter to the editor to the Wichita newspaper was blunt about the lack of national media attention.

    "If this had been two white males accused of killing black individuals, the media would be on a feeding frenzy and every satellite news organization would be in Wichita doing live reports," claimed Trent Hungate in a letter to the Wichita Eagle.

    CNN's Web site Friday published one Court TV account of the Carr trial. Fox News' Web site published an Associated Press story about the trial Tuesday. ABC News' Web site moved a story on Sept. 6. CBS News and MSNBC made no mention of it on their Web sites.

    On the local front, two Wichita cable television channels and one radio station are providing continuous coverage of the trial, and the regional Associated Press has been covering it as well.

    The Wichita Eagle reported Friday that many locals gathered around televisions at the YMCA, a health club, residences and offices to see what was transpiring at the trial.

    Other Wichita residents are taping parts of the trial to watch after they finish work or school.

    One merchant, Tom Young, told the newspaper he had been watching the trial all week. "I'm glued and repelled at the same time," he said.

    "What happened is so terrible, so horrifying. But there's something about seeing a live courtroom, which is so different from Hollywood. It's like seeing justice in action," Young said.

    KWCH-TV General Manager Kathy Mohn told the Eagle her station had not received any negative calls about the coverage. Some viewers have requested gavel-to-gavel repeats at night.

    "We feel we are being very responsible to provide coverage because of limited seating in the courtroom. But we will not repeat it because it is not entertainment and particularly not at night, when children would have greater access to it," Mohn said.

    Syndicated columnist Sam Francis has accused the national media of "passivity" for their lack of coverage.

    "When a white commits a murder against a black, it's national headlines. But when two blacks force their way into an apartment, rape two white women and take them and their three white male friends and murder them in cold blood, it's not even worth a national news story," said he in a recent column.

    Francis also thinks the trial hasn't received much national coverage because Kansas has no "hate crime" statute, "so there was no legal purpose in searching for a racial motive behind the crime," he said.

    "Since the media do a good deal of searching in crimes where the race of victims and killers are reversed, one might expect them to undertake a little investigative reporting in this crime. They haven't," Francis said.

    But Shabazz thinks Francis is exaggerating the facts in the case. "I don't believe that all white-on-black crimes receive national attention. But I do believe that this crime and this act, as gruesome and brutal as it was, just doesn't fit into hate crimes legislation as it is written today," he said.

    Shabazz emphasized that if the Carr brothers would have "found any rich person or anyone else they could have robbed, they would done the same thing to them."

    Department of Justice Silent

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday did not return calls seeking comment on why the federal government was not pursuing "hate crimes" charges in the case.

    The department's Web site describes "hate crimes" as "offenses motivated by hatred against a victim based on his or her race, religion, sexual orientation, handicap, ethnicity, or national origin," but also warns about the need to distinguish between certain crimes.

    "While such a definition may make identifying a hate crime seem like a simple task, criminal acts motivated by bias can easily be confused with forms of expression protected by the U.S. Constitution," the Justice Department's Web site states.

    According to What Standard?

    DoJ also states, "African-Americans are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than members of any other group. Of the nearly 8,000 hate crimes reported in 1995, almost 3,000 of them were motivated by bias against African-Americans. Other typical victims are Jews, homosexuals, Muslims, and, increasingly, Asian-Americans," according to the Web site.

    Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have some type of "hate crime" law, according to DOJ. Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, South Carolina and Wyoming have no state "hate crime" laws.

  2. wes

    wes Guest

    I've heard some about this,and it sounds like a hate crime to me. Guess it only works one way.

  3. dhermesc

    dhermesc G&G Evangelist

    These two came from Dodge City after one of them was released from prison early for GOOD BEHAVIOR. (Actually it was a mistake but someone was slow processing the paperwork). They also kidnapped two other people and forced them to withdraw funds from ATM machines, one they let go and another they murdered. The one woman survivor was shot in the back of the head and left for dead naked in the middle of a snowy field. She walked over a mile to a house and directed the police to the spot where her fiance and friends where laying dead. One of the bastrds that has pleaded innocent was found with her engagement ring in his pocket, and both where driving the victims cars that they stole after the murder.
  4. oneastrix

    oneastrix G&G Newbie

    I'd be curious to know the difference in penalties between a hate crime and just plain murder......If the penalty is higher for murder, then stick with the murder charge, and visa-versa.

    I think, but may be mistaken, that the difference in my state is that hate crimes lead towards the Federal Offense side. I also think that there is a penalty enhancement. But if the penalty is death, how do you enhance that?
  5. Stopper

    Stopper G&G Newbie

    Thats true, I think everyone is ready for a "reverse" hate crime case. This one in particular was very gruesome. Frick'n pieces o chit deserve death and will probably get it, the hate crime added won't make a difference if thier dead but I think some people would like to see it go that way just to make themselves feel better.

    Hey Dhermesc - whats happening? How's Manhatten? This place is the same ol same ol!