The editor of a major newspaper has just admitted that he prints propaganda. There is no other way to describe the decision of Chicago Tribune editor Gerould W. Kern, who refuses to report on the racial aspect of recent mob attacks in Chicago.
Kern explains his paper’s “approach” to concealing the truth: “We do not reference race unless it is a fact that is central to telling the story.”
That explanation is absurd to the point of dangerousness. How is anybody supposed to know what is central to a story unless the news reports on the basic facts? If blacks attack non-blacks, and you want to tell a story about blacks attacking non-blacks, then you reference race.
Taking Kern’s ideas at face value, we can see just how shockingly illogical they are. If race isn’t central to a story, then neither is age, gender, or the location of an attack. As another Tribune writer pointed out, “[r]ace alone doesn’t predict or explain behavior. Just because this mob was young and black hardly means that all young, black people in groups are a violent mob.”
Let’s think that through with a few analogies. Take gender: gender alone doesn’t predict or explain behavior. Just because a rapist is a male hardly means that all males are rapists. Therefore, we shouldn’t report on the gender of rapists. Obviously, this is an absurd approach. If we never reported the gender of rapists, we would have no idea what the nature of the crime was, who was being victimized, and whose culture needed to be changed to address the root causes.
Also, the location of a crime alone doesn’t predict or explain behavior. Just because a crime occurred in a park hardly means that everyone in the park will be victimized by crime. Therefore, we shouldn’t report on the location of crimes. That approach is senseless as well. If we never reported the location of crimes, we wouldn’t understand the basic risks we face or what areas to focus crime prevention on.
What would you think about the following words if they were uttered by an editor, speaking about white attacks on blacks? “We will be measured and responsible about introducing racial descriptions into the coverage unless they are clearly pertinent and warranted.”
Most of us would smell the disgusting stench of double standards. We would revolt at the paternalistic elitism involved in social engineering through journalism. We might even sense the danger of being lied to about a racist crime wave.