You might expect extensive media national media coverage after two teens set another on fire during their walk home from school. You would expect it even more if they appeared to have premeditated the attack, saying to the victim “you get what you deserve.” You would without a doubt be hearing it over every air wave if it were a racial hate crime—a group of whites lighting a someone from a minority group on fire and claiming to give him his deserts.
But let the victim be white and the suspects be described as “blacks” and . . .
The story appeared already yesterday afternoon, and usually a story of this caliber would have hundreds of spin-offs across the media. As of the writing of this post, GoogleNews found only 16 and not one is from the major media networks (HuffPost is perhaps the biggest outlet to cover).
Here’s the NY Daily News’s report from yesterday evening:
A 13-year-old boy who police say was doused with gasoline and lit on fire last week while walking home from school is recovering from first-degree burns to his face and head.
The boy was just two blocks from his home in Kansas City Tuesday when two teenagers began to follow him and then attacked him, his mother, Melissa Coon, said.
Police have described the suspects as black 16-year-olds, while the victim is white.
“We were told it’s a hate crime,” Coon told KTLA.
“They rushed him on the porch as he tried to get the door open,” Coon told KMBC. “(One of them) poured the gasoline, then flicked the Bic, and said, ‘This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.’” . . .
She believes the students also attend East High School with her son, and said he will not be returning to the school. She also told KMBC her traumatized family plans now plans to move.
“My 5-year-old came in and asked me, ‘Mom, am I going to get set on fire today?’” Coon said. “I was in tears.”
The UK’s Daily Mail is one of the few to emphasize the racist content. Its latest headline reads, “‘You get what you deserve, white boy’: Boy, 13, doused in gasoline and set alight in racially-motivated attack.”
HotAir.com responded brilliantly with a parody headline and a scathing critique of the media: “Purple people eaters set white teen on fire.”
That piece notes an earlier news story from the local ABC affiliate in which race is not mentioned in the headline at all, and not until the third paragraph when we even get the phrase “white boy.” But that same ABC story does not describe the attackers until the ninth paragraph, and even then refuses to mention their race. HotAir then offers the following analysis of pure hypocrisy:
Could it simply be that KMBC is colorblind? Not quite. On February 13, the website ran an article picked up from CNN with the headline “Why Jeremy Lin’s Race Matters.” Here is the opening sentence:
A week ago, on feel-good Superbowl Sunday, TV viewers in the U.S. state of Michigan were subjected to a racist campaign ad sponsored by former Representative and now-Senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra.
HotAir rightly concludes, “KMBC, like much of the mainstream media, is race-conscious, but only when it supports the narrative that racism is unidirectional—from whites to [fill in the target].”
On February 18, 2009, Eric Holder gave a speech in which he disparaged America as “essentially a nation of cowards” when it came to talking about race. I agreed, and offered my thoughts here. Now our liberal journalists and media are showing just exactly who the biggest cowards are.
And where’s our brave Attorney General when we need him?