Friday, December 02, 2005

Skewed Reporting on a Hate Crime


Williams: An Awfully Sweet Guy!

Today the New York Times devotes gavel-to-gavel coverage -- a front-page article and an op-ed piece -- to one of the burning issues of our day: A cold-blood murderer of four people is about to be executed. Oh no. Save him! Save him! The op-ed piece is typical mushy claptrap, replete with phony analogies to colonial-era executions of burglars, but the front page piece, at first blush, was just ordinarily bad.

Seems the murderer in question, Stanley Tookie Williams, has done a lot of really jim dandy things since he slaughtered four people at a motel and a 7-Eleven store in California in 1981. He has written children books! He has lectured youth groups by phone! Why, maybe he should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (snicker, snicker)! Hey, he has been. I'm serious. Pardon me while I throw up.

Anyway, reading this story I didn't think it was all that execrable, until a reader pointed out something the Times left out: These were hate crimes. According to National Review Online, quoting court testimony, "When an accomplice asked Williams why he had shot [the victim in the 7-11], Williams explained that he didn't want to leave any witnesses. The accomplice would also later testify that Williams told him he killed [the victim] 'because he was white and he was killing all white people.'" Prosecutors also say he referred to the Asian-American victims of his motel slayings as "Buddhaheads."

Golly. Kind of important, don't you think? Gee. Why did the Times leave that out? Did, maybe, the reporter not want to spoil the PR campaign being waged by this creature, who still proclaims his innocence despite an Everest of evidence? Apparently the Times hack who wrote this garbage thought it was more important to paint this cucaracha as having an "intellectual air" than pointing out that he was offing people because of their skin shade. Would the Times extend this same courtesy to a Klansman?

Also, there is no evidence in the piece that any effort was made to contact the families of the victims. Of course, that would have interrupted the sympathetic flow of the narrative. So would reporting that, as the NRO piece points out, Tookie's son "Stanley Williams Jr., 30, is currently serving a 16-year sentence in California for second-degree murder. Sometimes the apple falls very close to the tree indeed."

"I want to live," papa murderer is quoted as saying. Yeah, so did your victims, guy. (Ever hear of the expression "Burn in Hell," by the way?) Throw the switch, Arnie.

As has been my usual practice when the Times bites the big one, I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. Something else for you to ignore, Barney, while you shill for management and focus on trivia.

The Washington Post also joined the Williams PR bandwagon, in a piece of crud you can read here.

While we're on the subject of hate, by the way, here's an item I did the other day on a noxious Internet hate-spreader -- an Islamofascist who was promoted by a rock-dumb local publication.

Trackposted to: Don Surber, Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe, Political Teen, TMH's Bacon Bits, Basil's Blog, Random Yak, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Cao's Blog, Is it Just me?, Stuck on Stupid
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