Thursday, August 04, 2016

Why are the Media Obsessed with Missing and Victimized White Girls, and Why Do They Pay so Little Attention to Black Crime Victims?

[“Exclusive! Nkosi Thandiwe, Allied Barton Security Guard Charged with Murdering Brittney Watts was a High-Tech Stalker, Reports Atlanta Source; Company Adopts Bunker Mentality.”]

(N.S.: David in TN wrote the excellent essay below five years ago, as a comment on a story about black Nkosi Thandiwe's racially motivated, hate crime murder of white Brittney Watts, in Atlanta. For some reason, it didn't occur to me to publish it as a standalone blog article, probably because that thought rarely occurred to me, period, in those days. David's essay still stands up today, as if he'd just written it.)

By David in TN

Thanks for the follow-up on this story. There hasn't been any news on the web for nearly a month.

The MSM is often criticized for focusing on "missing white girl stories" or for not paying attention to black victims. Well, we know why.

If black victims are shown, you have to have the perpetrator as well.

Unfortunately, the perp will almost always be black. This is why you don't see that many black crime victims on the TV "crime" shows. An exception is A&E's "48 Hours."

As for the criticism of the emphasis on "white girl" crime victims, these too are selective. The perp (Scott Peterson, Casey Anthony, Joran Van Der Sloot, etc.) is always white.

In other words, these heavily-publicized cases usually have Tom Wolfe's Great White Defendant.

The Eve Carson murder was on the cable shows when the news broke, Nancy Grace's show, for example. My feeling is they thought (hoped) the perp was a rich white boyfriend. When the killers turned out to be two black street thugs, Nancy Grace never mentioned the story again.

The Lauren Burk murder was also reported on some cable shows, but the story was dropped after the perp was identified.

If Natalie Holloway had been carjacked and murdered in her native Birmingham, Alabama area (she lived in an affluent white suburb)by the Usual Suspects, how much national publicity would it have received?

The murder of Brittney Watts is a compelling story. An attractive young woman was murdered by a security guard who had surveilled her with electronic equipment. The suspect is from a politically connected family.

Do you think Law & Order: SVU will rip this one from the headlines?


David In TN said...

Thanks for publishing my comment. The late Domanick Dunne called a trial a morality play. It occurred to me that a black on white murder trial never becomes a national morality play with the sole exception of the Simpson travesty.

Jeffrey Toobin wrote in the New Yorker after Simpson's acquittal that the press was "terrified of appearing racist" and spent their time "picking away at the prosecution case." They "never acknowledged the evidence against Simpson was simply overwhelming."

Speaking of Toobin, I'm reading his book on the Patty Hearst Affair. Nothing really new, as the story has been gone over ad nauseum.

Toobin briefly mentioned the Zebra murders, which were occurring about the same time with an unintentionally revealing remark.

Toobin has a long paragraph on the subject, referenced to Clark Howard's book, which he likely read. Toobin conflates Zebra with the Zodiac killer, an old ploy. Toobin wrote this sentence on page 13:

"They became known as the Zebra killers, after the code name for the radio frequency that the San Francisco police assigned to the investigation, and they probably spread more terror than any set of criminals in modern American history."

Jeffrey, wouldn't a book on a series of murders that "probably spread more terror than any set of criminals in modern American history" be a better subject than one already gone over many times?

Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
There are exceptions to the formula of "obsessing over white girls", "ignoring black killers" and "paying little attention to black crime victims", though there are usually reasons why things don't always follow the script laid out by our PC obsessed media culture. Jesse Matthews, the murderer of Hannah Graham received media attention even after it was revealed he was a black man. However, that is because it started out as a missing persons case that went national, the search for Hannah alone became a major story, and it was already too ubiquitous to deep 6 after Matthews was apprehended, though I do think the media attention became somewhat muted and dwindled away faster than if the perp had been a "great white defendant". Also, the fact that Jesse Matthews was a serial killer tied in with numerous disappearances of other women was completely ignored by the mainstream news, if he had been white that never would have happened. I stumbled onto an excellent timeline of Matthews history of rape and murder, it's from a TV station local to the crime: WTVR.

Don't expect it to be picked up by a mainstream national news service though, the big time news players won't touch that aspect of the story.

We can go a little farther back to find another exception that doesn't prove the rule. Wayne Williams is another example, he's the only black serial killer in US history to receive major news coverage, though subsequent to his arrest, and the explosion in black serial killers afterward, the media has maintained what amounts to a news blackout of black serial killers. No, for any of you out there who will say black serial killers have gotten news stories, what I'm saying is that the news gives them token attention only, downplaying and burying their stories in such a way that maintains the false narrative that only white men are serial killers. Back to Mr. Williams, in his case there was a great deal of media hysteria over murdered children in Atlanta well before a black man was identified as the killer, the ball was already rolling as it were, and couldn't be easily corked back up, though the false rumors of the KKK being involved or the assumption it had to be a "white man" fed the hysteria. Ultimately though, because of the hysteria, the meia found itself forced to expose Wayne Williams as the "first and only black serial killer in the US". He became the "great black hope" of serial killers, never mind there have been many others before and after, and quite a few far more prolific than him.

Here is the timelines of Jesse Matthews depraved rampage, he did seem to prefer white women but was equal opportunity, as long as they were young and pretty that is. Too bad for the media he was black, they would have loved to fetishize him as a serial killing celeb.