The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Putting Homicide in Perspective vs. the Media’s ‘Atrocity Narrative’ Propaganda

Posted on | October 3, 2017 | 2 Comments

 

More than 16,000 Americans died by homicide in 2016, according to the FBI, and this was a significant increase from the previous year:

The US homicide rate increased by nearly 8% last year, driving an increase of violent crime in the country for the second year in a row, according to new data released by the FBI on Monday.
Between 2014 and 2016, the nationwide homicide rate has increased more than 20%, and the 3.4% increase in the US violent crime rate from 2015 to 2016 was the largest single-year increase in 25 years, the Justice Department said.

A major factor in this increase was the anti-police rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter movement, and most of the additional victims were black:

Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 “black bodies,” in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. . . .
Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks.
In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The paper categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest.
Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer.
Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers — committed vastly and disproportionately by black males.

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, MSNBC is talking about gun control and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is talking about the gunman’s alleged “white privilege.” Yes, Stephen Paddock was white, and most perpetrators of U.S. mass shootings are white, but this no more justifies King’s anti-white rhetoric than the murder rate in Chicago (or Baltimore, or Detroit, etc.) would justify anti-black rhetoric. Nor does a lunatic gunman’s crime justify anti-gun rhetoric.

There are an estimated 55 million gun owners in United States, and gun owners are overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens. The Second Amendment is an ironclad guarantee of our rights to own firearms, and every time politicians threaten to infringe that right, it prompts Americans to buy more guns. President Obama was the greatest gun salesman in history, in that respect. Every time there was a mass shooting during Obama’s presidency, reviving calls for gun control from politicians and the media, the result would be a stampede of people rushing to stores to stock up on guns and ammunition. By 2012, annual sales of ammunition had roughly doubled from the year before Obama’s election, and there were repeatedly shortages of ammunition, which exacerbated paranoid fears about government attempts to disarm Americans.

Even as a write this, Tom Brokaw is on MSNBC blabbering ignorantly about gun owners converting semi-automatic weapons to machine guns, which is reportedly how Stephen Braddock obtained fully automatic weapons, but which has nothing to do with the overall murder rate.

What causes gun violence in America? Liberalism and ignorance, but I repeat myself. In a sane country, lunatics would be locked up in mental institutions, but liberals insisted on the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill back in the 1970s, so we have turned the kooks loose, and who knows when the next nutjob is going to commit a massacre? Yet the fact is that mass shootings are rare incidents, in no way typical of homicide in America. The killing of 59 people in Las Vegas shocks us, but the fact is that 45 people are murdered every day in America. Most murder victims are killed by people they know, and about half of those murders are black-on-black crimes. So whatever you say about the Las Vegas massacre, it is not typical, and it is irresponsible to argue that such anomalous events should be the basis of making laws and policies.

This is what I’ve called the “atrocity narrative” method of propaganda. Find some particularly heinous type of crime, which is actually rare, then call attention to it as a trend — a “growing problem,” an “epidemic”!

People having sex with dogs, for example. If the producers at CNN decided to report every time someone in America was arrested on bestiality charges, we’d probably have a federal dog-sex prevention task force by now. Or what about the “growing problem” of lesbian teachers molesting schoolgirls? Camryn Zellinger and Mary Jahn in California, Kendall Lucas in Texas, Nina Scott in Pennsylvania, Laura Garrigus in North Carolina, Kimberly Naquin in Louisiana — it’s an epidemic!

The “atrocity narrative” method of propaganda relies on two things:

  1. A deliberate selectivity in media coverage;
    and
  2. The Law of Large Numbers.

In a nation of more than 320 million people, incidents that are statistically rare (i.e., less than 1% frequency) will occur quite commonly. For example, there are about 250 million adults (18 and older) in America and, if lesbians are 2% of the population, that means there are 5 million lesbians. If only 1% of those lesbians are pedophiles, that means there are 50,000 lesbian pedophiles in America. Well, if some national news organization decided to carefully scrutinize reports from around the country, compiling a list of every case in which a woman is arrested for molesting a girl, how easily could a daily drumbeat of media coverage generate a climate of paranoid witch-hunt hysteria?

Keep in mind, as you contemplate this hypothetical, that an irresponsible tabloid editor could gin up such a frenzy despite the fact that (a) far more than 90% of women are heterosexual, and (b) only a tiny minority of lesbians are pedophiles. Yet it would still be possible to generate lurid headlines on an almost daily basis, thus making these highly anomalous crimes seem as if they were commonplace. And this is exactly how CNN turned Black Lives Matter into a national crusade.

As Heather Mac Donald points out, a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by black man than the other way around and yet, beginning with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, CNN collaborated with Black Lives Matters activists to present the public with a mirror-reverse image of reality — bogus anti-police propaganda.

It’s the same story with the anti-gun propaganda the media are promoting in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. Yes, there are dangerous nuts with guns in America, in the same way that there are racist police in America. However, there are also lesbian teachers molesting girls in America, and people having sex with dogs in America. Thank God, these are anomalous crimes and not typical, but the media seizes upon certain rare incidents to promote a political agenda.

Ignorance and liberalism are a bad combination, and the way to fight it by insisting that the media report all the facts. Meanwhile . . .

 

Why aren’t the networks covering this “growing problem”? For the same reason they don’t mention that 57 people were shot to death in Chicago last month — because some facts don’t fit their political agenda.



 

 

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