The Other McCain

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

Georgia on My Mind

Posted on | May 11, 2020 | 2 Comments


It seemed like a good idea at the time” is not a strong defense in a murder trial, and the question everybody seems to be asking in regard to the death of Ahmaud Arbery is why Gregory McMichael and his son thought it was a good idea to grab their guns, jump in their truck and go out in pursuit of a man they assumed to be a fleeing burglary suspect.

It is not my habit to play Monday-morning quarterback in controversial murder cases. I’m not a lawyer, and my opinion in such matters is no more valuable than anyone else’s. However, I’ve spent more than 30 years in the news business, and I know a thing or two about media bias. In 2009, when I saw a bunch of pundits pontificating about the alleged “lynching” of a census worker in Kentucky, I got the wild idea to hit the road and investigate the reality of the story on the ground. As it turned out, the census worker had committed suicide and staged it to look like a lynching, in an insurance fraud scheme, but by the time the truth came out, the pundits who had smeared this Kentucky community as a haven of “anti-government extremism” seemed to have lost interest.

Could it be that the media’s coverage of the Ahmaud Arbery case is similarly biased? I’m trying to resist the itch for a road trip, but meanwhile I’m sick and tired of the way the story is being spun:

Brunswick is a seaport town on the Georgia coast with which I have a personal connection. During World War II, my maternal grandfather moved to Brunswick to work in the shipyard and my grandmother joined him there, working in the canteen that served meals to the more than 16,000 workers who built 99 “Liberty ships” in the Brunswick yards in a span of about three years. Founded in the 1770s, Brunswick remains today a major harbor, and its picturesque Old Town district attracts many tourists who visit nearby Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island.
Brunswick seldom makes national news, but that changed last month when the New York Times devoted a 1,700-word article to the February shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. Why would this homicide be worthy of national attention? Because Arbery was black and the man who shot him is white and, until the case became the subject of round-the-clock coverage on CNN, no charges had been filed in the case. Now that 34-year-old Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, have been charged with murder and aggravated assault, one might hope that journalists would be content to leave the matter to the justice system, but that’s not how the media operate in such cases. Instead, Americans are still being bombarded with updates and commentary on the alleged “lynching” of Arbery, who is described as a “black jogger” who was the victim of racism. . . .

You can read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



2 Responses to “Georgia on My Mind”

  1. Tater Tots With Russia Sauce : The Other McCain
    May 12th, 2020 @ 8:15 pm

    […] for the lack of blogging today. I crawled down through the layers of media bias in coverage of the Ahmaud Arbery case, got about 1,000 words into a post and then had to make a run to Little Caesar’s for dinner. […]

  2. Ahmaud Arbery: Focus on Media Bias, Because ‘The Issue Is Never the Issue’ : The Other McCain
    May 12th, 2020 @ 10:51 pm

    […] Andrew Branca, an attorney specializing in self-defense cases, has referred to the “propaganda circus” surrounding the death of Ahmaud Arbery. One of the problems I’ve encountered is that, while my attention to the case has focused on the issue of media bias, which is what this “circus” is actually about, many people seem to think it is necessary to engage in arguments about the incident itself. But this is exactly what the “propaganda circus” seeks — to take a case that ought to be a matter for a judge and jury to decide and transfer jurisdiction to the “court of public opinion,” for a trial-by-media, with people reacting to what cable TV talking heads say about the case. You see this in the comments on my American Spectator column Monday, as well as my blog post Monday. […]