Bloggers and media critics are complaining that the national news media have ignored the rape and murder of a young Knoxville couple because of the racial implications of the story, says the Associated Press. Channon Christian, a 21-year-old University of Tennessee student, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23, were raped, tortured and killed in January. Separate trial dates were set yesterday for four people charged in the slayings.
Online critics have angrily insisted that reporters are ignoring the story because the victims are white and the defendants are black. “I am not going to call it reverse racism,” said country singer Charlie Daniels, who has written on his Web page about how little he has heard of the case in Nashville, about 150 miles west of Knoxville. “But I will say it is very selective (journalism). Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who blogs on Instapundit, said, “If the races of the perpetrators and the victims were reversed, the press would make a bigger deal about it.” Ted Gest, president of Criminal Justice Journalists, said, “I can’t say that this one would have had any more coverage if five whites had been accused of doing these things to two blacks, absent a blatant racial motive.”