‘Racial Double Standard’ In Media’s Crime Focus


New York Times columnist Bob Herbert writes about the racial double standard he sees in the media’s decisions to lavish attention on some crime cases while all but ignoring others. The latest examples were the Craigslist killer and the homicide of a young woman at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, he says. “The press is still very color conscious in the way it goes about covering murder,” Herbert writes. “Editors may not be asking, ‘What color is that victim?’ But, on some level, they're still thinking it.”

Herbert continues: “Which is why we've heard so little about an awful story out of Chicago. Some three dozen public school students have been murdered since the school year began, most of them shot to death.() It's an immense and continuing tragedy. But these were nearly all African-American or Latino kids, so the coverage has been scant.()It's a searing double-standard that tells us volumes about the ways in which we view one another, and whose lives are considered to have value in this society and whose are not. Another disturbing aspect of the coverage is the extreme prurient interest that drives it. The press goes wild over stories about murderous attacks on women who are young, attractive and white.”

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