Two young men, ages 17 and 18, were enrolled as freshmen at a public high school in Rockville, Maryland after being detained and then released by federal immigration authorities. Both were in the country illegally. The students forced a 14-year-old girl into a bathroom stall at the school raped her, sodomized her, and forced her to perform oral sex on them as she cried out for them to stop, according to police reports. Police collected blood and DNA at the scene.
Were you aware of this case? I wasn’t, and I live in the D.C. metro area, which includes Rockville. I wasn’t aware, apparently, because I have personally boycotted Fox News as a regular news source, relying instead on the straighter Fox Business channel and some equally biased sources that don’t prominently employ the likes of Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, the Fox and Friends smarms, or encourage sexual harassment of female personnel.
The Washington Post wrote about the case, but relegated the illegal immigration component to afterthought status. Doing this made it a local story only, and the headline, “Two Rockville High students arrested for allegedly raping classmate at school” made it an easily ignored story. I assume high school students are periodically raped; I assume that, as in college, students occasionally falsely claim rape; I assume that it’s a big country, and bad stuff happens. The Post doesn’t mention the illegal immigrant angle until after 224 words. Without that aspect, the story can not be called national by any stretch of the imagination.
The New York Times noted, in a feature about Fox News coverage, that
“[T]here was also considerable time given to topics, like a rape case in Maryland, that viewers would not have heard about if they had turned to CNN or MSNBC. The rape case, which involved an undocumented immigrant and went virtually uncovered on most networks, received almost hourly updates on Fox, and at times was used as proof that Mr. Trump’s calls for tighter borders and a crackdown on immigration were justified.”
That’s a fair assessment of the tone of the Fox coverage, as I have checked it on YouTube. Of course, one incident doesn’t prove anything: that kind of coverage is why I don’t watch Fox. This story does have a res ipsa loquitur aspect to it, though: if the US enforced its immigration laws sufficiently to stop these two rapists from slipping through the cracks, this 14-year-ol girl would not have been raped, at least by them. The Times also was correct: none of the major news networks covered the story, and it sure wasn’t going to be mentioned where hip millennials get their news, the comedy shows. Ah, but those stories of the poor, oppressed, good illegals are newsworthy, and covered everywhere.
Does that seem like objective, balanced, ethical news coverage to you? Because it isn’t.
Then there is the AP coverage. Acknowledging, as the Post and the Times did not, that a horrific rape by illegal immigrants indeed is a story of national concern, the Associate Press included this jaw-dropping statement by Jack Smith, the superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, which oversees the school where the rape occurred. He said,
“Some try to make this into an issue of immigration. We would like to change the conversation….We serve every student who walks in the door. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the law.”
Why does he want to “change the conversation”? If illegal immigrants rape high school students, that is germane to the issue of illegal immigration. Pretending otherwise is allowing political bias to warp the public’s understanding of the truth.
Thus we are left with these thoughts:
1. Is it possible that reporting the story with an emphasis on the illegal immigrant status of the rapists AND attempting to bury that status are both bad journalism? No. It should be obvious that the illegal immigrant component makes the story one of national interest. The Post was being intentionally obtuse, and intentionally misleading its readers. Verdict: Unethical, biased, partisan journalism.
2. Over-hyping the story’s immigration angle is also misleading, but Fox has this defense: If only one news source is covering the important aspects of a story that the Left-allied mainstream media is intentionally ducking (as ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS did), isn’t it responsible for the one source focusing on the real issues to make up for that distorted reporting by reporting a little louder?
I’m not sure about that. When does compensating for bad reporting elsewhere turn into bad reporting itself? Of course, if the MSM wouldn’t keep distorting the news to match its political wish lists, the issue would be moot.
3. On Fox News, attorneys for the accused students ranted about how national focus on their clients’ illegal status was unfair. Well, they are defense attorneys; this is their job. It stinks, but somebody has to do it. One attorney complained that the two men’s immigration status was irrelevant to the case. It’s irrelevant to guilt regarding the rape charges, but it’s not irrelevant to fact that a girl was raped by two men who were only able to rape her because of the irresponsible, law-avoiding, illegal immigration-encouraging policies championed by the Obama Administration and allowed to continue through bipartisan incompetence and neglect.
The other lawyer then complained her defendant and the school board were getting anti-immigrant “death threats” because of the media attention, such as it is. Gee, that’s too bad: so what? If your client hadn’t raped someone in a country he had no business being in, that wouldn’t be happening, would it? The news media is supposed to keep ugly news stories secret so wackos won’t misbehave? Is that the theory?
4. Further embossing his record as the most embarrassingly incompetent and ethically-muddled ethics watchdog in captivity, CNN shill/hack/apologist (Shihackagist?) Brian Stelter attacked Fox for covering a story his own network unconscionably ignored:
“Rapes and assaults and murders are local news stories on a daily basis. But when do they break through to become national news and when do they not?..This week, the health care bill, the talks in the House dominated cable news coverage all over the place, but Fox News also focused heavily on another story and sometimes tying it to the President’s immigration agenda….Now on Fox, all roads lead back to media bias. So Tucker Carlson called out channels like CNN for not covering this story thoroughly, for not covering it extensively…But there was another story with Maryland ties that got little to no news coverage anywhere on Fox or any other channels. This was about an army veteran, an alleged white supremacist who drove to New York and attacked a 66-year-old black man with a 26-inch knife, killing that man. But this story received almost no coverage on Fox or CNN or anywhere else for that matter. Another example of a crime but not a crime that fit the political agenda of those pro-Trump hosts on Fox.”
All together now?
- When rapes and murders involve illegal immigrants, they are immediately national stories, and especially so when there are constant media attacks on the ICE finally attempting to enforce immigration laws. Whee national news sources intentionally avoid such stories, that increases the importance of other sources covering them prominently.
Is Stelter doing anything other than covering for his employer’s failure and biased, agenda-driven non-coverage, while attacking a rival’s covering a story it should have covered? Did he really suggest that so much was going on that CNN couldn’t have reported the story instead of, say, the daily kitten videos taking up broadcast time on HLN?
- The story should be tied to the President’s immigration agenda. Sorry if it bolsters Trump’s policies, Brian, but journalists are supposed to report the news, not just the news that leads where they wish it would lead.
- Of course all roads on Fox lead to media bias. The only excuse for Fox’s existence is media bias of exactly the sort you are exhibiting here!
One more time! “HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!”
- Oh look, there’s another story that wasn’t covered by CNN or Fox! !!!
Have you ever seen a more pathetic effort to dodge an issue by changing the subject? What is Stelter saying here? Is he really arguing that Fox shouldn’t be covering two illegals raping a child when CNN ignored the story because Fox didn’t cover a completely unrelated crime…that CNN also didn’t cover? Is there a thought running around in Stelter’s skull, or is this just flailing? Is he really arguing that Fox didn’t cover the New York murder because it reflected badly on President Trump? How? Oh, that’s right, Stelter and CNN are card carrying members of the “Trump’s election unleasheed the Forces Of Evil all over America” conspiracy theory. I forgot, but Brian nicely reminded me. See, CNN, the good network, just didn’t cover the story because it judged it not to be national news—which it wasn’t—but FOX didn’t cover it because it involved a white supremacist and racism, and they know that the President has been encouraging white supremacy and racism, because he’s a Nazi.
5. How would the national media have covered the rape if the teens had been legal residents…but Muslims? Any guesses?