Would you call this a Hate Crime? - U2 Feedback

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View Poll Results: Is this a Hate Crime, why or why not?
Yes, it inolves race so it is. 4 16.00%
No, you can prosecute people who's ancestors have been oppressed 4 16.00%
diamond, are you going to see the U23D movie? 9 36.00%
Maybe it is. 8 32.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:13 PM   #1
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Would you call this a Hate Crime?

Scant Coverage of Brutal Crime Called 'Journalistic Malpractice'
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
May 08, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - The national news media demonstrates a double standard in covering "hate crimes," as evidenced by the lack of attention given to the murder of a white couple in Tennessee last January, a conservative columnist charged on Monday.

However, a media analyst responded that a crime is not necessarily a hate crime simply because the victims are white and those accused of perpetrating it are black.

Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, were out on a dinner date in Knoxville, Tenn. on Jan. 6, when they were carjacked, kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered.

According to published news reports, the two were tortured at length in each other's presence, strangled and shot. Newsom's mutilated and burned remains were found along a railroad track the following day. Two days later, Christian's battered and burned body was found in a trash bin.



Five men and a woman, all African-American, have been arrested and face up to 46 charges, including carjacking, kidnapping, rape, premeditated murder, theft and robbery.

The case sparked considerable debate on Internet blogs, but mainstream media coverage has been modest.

When
AP wire reports of the killings were carried by Knoxville news outlets, CBS News and Fox News, but other major media outlets including CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post apparently have yet to mention the story. This so angered Mark Alexander, executive editor and publisher of the online Patriot Post, that in a column entitled "Murder in Black and White," he said the attack was "more than a case study in sociopathic evil. It is also a case study in journalistic malpractice.

"True, there are some 17,000 murders committed in the U.S. each year, but this double murder was clearly far more barbaric, far more monstrous than most," he wrote. "Yet, this story has failed to attract the attention of the national media.

"Could it be because the two victims were white and the five defendants are black?" Alexander asked.

He pointed to the case in 1998 when "three white men in Jasper, Texas, beat James Byrd -- a black man -- then chained him to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him three miles to his death. Not surprisingly, Byrd's murder received national media attention -- as it should have."
Democratic politicians seized on Byrd's murder to call for hate crimes laws, "then-Governor of Texas George Bush said there was little need for such legislation -- after all, two of the defendants were sentenced to death and the third received a life sentence," Alexander stated.



"Clearly, hate was a motivating factor in Jasper, but it was also a motivating factor in Knoxville, which leads us to ask: Why do white-on-black hate crimes invariably result in a media feeding frenzy, while black-on-white hate crimes receive nary a mention?" he asked.

Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute -- a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla. -- told Cybercast News Service on Monday that just because a crime involves black perpetrators and white victims "doesn't mean it's a hate crime. You have to have specific evidence, such as some sort of racial epithet," which was the case in the Byrd murder.

The Knoxville double homicide "sounds like a horrible, heinous crime, but horrible, heinous crimes are not the standard for what become national stories," she said.

One reason the networks haven't run this story "is because they can't fit it into a narrative of anything other than shock and horror, and you can find that in any crime story anywhere."

In addition, "the suspects are not still at large, so it won't fit into a 'this could happen to your child' kind of story," McBride said. And most importantly, she added, the crime was not perpetrated on a lone white female. The fact that she was accompanied by a man at the time of the attack was a factor.

"The crimes that make national news tend to be Elizabeth Smart [the 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002], Natalee Holloway [the Alabama teenager who disappeared during her senior class trip to Aruba in 2005] -- that kind of story," she said.

In the Knoxville case, the fact that the alleged perpetrators are black and the victims are white would be an argument in favor of the crime getting press, McBride said. "The national media tend to play into black-predator-white-victim-type stories much more than they're comfortable with."

The Patriot Post's Alexander told Cybercast News Service that he strongly disagreed with McBride's arguments.

"Although blacks represent just 12 percent of the U.S. population, black perpetrators are convicted by their peers in more than half of all murder and manslaughter cases," he stated "Per-capita black-on-white crime is far more prevalent than the inverse."

While "these cases happen with some regularity, they never get picked up by the national press -- and that's my point," Alexander said. "I would suggest to anybody that you can't take the hate out of this kind of crime. Who knows whether the attackers said racial things to these victims? They're dead and can't report it.

When the suspects in the Christian-Newsom case next appear in court on May 17, he said, "it's safe to say that they will do so without a satellite news-link truck anywhere in sight."
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:20 PM   #2
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I heard about this story a few months ago. Truly one of the most disgusting and sickening things I've ever encountered.

Hard to say if it's racial, though. For something this brutal, I think it might just be six despicable monsters.

It is upsetting that this case has gotten very little national attention.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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Re: Would you call this a Hate Crime?

Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
The national news media demonstrates a double standard in covering "hate crimes," as evidenced by the lack of attention given to the murder of a white couple in Tennessee last January, a conservative columnist charged on Monday.
The thing is, name instances where the national news media reports on a "plain-old murder"? The fact is that they don't. They report on selected kidnappings, particularly troubling Amber Alerts, brutal murders that don't have a suspect in custody (in this case, they were all arrested), and serial killers. Basically, the unifying theme is that they are all unsolved at the time they were first reported.

In fact, contrary to what this "conservative columnist" states, it would probably be considerably racist to report this murder at a national level, since, again, they don't report murders. They are the purview of the local news media.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:07 PM   #4
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That is a frightening and disturbing story. How they must have suffered. And they didn't even leave their bodies together. There goes the old saying that if you have a guy with you, you're safe.

Is it a hate crime? I voted maybe. I will say if six whites had done this to a black couple, this would have made national headlines and there would probably be a march somewhere. It does seem more likely this is a hate crime than my cousin getting 20 years for fending off an attack by a black guy whose car he was repo-ing.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:46 AM   #5
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What would be the evidence that the crime was committed "because of" the victims' race, as required by both the federal and Tennessee statutes? I can't tell from the article.

As the article pointed out, the mere fact that victim and perpetrator are of different races (or religions, nationalities, etc.) doesn't by itself meet the legal definition, no matter how violent the crime.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:30 AM   #6
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What if one of the killers were to confess and say that they killed this couple because the were "crackers"?

Then that would make it a hate crime?

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Old 01-18-2008, 01:46 AM   #7
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Quite possibly. That was the nature of the evidence in the James Byrd case (since the article mentioned that).

ETA: Although, I'm not sure any of the defendants in that case were actually charged with hate crimes in the end, since Byrd's murder already warranted the death penalty for two of them, and a life sentence for the third, under Texas law--which *I think* might render hate crime charges inapplicable (again, under Texas law).

Do you understand the difference between federal and state hate crime statutes, and how both types are generally applied?
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:18 AM   #8
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i'm not neccesarily sure it was a hate crime, per say... and that's why a lot of the national media probably didn't pick up on it. hate crimes bring more ratings, just like apparently kidnapped white chicks bring higher ratings than kidnapped minorities.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
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It might be a hate crime. If there's any evidence at all that the couple was targeted because of their race then yes it is.

As for the double standard? Well that's just the conservatives beating their old "oppressed WMA" drum, nothing to see here. How much national attention did Megan Williams get? And that one was most definitely a hate crime (though not prosecuted as such as far as I know). Accusing the media of a moral double standard is giving them more credit than they're due; to have a moral double standard you have to have morals first.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:23 PM   #10
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do no wrong, so clean cut
dirty his hands, it comes right off
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:38 PM   #11
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Scant Coverage of Brutal Crime Called 'Journalistic Malpractice'


That is the truth.

I was unaware of this crime until reading this thread.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:40 AM   #12
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This has to be one of your worse "polls". There is no evidence that race was a motive. I guess you can say every crime "involves race".

Your second answer is just fucking ridiculous and filled with underlying racism itself.

And the rest is useless.
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:51 AM   #13
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What about, it shouldn't be a hate crime because hate crimes themselves make an unwarranted distinction about seriousness based on if somebody is a designated victim. It should be a consideration but not a different offence.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:53 AM   #14
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I think a lot of crimes committed are based on hate.

Because alot of crimes are committed out of hate it's a slippery slope when you start trying to prove hate as a motive when it's already apparent.

I think we should prosecute crimes equally based on the circumstances and brutality of the crimes committed.

Since we're all created equal, we all deserve equal punishment.

Fair is fair.

dbs
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
I think a lot of crimes committed are based on hate.

Yes, but is it committed out of hate for an individual or hate of a group? Because if it's committed out of hate for a group, that behaviour and crime will more than likely continue.
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