Man Has Racist Beliefs, Finds Dog Who Bit Him “Scary”

 

Here are the first two paragraphs of an AP piece, as printed in the Washington Post this morning:

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — A libertarian author who has been called a white nationalist said college students who protested his guest lecture this week were “scary.”

Middlebury College said a professor was injured by a protester following a demonstration against guest speaker Charles Murray on Thursday.

Putting aside the libelous description of Murray — though wow — let’s consider some basic journalism: Is the proper lede an opinion about Murray followed by a banal observation from him, or the fact that his speech was disrupted and a professor injured (briefly hospitalized, in fact, as we learn several paragraphs later)?

As the answer is obvious, let’s procede to the next two paragraphs:

The Southern Poverty Law Center considers Murray a white nationalist who uses “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.” Protests of Murray’s lecture forced the college to move it to another room.

The college said Murray and professor Allison Stanger were surrounded by a group of protesters who became violent after the talk and a protester pulled Stanger’s hair, twisting her neck. It said the group climbed onto the hood of a car carrying Murray and Stanger and threw a traffic sign in front of it.

Again, the Post not only gave opinions about Murray as much attention as it did descriptions of what transpired, but literally placed those opinions above their treatment of the events.

Compare this with how the same events were described in Addison County Independent:

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger was injured by protesters Thursday evening as she was escorting a controversial speaker from campus. She was treated at Porter Hospital and released.

Charles Murray, a political scientist who has been criticized for his views on race and intelligence, was invited to speak on campus by a student group. He was greeted late Thursday afternoon outside McCullough Student Center by hundreds of protesters, and inside Wilson Hall, students turned their backs to him when he got up to speak.

College officials led Murray to another location and a closed circuit broadcast showed him being interviewed by Stanger, the Russell J. Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics.

As Stanger, Murray and a college administrator left McCullough Student Center last evening following the event, they were “physically and violently confronted by a group of protestors,” according to Bill Burger, the college’s vice president for communications and marketing.

Much better! Here, we learn that a college protest turned violent and are then provided some (albeit, horribly biased) context as to why the speaker is controversial. In contrast, it’s barely an exaggeration to say that the Post’s treatment discusses the violence in order to provide context for a story about what a racist Charles Murray supposedly is.

Published in Education, Journalism
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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Good call.  It’s also good to be able to criticize fake journalism by comparing with examples of professional journalism.

    I don’t know that it was necessary for the second piece to use the word “controversial,” though.  That’s usually dog whistle to indicate somebody the properly trained readers aren’t supposed to like.  Did anybody ever write, “Barack Obama, a controversial former President, was heckled by a protestor outside the auditorium…”

    • #1
  2. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    It’s also good to be able to criticize fake journalism by comparing with examples of professional journalism.

    Thank you.

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I don’t know that it was necessary for the second piece to use the word “controversial,” though. That’s usually dog whistle to indicate somebody the properly trained readers aren’t supposed to like. Did anybody ever write, “Barack Obama, a controversial former President, was heckled by a protestor outside the auditorium…”

    I basically agree, though I think it’s fair to say that Murray is controversial.

    Whether he deserves that reputation — let alone that ascribed to him by the SPLC — is another matter.

    • #2
  3. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    I’m shocked, shocked.

    • #3
  4. Herbert E. Meyer Contributor
    Herbert E. Meyer
    @HerbertEMeyer

    What happened at Middlebury College is precisely what happened in Nuremberg in the 1930s.  This is, quite simply, Brown-Shirt stuff.  And it’s happening here, in the United States, in the 21st century.  Our country has no shortage of news reporters, and I’d like to see every elected official in our country — at every level — be asked on the record to tell us whether they approve or disapprove of this behavior.  And I’d like our leading news organization to stay on this story, and keep us informed about what happens to those students who participated in this Nazi-style violence.

    This will be a good opportunity to see how the press handles this…..

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Herbert E. Meyer (View Comment):
    What happened at Middlebury College is precisely what happened in Nuremberg in the 1930s. This is, quite simply, Brown-Shirt stuff. And it’s happening here, in the United States, in the 21st century. Our country has no shortage of news reporters, and I’d like to see every elected official in our country — at every level — be asked on the record to tell us whether they approve or disapprove of this behavior. And I’d like our leading news organization to stay on this story, and keep us informed about what happens to those students who participated in this Nazi-style violence.

    Right.  Sure.  I’m sure that the old media will be on this case, just as you suggest.

    The fact that your very reasonable suggestions are obviously ridiculous makes me sad.

    Did any of those students pause before acting, wondering if they might face prison time for their actions?  Or get expelled from school?  Or even have to meet with the Dean?  Of course not.  They know that they can act with impunity.  The left is good and the right is evil.  Who will be punished for acting out against evil?

    The deficiency of conservatives on college faculty has many different consequences.  Some are just silly – like 60 year old PhD’s dressing up like female genitalia.

    Other consequences are not so silly…

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Tom Meyer, Ed. (View Comment):
    I basically agree, though I think it’s fair to say that Murray is controversial.

    Whether he deserves that reputation — let alone that ascribed to him by the SPLC — is another matter.

    Sure, but I still like to call attention to that usage when it appears.  It’s fair to say that Barack Obama is controversial, too, but no news article ever labels him that way.   I’ll bet you’re controversial, too, but what would be the point of putting that label on you in a news article?

    • #6
  7. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    It’s not the journalism (which is bad, and thanks for slicing and dicing it, Tom) it’s the act.

    These progressive protestors felt entitled to beat up a woman and terrorize her and her guest speaker.

    If college Republicans/conservatives aren’t organizing for the physical defense of their civil liberties, they’re not reading the tea leaves correctly.  In this instance, the term “divining the chicken guts” is probably more appropriate.

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Good call. It’s also good to be able to criticize fake journalism by comparing with examples of professional journalism.

    Huh. I hear what you’re saying there, but I’d not use that word in this context.

    When I hear “fake news” or “fake journalism” I think of the intentional spread of genuine disinformation. This is a good example of fake news our side picked-up; here’s fake news that leftists fell for.

    As awful as I think the AP piece is, I don’t think it’s “fake” in that sense: the facts reported are — so far as I know — accurate, though the bias and treatment of them are unprofessional, biased, and libelous.

    • #8
  9. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    These progressive protestors felt entitled to beat up a woman and terrorize her and her guest speaker.

    Clearly so. I sincerely hope they throw the book at them: not just expulsions, but criminal charges and (hopefully) jail time.

    • #9
  10. La Tapada Member
    La Tapada
    @LaTapada

    …“racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.”

    Is this true of Murray, or a distortion of his writings? It’s hard for me to imagine that he has actually written this?

    • #10
  11. coelacanth Member
    coelacanth
    @

    Do we even know if these protestors were students at that college, or were they shipped in to create and lead the protest?

     

    • #11
  12. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    A solution to this is a shift towards the British mode of journalism where every outlet wears its biases on its sleeve. The problem is not necessarily bias, but bias masquerading as objectivity.

    • #12
  13. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    A solution to this is a shift towards the British mode of journalism where every outlet wears its biases on its sleeve. The problem is not necessarily bias, but bias masquerading as objectivity.

    I think we are already there.  I don’t think our media pretends to be unbiased anymore.  Even if they do, I don’t think anyone believes them anymore.

    • #13
  14. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I don’t know that it was necessary for the second piece to use the word “controversial,” though. That’s usually dog whistle to indicate somebody the properly trained readers aren’t supposed to like.

    Exactly. That word is rarely deployed where the writer agrees with the figure, no matter how truly controversial.

    • #14
  15. CM Member
    CM
    @CM

    La Tapada (View Comment):

    …“racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.”

    Is this true of Murray, or a distortion of his writings? It’s hard for me to imagine that he has actually written this?

    Likely a drastic exaggeration of a sensitive subject. He may, indeed, study and publish “race realism”, but it need not be as nasty as described here.

    • #15
  16. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    CM (View Comment):

    La Tapada (View Comment):

    …“racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.”

    Is this true of Murray, or a distortion of his writings? It’s hard for me to imagine that he has actually written this?

    Likely a drastic exaggeration of a sensitive subject. He may, indeed, study and publish “race realism”, but it need not be as nasty as described here.

    Compared to the self-labeled “race realists” I’m aware of, Murray’s stuff is weak tea. “Not even ‘race realism'” is how I’d put it.  And it’s frustrating knowing that some, upon seeing Murray’s ideas conflated with ideas that are considerably less magnanimous, will take the lesson, “May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb,” from it.

    • #16
  17. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Somebody’s gonna get killed, what happens then?

    • #17
  18. Topher Inactive
    Topher
    @Topher

    Murray is a careful, dispassionate, thinker. People may not like the conclusions he comes to, but he comes to them honestly.

    Arrest the thugs and throw them in the slammer.

    • #18
  19. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Here, we learn that a college protest turned violent

    This sounds as if the violence was  not an intended feature.

    • #19
  20. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    A solution to this is a shift towards the British mode of journalism where every outlet wears its biases on its sleeve. The problem is not necessarily bias, but bias masquerading as objectivity.

    The solution is for our peace officers to immediately arrest and jail the perpetrators for inciting riot, assault, and whatever else applies, then throw their scummy backsides into jail and launch an investigation into whether the criminal activity was a conspiracy.  This happens a few times and the message will go out to the snowflakes and Soros/OFA that there again are consequences for crime.  I care less about the media and pseudo-journalists.  Let them die on the vine; ignore them and their revenue will diminish.

    • #20
  21. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Here, we learn that a college protest turned violent

    This sounds as if the violence was not an intended feature.

    Share what you’re smoking!  None of this type of activity is accidental or unplanned.

    • #21
  22. Wiley Inactive
    Wiley
    @Wiley

    Good. So you are critiquing fake and misleading articles… you are going to be very busy.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Tom Meyer, Ed. (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Good call. It’s also good to be able to criticize fake journalism by comparing with examples of professional journalism.

    Huh. I hear what you’re saying there, but I’d not use that word in this context.

    When I hear “fake news” or “fake journalism” I think of the intentional spread of genuine disinformation. This is a good example of fake news our side picked-up; here’s fake news that leftists fell for.

    As awful as I think the AP piece is, I don’t think it’s “fake” in that sense: the facts reported are — so far as I know — accurate, though the bias and treatment of them are unprofessional, biased, and libelous.

    I’d been using the word “fake” in this way for some time prior to the way people are now referring to fake news. For example, I’d refer to people who pretend to be concerned about climate change as fake environmentalists if they’d throw the environment under the bus for the sake of partisan political power.  In this case, the news may be real but the journalists are fake, because they aren’t doing the job of professional journalists.

    • #23
  24. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Here, we learn that a college protest turned violent

    This sounds as if the violence was not an intended feature.

    Share what you’re smoking! None of this type of activity is accidental or unplanned.

    The word “this” referred to Tom’s weasel language. The leftist thugs intend violence. The university administration usually approves.

    • #24
  25. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    Incidents like this prove yet again Republican are betraying their electorate and are cowards. They that the #)(## power of the purse. Free speech is way more important that allowing over privileged mob of brats put off working for another 6 years because the goverment funds their life style.

    Its really easy pass law were all the debt goes onto the campuses books that the goverment holds in student debt if they don’t protect free speech and allow behavior like this. You are found guilty of taking place in a violent protest you are expelled and the school has to take on all your college debt from the goverment. It does not matter if you did not know it was going to be violent. Its no different than being in the get away car of a robbery you might not of participate but you are still guilty. You bet college administrator will militantly protect free speech when their lively-hood is threatened even thought they will complain like little children throwing a temper tantrum who can’t have sweets anymore.

     

    Conservative lawmakers can talk all they want about protecting free speech but they are all empty words or lies unless they fight for statutory and institutional reforms that results in real penalties for people who use their power to forcefully stop free speech. Don’t tell me want you believe, show me what you believe in. .

    • #25
  26. Casey Way Inactive
    Casey Way
    @CaseyWay

    In some sense, conservatives and Trump supporters are again struggling with the inaccurate diagnosis of the problem by Trump and his administration. “Fake news” and “alternative facts” are phrases that allow them to consistently make the same point without truly hitting the mark. Progressives hammer home this inaccuracy without examining whether his precision is just slightly off the mark although pointing towards reality. It’s not fake news/real news; it’s narrative reporting versus objective journalism. Narrative reporting uses facts and situations to tell a story in order to make a point. Objective journalism, which has a form and style that can be taught and critiqued as above, uses facts and sources to as closely as possible describe events. If Trump truly wanted to get under “journalists” skin, he would stop calling them fake news (which can be deflected as inaccurate hyperbole ) and call them narrative reporters in pushing poor examples of journalism on dead trees. “You’re just a reporter on dead tree, not even TV. Sad.”

    • #26
  27. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Here, we learn that a college protest turned violent

    This sounds as if the violence was not an intended feature.

    Share what you’re smoking! None of this type of activity is accidental or unplanned.

    The word “this” referred to Tom’s weasel language. The leftist thugs intend violence. The university administration usually approves.

    OK.  Thanks.

    • #27
  28. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    This doesn’t happen at my university because our conservative president won’t tolerate it. Stop tolerating blatant thuggery and blatant thuggery becomes less of a problem.

    • #28
  29. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    The word “this” referred to Tom’s weasel language. The leftist thugs intend violence.

    If you’d slow down a bit, I might have a chance to say I think you’re right about the students.

    • #29
  30. CM Member
    CM
    @CM

    Casey Way (View Comment):
    In some sense, conservatives and Trump supporters are again struggling with the inaccurate diagnosis of the problem by Trump and his administration. “Fake news” and “alternative facts” are phrases that allow them to consistently make the same point without truly hitting the mark. Progressives hammer home this inaccuracy without examining whether his precision is just slightly off the mark although pointing towards reality. It’s not fake news/real news; it’s narrative reporting versus objective journalism. Narrative reporting uses facts and situations to tell a story in order to make a point. Objective journalism, which has a form and style that can be taught and critiqued as above, uses facts and sources to as closely as possible describe events. If Trump truly wanted to get under “journalists” skin, he would stop calling them fake news (which can be deflected as inaccurate hyperbole ) and call them narrative reporters in pushing poor examples of journalism on dead trees. “You’re just a reporter on dead tree, not even TV. Sad.”

    Good rhetoric need not be accurate. It needs to be catchy, easy to apply, and strike a target, even if the target is as wide as a barn. It works, but we didn’t start it… journalists did to discredit reporting they didn’t like. We flipped it on them and they don’t like it. They play defense everytime they try to prove their reporting is accurate, often verifying their original reporting was less than honest.

    • #30
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