…and suppressing the news in Norfolk

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...and suppressing the news in Norfolk

It’s amaz­ing what doesn’t pass for news any­more:

Two weeks have passed since reporters Dave Forster and Mar­jon Ros­tami — friends to me and many oth­ers at the news­pa­per — were attacked on a Sat­ur­day night as they drove home from a show at the Attucks The­atre. They had stopped at a red light, in a crowd of at least 100 young peo­ple walk­ing on the side­walk. Ros­tami locked her car door. Some­one threw a rock at her win­dow. Forster got out to con­front the rock-​thrower, and that’s when the beat­ing began.

Nei­ther suf­fered grave injuries, but both were out of work for a week. Forster’s torso ached from blows to his ribs, and he retained a thumb-​sized bump on his head. Ros­tami fears to be alone in her home. Forster wishes he’d stayed in the car.

Hey two reporters beaten to the point where they were out of work for a week, that must have been some story.

Forster and Rostami’s story has not, until today, appeared in this paper. The respond­ing offi­cer coded the inci­dent as a sim­ple assault, despite their asser­tions that at least 30 peo­ple had par­tic­i­pated in the attack. A reporter mak­ing rou­tine checks of police reports would see “sim­ple assault” and, if the names were unfa­mil­iar, would be unlikely to write about it. In this case, edi­tors hes­i­tated to assign a story about their own employ­ees. Would it seem like the paper treated its employ­ees dif­fer­ently from other crime victims?

Now I might be naïve but I’d say 30 peo­ple beat­ing two folks is news, no mat­ter who they work for. Could there be some other rea­son why this wasn’t con­sid­ered newsworthy?

The next day, Forster searched Twit­ter for men­tion of the attack.

One post chilled him.

I feel for the white man who got beat up at the light,” wrote one person.

I don’t,” wrote another, indi­cat­ing laugh­ter. “(do it for trayvon martin)”

Trayvon Mar­tin, an unarmed black teen, died after being shot by a com­mu­nity watch cap­tain with white and His­panic par­ents, George Zim­mer­man, in Florida.

Forster and Ros­tami, both white, suf­fered a beat­ing at the hands of a crowd of black teenagers.

So the beat­ing of their own reporters by 30 Black youths in their com­mu­nity isn’t news­wor­thy accord­ing to this paper. How would they react if the races were reversed? There is an easy way to check. I did a search of the Paper’s archives for the word “Trayvon”

Well of course they cov­ered the case, it was national news, it’s not like they went long on it:

10 pages? I clicked on the last page listed and here is what came up


Oh so they only did 8 pages of sto­ries on the Mar­tin case, I guess it’s OK then.

So lets bot­tom line this: the The Virginian-​Pilot found the Trayvon Mar­tin out of Florida story worth 8 pages of entries but didn’t find the beat­ing of their own peo­ple in their own area news­wor­thy and if it wasn’t for the Op-​ed above it would still be unknown.

This is not only media bias, but racism at its worst. It pro­tects the wrong for the sake of pre­serv­ing a nar­ra­tive for social or polit­i­cal reasons.

And if you don’t think its all that impor­tant what is reported in the Vir­gin­ian Pilot just remem­ber places like this are the Sin­gle and dou­ble AA teams that feed our national media. We ignore it at our own risk.

Update: One other thing to con­sider, thugs aren’t only thugs when a per­son of a dif­fer­ent race dri­ves by. If an assault on their own jour­nal­ists went unre­ported for two weeks how much less likely is the paper to cover non fatal beat­ings, rob­beries or intim­i­da­tion within the com­mu­nity done by the same peo­ple? The paper and the police do the black com­mu­nity no favor by ignor­ing this stuff.

Update 2: Tom McGuire of Just one Minute sends this link in com­ments.

The U.S. Sen­ate on Thurs­day approved the appoint­ment of Mau­rice Jones, pub­lisher of The Virginian-​Pilot, to be deputy sec­re­tary of the U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Urban Development.

The Sen­ate approval — six months after Pres­i­dent Barack Obama nom­i­nated Jones for the post — came in the form of a unan­i­mous con­sent agree­ment between Demo­c­ra­tic and Repub­li­can lead­ers in the Senate.

Appar­ently these small oper­a­tions are a farm team for more than just the MSM

Update 3: Tom links (thanks) and spec­u­lates on his own blog:

Obvi­ously this crime was a local, not fed­eral mat­ter. Still, the national media does not seem in a hurry to cover the black-​on-​white “Jus­tice for Trayvon” vio­lence that has a pos­si­ble con­nec­tion to the kid that would have looked like Obama’s son. And it may be that the news judg­ment of the Pilot was shaded by a desire to spare their old boss from hav­ing to explain to his new bosses just what a sym­bol that hypo­thet­i­cal son had become.

It’s amazing what doesn’t pass for news anymore:

Two weeks have passed since reporters Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami – friends to me and many others at the newspaper – were attacked on a Saturday night as they drove home from a show at the Attucks Theatre. They had stopped at a red light, in a crowd of at least 100 young people walking on the sidewalk. Rostami locked her car door. Someone threw a rock at her window. Forster got out to confront the rock-thrower, and that’s when the beating began.

Neither suffered grave injuries, but both were out of work for a week. Forster’s torso ached from blows to his ribs, and he retained a thumb-sized bump on his head. Rostami fears to be alone in her home. Forster wishes he’d stayed in the car.

Hey two reporters beaten to the point where they were out of work for a week, that must have been some story.

Forster and Rostami’s story has not, until today, appeared in this paper. The responding officer coded the incident as a simple assault, despite their assertions that at least 30 people had participated in the attack. A reporter making routine checks of police reports would see “simple assault” and, if the names were unfamiliar, would be unlikely to write about it. In this case, editors hesitated to assign a story about their own employees. Would it seem like the paper treated its employees differently from other crime victims?

Now I might be naive but I’d say 30 people beating two folks is news, no matter who they work for. Could there be some other reason why this wasn’t considered newsworthy?

The next day, Forster searched Twitter for mention of the attack.

One post chilled him.

“I feel for the white man who got beat up at the light,” wrote one person.

“I don’t,” wrote another, indicating laughter. “(do it for trayvon martin)”

Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, died after being shot by a community watch captain with white and Hispanic parents, George Zimmerman, in Florida.

Forster and Rostami, both white, suffered a beating at the hands of a crowd of black teenagers.

So the beating of their own reporters by 30 Black youths in their community isn’t newsworthy according to this paper. How would they react if the races were reversed? There is an easy way to check. I did a search of the Paper’s archives for the word “Trayvon”

Well of course they covered the case, it was national news, it’s not like they went long on it:

10 pages? I clicked on the last page listed and here is what came up


Oh so they only did 8 pages of stories on the Martin case, I guess it’s OK then.

So lets bottom line this: the The Virginian-Pilot found the Trayvon Martin out of Florida story worth 8 pages of entries but didn’t find the beating of their own people in their own area newsworthy and if it wasn’t for the Op-ed above it would still be unknown.

This is not only media bias, but racism at its worst. It protects the wrong for the sake of preserving a narrative for social or political reasons.

And if you don’t think its all that important what is reported in the Virginian Pilot just remember places like this are the Single and double AA teams that feed our national media. We ignore it at our own risk.

Update: One other thing to consider, thugs aren’t only thugs when a person of a different race drives by. If an assault on their own journalists went unreported for two weeks how much less likely is the paper to cover non fatal beatings, robberies or intimidation within the community done by the same people? The paper and the police do the black community no favor by ignoring this stuff.

Update 2: Tom McGuire of Just one Minute sends this link in comments.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the appointment of Maurice Jones, publisher of The Virginian-Pilot, to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Senate approval – six months after President Barack Obama nominated Jones for the post – came in the form of a unanimous consent agreement between Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate.

Apparently these small operations are a farm team for more than just the MSM

Update 3: Tom links (thanks) and speculates on his own blog:

Obviously this crime was a local, not federal matter. Still, the national media does not seem in a hurry to cover the black-on-white “Justice for Trayvon” violence that has a possible connection to the kid that would have looked like Obama’s son. And it may be that the news judgment of the Pilot was shaded by a desire to spare their old boss from having to explain to his new bosses just what a symbol that hypothetical son had become.