I normally write about firearm specific issues on Tuesdays, but this week, with your kind permission gentle readers, I’ll deal with a related issue: media narratives about mass attacks. We begin with an attack in Boise, Idaho that left nine people injured, some critically. PJ Media reports:
A horrific stabbing spree at a Boise, Idaho, apartment complex last night left nine people injured, including six children. Local media reports state that four of the victims have life-threatening injuries.
The national media quickly seized on the fact that the apartment complex was known to house refugees and that some of the victims themselves were apparently refugees.
Despite the fact that the 30-year-old male suspect [Timothy Kinner] was arrested last night at 8:50 p.m. and his arrest record and mugshot were posted on the Ada County Sheriff’s website at 3:46 this morning, none of the articles identified the suspect.
The seeming direction that the media narrative took was that this was a hate crime by someone from out of state, directed at Boise’s refugee community and fueled by anti-immigration rhetoric.
I generally do not publish the names of such vermin, but since this is not a school shooting or a terrorist attack, but a run-of- the-mill, if unusually bloody, crime, I’ll make an exception. I generally follow the maxim of not judging a book by its cover, but I suspect any reasonable person gazing on the charming visage of Mr. Kinner would have no difficulty seeing him as the kind of person, regardless of race, able to commit just about any atrocity. I also suspect any reasonable person would advocate for enlightened penology in his case, which would consist of locking Kinner up and throwing away the key. Here’s why:
A quick internet search shows a series of arrests and charges for Kinner in a number of states, including apparently being shot by a homeowner during a burglary, but nothing to indicate any anti-immigrant animus or bias, just a career criminal.
But the media’s narrative, dusted off and flashed across the nation before anyone had any idea of a motive, the background or facts beyond the number injured, was that of a vicious attack against helpless “refugees,” the implication being immigrants, or that most holy class of immigrants, illegal immigrants, AKA “undocumented immigrants.” Consider this tweet from National Public Radio–NPR:
This particular tweet quickly disappeared, not only because “police” said no such thing, neither did Kinner. Obviously, the “everything is Trump’s fault all the time” narrative is simply too good to resist, and also, too good to check. For those not familiar with the term, “too good to check” is media jargon for a narrative that so perfectly confirms journalist’s prejudices, they’ll run it without ensuring it’s true, precisely because they know if they check it, it will turn out to be false.
NPR, of course, was not alone. Consider this from D.C.-area PR type Brian Lustig:
Lustig’s tweet was also quickly disappeared because The Capital Gazzette attack had nothing whatever to do with President Trump, nor did the Boise attack, “the dangers of open borders” or the “alt-right.” In fact, one can be reasonably certain Kinner is not a registered Republican, and considering he’s black, is unlikely to have voted for Mr. Trump. Considering Kinner’s long criminal record, he is also almost certainly a convicted felon, thus ineligible to vote, but of course, that doesn’t matter in many states where illegal immigrants, felons and the dead vote early and often, and virtually always for Democrats. Strange coincidence, that.
What was the possible cause of the shooting? This is probably the closest we’ll get:
What’s most likely is a convicted felon/sociopath attacked innocents over a rent/occupancy dispute. It’s likely the media will drop this story as quickly and quietly as possible, not only because they were caught in multiple lies, not only because the attacker was black, and it’s likely some or all of his victims were also black or other minorities, but because there is no Trump connection that can be so much as inferred in this vicious attack. Oh yes, and there were no guns/”assault weapons” involved. As anyone that has been paying attention knows, stories about black people maiming and killing other black people are something the media avoids like the plague, as they tend to conflict with other cherished media narratives. The PJ Media story concluded:
One might argue that the low public opinion of the media is more due in part to these missteps and the media’s own behavior than anything the president says or tweets.
If one is of normal intelligence and not utterly disabled by Trump Derangement Syndrome, they might indeed make that argument.
UPDATE, 07-02-18, 2230 CST: NPR is now claiming the website cited was a parody:
Many citizens–these are just one reply tweets–are less than impressed: