Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CBS Radio Deceptively Implies Chicago Torturers Were White Trump Supporters, Victim Was Black

A CBS Radio News report on the video of four young Chicago people torturing a mentally disabled man falsely implied that the victim was black and his attackers were white, when in fact the opposite was true.

In the brief Thursday morning report– which attracted attention when a listener posted the clip on Reddit Friday– here’s how CBS characterized the attack:

The viral video of a beating and knife attack in Chicago suggests the assault had racial overtones. CBS’s Dean Reynolds tells us the victim is described as a mentally-challenged teenager.
In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump. Police are holding four people in connection with the attack. [Emphasis added]

The report is technically correct, but widely misleading. By noting the attackers used the n-word during a racially-motivated attack while “referencing” Donald Trump, the clear implication is that the victim was black and his attackers were racist Trump fans.

The n-word was indeed used to refer to the victim, but only in the more neutral sense that is often used in black vernacular. Omitted from the report are details that would corrected that misapprehension. Most obviously, the report could have simply stated the attackers’ and victim’s races. But it also neglected to clarify that the “reference” to Donald Trump was “F*** Donald Trump,” and neglected completely the fact that...

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