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Corporate Media Coverage Is More Generous to White Killers Than Black Victims

March 26, 2018 in Blogs

By Mehreen Kasana, AlterNet

The Austin bomber has been described as “smart,” “nerdy” and from a “godly family.”

If security concerns for the residents of Austin, Texas, weren't enough, now some are wondering about the lopsided, ineffectual and hypocritical media coverage of the white Austin bomber who killed himself Wednesday.

According to law enforcement authorities, Mark Anthony Conditt was the serial bomber who claimed the lives of at least two people and injured four more by constructing, packaging and disseminating several “highly sophisticated” touch-sensitive bombs in March. His bombing spree killed two African Americans, while one of the injured victims is Latina. Yet a survey of the headlines would lead one to think Conditt was merely a “polite” and “introverted” neighbor who expressed harmless interest in improvised explosive devices.

The Associated Press sought the opinion of Conditt's uncle, who said the serial bomber was “smart” and “introverted.” The Washington Post explained that Conditt was apparently “frustrated by life.” The local police department said Conditt’s 25-minute taped confession, in which he admits to creating the bombs, was “the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about the challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.” The New York Times ran a headline quoting an acquaintance of the bomber who said Conditt was a “nerdy” fellow hailing from a “tight-knit, godly family.” ABC News' Austin network said Conditt was a health-conscious “introvert.”

Media descriptions of Conditt echo those of white supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof, who shot nine people to death inside a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Yet according to the Wall Street Journal, Roof was a “quiet” and “bright boy.” James Holmes, who opened fire in a theater in Colorado, killing 24 people in 2012, was also a “quiet” man, according to ABC News. Similarly gentle and forgiving descriptors were applied to 17-year-old Austin Rollins, who killed a teenage girl and injured two other students in Maryland recently. According to the Associated Press, Rollins was a “lovesick teen.”

Situating a story is critical. Explaining the possibly troubled backgrounds of criminals in order …read more


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