Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Monday, 25 July 2016

A Hierarchy of Atrocities, How the "News" Ranks Tragedy

Why do American news outlets give so much more coverage to one act of barbarity than to another?
They seem to have so much more to say about murders at a shopping center in Munich than a suicide bombing in Kabul.
Is the level of the victims' otherness the deciding factor?
Is where Americans might vacation?
Is war news fatigue to blame? (Oh, some more of those people have blown up yet more others of those people...)

And in nightclub shootings, it seemed there was an immediate effort to put a  face on the Orlando victims, even while a stand-off was occurring.
Not so with the children killed in Ft Myers.
Is that because in the Pulse incident both victims and murderer were members of privileged-by-forces-of-political-correctness classes? (Never mind the rush to blame the atrocity on those who were members of neither of the two.)

Then what to make of news reports on the Club Blu horror? Clearly from news photos, twitter postings and facebook videos, the club's teen-aged clientele was primarily, if not exclusively black. Is that not relevant?
And if not, why not?
Are victims' identity as African-American, (presumably, though one cannot tell residence or citizenship from photos and names,) teen-agers of less moment that that of Latino homosexuals, do they matter less, is it a less "sex" story?
Or conversely, is neglect of such details an effort to forestall commentary on black-on-black crime, whether that be rational or bigoted?

My hear is sick, how the world needs prayer!

No comments: