In his media newsletter Sunday night, CNN’s Brian Stelter offered a defense of his network’s relative silence on the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by two illegal immigrants. The suspects, ages 17 and 18, were enrolled in a public high school in Rockville, Maryland after being detained and then released by authorities after illegally crossing the border.
According to police reports, the suspects allegedly forced the girl into a boys bathroom at school and forced her to perform oral sex on them, while they took turns raping and sodomizing her. Police found blood and DNA at the scene of the alleged rape, FOX 5 reported.
As noted by the New York Times on Saturday, however, MSNBC and CNN and basically every network but Fox News are keeping their viewers in the dark about the alleged rape. Other than Fox News, network television has largely ignored the alleged rape, which has left Rockville mothers fearful for their daughters’ safety.
Stelter defended his network’s silence by portraying Fox’s coverage of the rape — and the outrage surrounding the rape — as disproportionate and inappropriate.
“Fox hosts and pundits have spent years trumpeting individual cases of undocumented immigrants committing crimes to argue for crackdowns on undocumented immigrants and on so-called ‘sanctuary cities,'” Stelter wrote.
“But anecdote — even tragic, horrifying anecdote — is not data. Indeed, there is research to indicate that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than people born here. And officials behind ‘sanctuary city’ policies will tell you that, by ensuring undocumented immigrants don’t just hide in the shadows and feel safe coming to authorities for help, they actually keep the public safer.”
Stelter suggested that journalists ask themselves whether “they want to inform people, or cherry-pick stories to push an agenda?”
Stelter’s implication is that the right cares about crimes by illegal immigrants because it helps them push a dishonest narrative in support of a particular immigration policy.
This is incorrect.
The reason many people on the right are so outraged by Rockville is the same reason many people on the left are so outraged by instances of police brutality.
Some on the right are often quick to react to instances of police brutality by pointing to black-on-black crime rates, arguing some variant of: Why are black men so upset about police brutality when they’re more likely to be killed by other black men than by cops?
But to many on the left, that argument misses the point: This murder is different, they say, because police officers are acting on behalf of the government. That is: The government owns this one.
Similarly, some on the left are quick to react to instances of violence carried out by illegal immigrants by pointing to stats that suggest immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. Why are people upset about this particular rape, they say, when native-born Americans are violent, too? (RELATED: Illegal Immigrant Deported Four Times Goes On Brutal Spree, Allegedly Sexually Assaults Baby)
But to many on the right, that argument misses the point: This rape is different, they say, because the government’s failure to secure the border directly enabled it. The government owns this one.
Violence inflicted against innocent people is always tragic and worthy of outrage.
But it’s not unreasonable for Americans to be especially outraged when they see innocent people suffering as a direct result of — as they see it — their government dropping the ball. Both right and left would do well to remember that.