The New York Times appears to write off crimes that could damage Democrats’ electoral chances, referring to them as “local stories.”
The strategy is brilliant in it’s simplicity. By dismissing the crimes as “local,” the NYT absolves itself – and any other liberal outlet that chooses to follow suit – of any responsibility to even acknowledge that the crime took place. It also provides cover for the NYT to criticize outlets that do cover the crime, accusing them of doing so for political reasons.
Case in point is the NYT’s response to the school-bathroom rape that rocked Virginia just weeks ahead of a gubernatorial election, which many had already suggested could be a bellwether.
On May 28 in a Loudoun County public school, a biologically-male student wearing a skirt raped a female student in the women’s restroom. The male student in question was found guilty of the rape in October. Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied any knowledge of assaults during a public hearing about the district’s transgender bathroom policy days later despite a recently released email that showed he was aware and had notified the school board on the day the assault occurred.
Following initial reports from Luke Rosiak of the Daily Wire, a number of outlets followed up on the story and many questioned whether the school board had intentionally engaged in a coverup to protect the district’s transgender bathroom policy from further scrutiny.
The NYT’s response, which was not published until after the male student had been found guilty of the crime, was to frame the case as if the important issue was not the rape of a teenage girl but rather the fact that Republicans were using it to make a political point about the district’s preferred bathroom policies.
The article referred to the situation as “a sexual assault case that revived Republican criticism of gender-inclusive bathroom policies in schools.”
The article also suggested that the NYT’s failure to cover the story was not born of negligence or politics, complaining that conservative outlets had “lavished national attention on local events.”
The Loudoun County rape case is not the first example of liberal media outlets like the NYT ignoring crimes and dismissing them as “local stories” – particularly when a political sacred cow is at risk.
The most famous case in recent history would be the gruesome tale of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who performed numerous illegal late-term abortions and even kept jars with preserved aborted fetal body parts in his home.
Gosnell, who many conservatives referred to as one of the most prolific serial killers in history, shined a light on the culture surrounding abortion – especially late-term abortion – and liberal media coverage of the investigation, arrest and trial was almost nonexistent. (RELATED: Over 2,000 Fetal Remains Found On Late Abortion Doctor’s Property, Sheriff’s Office Says)
In fact, while Gosnell was on trial, there were a number of days when reporters just plain didn’t show up.
Criminal negligence, Philly press. MT @jdmullane: reserved media seats in Court Thurs in Gosnell trial. Empty all AM. pic.twitter.com/WFntCYPK0f
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) April 12, 2013
But the narrative changes dramatically when the story is not damaging to, or could even help, Democrats. Police-involved shootings, for instance – particularly when the person who is shot happens to be black – often garner national news coverage long before the facts of the case are even known.
“Hands up, don’t shoot,” made national headlines and cable news long before a local investigation determined that Michael Brown had not been running away from Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson when he was shot. A second investigation was later undertaken by former President Barack Obama’s then Attorney General Eric Holder, only to reach the same conclusion as the first.
The same thing happened when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, failing to release him even after he lost consciousness. Floyd’s death in police custody was a national news story almost immediately, launching nationwide protests and fueling the far left Democratic push to “defund the police.”
“Local,” it seems, is all relative.