“Equal and exact justice to all men…” –Thomas Jefferson
(PUBLISHER’S NOTE: There is an update on the rape/torture/mutilation/murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. See Alexander’s essay, “Media Blackout.”)
Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were described by family and friends as a “clean-cut and faithful couple – good kids.” Channon was a senior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she met Christopher. She and Chris went out on a Saturday dinner date, after which Channon called her mom and told her that they were on the way to visit friends. But Channon and Christopher never arrived at their friends’ house – or returned home.
The next day, the burned remains of Chris Newsom were found along a railroad track. Two days later, Channon’s battered body was recovered from a trash bin. Channon and Chris had been kidnapped after a carjacking, then brutally gang-raped and murdered. According to reports, they were subjected to lengthy torture in each other’s presence, injected with chemical disinfectants to destroy DNA evidence, then strangled and shot.
This appalling attack is more than a case study in sociopathic evil. It is also a case study in journalistic malpractice.
Unless you tune in to the local Knoxville news, you are most likely hearing about this heinous crime for the first time – even though it took place in January. True, there are some 17,000 murders committed in the U.S. each year, but this double murder was clearly far more barbaric, far more monstrous than most.
Having spent years in law enforcement (some of that investigating hate groups) and also having seen my share of war-ravaged third-world nations, I am casehardened when it comes to exposure to reports of sadistic brutality and hate. However, the deliberate and abject inhumanity of this case, and what it says about our culture, got my attention. Yet, this story has failed to attract the attention of the national media.
Could it be because the two victims were white and the four defendants are black?
Regrettably, there is nothing new about the racial aspect of this story, which may explain why it was not national news. Although blacks represent just 12 percent of the U.S. population, black perpetrators are convicted by their peers in more than half of all murder and manslaughter cases. And, per-capita black-on-white crime is far more prevalent than the inverse.
The underlying social factors contributing to such racially unbalanced crime statistics have been delineated by many conservative black leaders and academicians. However, their solutions – most notably promoting individual responsibility and accountability rather than reliance on the nanny state and subscription to the “victimization” mentality – contradict liberal political objectives, which seek to maintain black folks’ status as wards of the state.
I draw your attention to this case not only to mourn the loss of a beautiful young couple, but also to call attention to a despicable double standard in our mainstream media.
In 1998, three white men in Jasper, Texas, beat a black man, James Byrd, then chained him to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him three miles to his death. Not surprisingly, Byrd’s murder received national media attention – as it should have.
Of course, when the Leftmedia jumps on a racial issue, especially in the run-up to a presidential election, Democrat politicians will be rushing the podium – in this case, opportunistically calling for “hate crimes” legislation.
But then-Governor of Texas George Bush said there was little need for such legislation – after all, two of the defendants were sentenced to death and the third received a life sentence. What penalty is greater than death?
That did not stop the NAACP from producing a political ad featuring the following voiceover from Mr. Byrd’s daughter: “My father was killed. He was beaten, chained and dragged three miles to his death, all because he was black. So when Governor George W. Bush refused to support hate-crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.”
Clearly, hate was a motivating factor in the Jasper case, but it was also a motivating factor in Knoxville, though not a “hate crime” as defined by federal law. So, why do white-on-black hate crimes invariably result in a media feeding frenzy, while black-on-white hate crimes receive nary a mention? It is notable that both the Jasper and Knoxville crimes occurred at about the same period in presidential-election cycles – which perhaps explains the deafening silence of the national media’s coverage of the Knoxville case.
On the other hand, for the last year, the Leftmedia was busy convicting three white Duke University lacrosse players for another “hate crime” – the alleged gang rape of a black woman named Crystal Gail Mangum. Millions of dollars in defense-lawyer fees later, it turns out that Mangum was a liar and the real victims were in fact the accused: David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty. (No appology yet from 88 Duke professors who condemned the accused in an open letter, before the first day of their trial.)
Egg still fresh on their faces, the national media quickly moved on to Don Imus and his racially insensitive remarks.
In fact, the only black-on-white crime given as much media attention as the Byrd and Duke cases was O.J. Simpson’s murder of his ex-wife and her companion – but that story was an MSM mainstay not because of Simpson’s race, but because of his celebrity status.
So what about Channon and Christopher?
News of their murders was briefly posted on the AP wire by Knoxville news outlets, but major media outlets such as CNN, CBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post have yet to mention it, much less headline it. Clearly, there’s a double standard when it comes to the media’s coverage of interracial crime.
What about the double standard when it comes to race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (who fabricated the Tawana Brawley rape hoax)? The only difference in racists such as Jackson and Sharpton and those in the KKK is that the latter are not Leftmedia celebs.
In the wake of the Knoxville case, Is the NAACP ready to crank out some political ads on hate crimes? Are Teddy Kennedy and all the congressional race-baiters calling for additional hate-crimes legislation? Not for this case they’re not.
It’s safe to say that the prosecution of these defendants will pass without a satellite news-link truck anywhere in sight. In fact, we may even see the race-baitors claiming the real “victims” are the defendants, as some have already claimed.
For the families and friends of Channon and Christopher, as with all those of murder victims, we grieve your loss.