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Political Editors / April 28, 2021

In Brief: When Motive Matters — And When It Doesn’t

Comparing Leftmedia coverage of different mass murders reveals leftist bias.

The Leftmedia’s bias comes out in all sorts of ways, not least of which is the nearly insane coverage of certain mass murders. The Washington Free Beacon’s Charles Fain Lehman put together an analysis to prove it:

Nearly a week after Robert Aaron Long opened fire at two Atlanta-area spas, killing eight people, including six Asian women, MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart offered a stirring sermon to his viewers on the attack, insisting it was yet another instance of “discrimination and violence” against Asian Americans.

“We must not be cowed by the terror unleashed by white men drowning in the deep end of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny,” Capehart said. “We must not let fellow Americans of Asian descent think for one minute they’re alone.”

Such jeremiads were typical of media coverage of the Atlanta shooting, which stood out from other recent violent attacks for the amount of attention it received from the media — more than twice the number of mentions on cable news as the contemporaneous assault in a Boulder, Colo., Kings Sooper, in which a shooter killed 10. Commentators seemed even less willing to draw conclusions from the connections from the fact that the attacker who killed a Capitol police officer with his car had pledged allegiance to the Nation of Islam.

A Washington Free Beacon review of network television and newspaper coverage measured the number of times the murders were mentioned in news coverage and how the press characterized the motives of the killers. The data reveal that the Atlanta shooting held the media’s attention longer than the other two murder sprees. Their attention perhaps reflects a mélange of politically charged motives and attempts to link the Atlanta shooting to a larger story about rising anti-Asian hate, and the fact that the ethnicities and motives of the other two shooters made the media far less willing to draw systematic conclusions.

Suffice it to say that the numbers prove the point that the Atlanta murders were used to further the story of “systemic racism” the media wanted to tell.

The Atlanta shooting was immediately incorporated into a broader narrative about a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, and the motives of the shooter were of greater interest to the media than those of the other two assailants.

Except that the facts didn’t fit. But the facts in the other two murders — primarily perpetrators who were far more inconvenient for the Left — meant those stories received relatively little attention.

Read the whole thing here.

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