Looking for an escape from the left-of-center networks and the breathless – and often erroneous – “reporting” by the cable outlets of the tragic mass murder at the Washington Navy Yard, I turned on the left-of-center ESPN to catch the beginning of Monday Night Football.
Switching from NBC News and CBS News, I prepared to watch some football on the sports network that prizes liberal diversity over experience and fired Hank Williams Jr. for daring to exercise his First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Prior to the kickoff, the stadium announcer in Cincinnati appropriately asked all in attendance to participate in a moment of silence for the “12 innocent” victims killed in Washington, D.C.
After sitting back down, I reflected on the moment of silence and then wondered why we don’t ask for them every single week in every major city in our nation.
What about Chicago, President Obama’s adopted hometown? Over one weekend during the summer, there were at least 22 shootings with six deaths. During the trial of George Zimmerman, 54 people were murdered, including three minors and a five-year-old boy who was shot to death.
As of this month, more than 60 school-age children have been murdered in Chicago. Why not have a moment of silence for these children and these other victims at Soldier Field before the next Chicago Bears football game?
Why does the media consistently ignore these murders and who is committing them?
Do these mostly very young minority men being killed at the hands of other young minority men simply not fit the narrative some in the media are trying to create with regard to overall violence and the need for gun control? Do the lives of these young men – many of them also “innocent victims” – not count to the national media?
What about Washington, D.C., where the Navy Yard mass killing just took place? President Obama took a moment to speak to this crime. Don’t the 100 or so people murdered every year in our nation’s capital deserve a moment of silence? Shouldn’t they also be acknowledged by the national media and the president?
Many of the facts of the slaughter at the Washington Navy Yard are yet to be known. However, even when facts are unassailable, many in the media will either ignore them or unethically manipulate them to fit their narrative.
At Fort Hood, Texas, the mass killing there was clearly an act of terrorism to all but most in the national media and some in the now-politically correct Army who described it as “workplace violence.”
A little over a year ago, a domestic terrorist invaded the traditional values-espousing Family Research Council intending – in his own words – to “kill as many as possible and smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the victims’ faces.”
After a brief flash of coverage, most of the media has since forgotten the crime. Why? How did this wannabe mass murderer come to pick the Family Research Council and what was his motivation?
He found them and then targeted them after the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center listed the FRC as a “hate group” because it supports laws making marriage only between a man and a woman.
Then there was ABC's Brian Ross, who last year tarnished the name of an innocent man when he mistakenly pinned the Aurora, Colo., mass murder on a Tea Party member.
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart immediately ripped Ross and ABC News by drafting and reading on air an apology Ross should have offered: “And I am really sorry. …Deeply sorry. Deeply, irrevocably sorry to the innocent man that I casually, baselessly and publicly accused of – I don't know – maybe being a mass murderer. 'Cause when I was Googling his name I saw the phrase 'the Tea Party' and I thought, 'Oh! That's a pre-existing narrative! I should get that on the TV!”
With his comedy routine, Jon Stewart neatly and truthfully identified one of the major problems associated with these mass shootings. Rather than do their jobs, some in the media are trying to make the tragedies fit “a pre-existing narrative.”
Maybe along with the victims, we need a moment of silence for the death of professionalism and ethics in journalism.Douglas M. MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the memoir â€œRolling Pennies In The Dark.â€ï¿½