Complicity of Silence: Media Condones Violence and Racism

Complicity of Silence: Media Condones Violence and Racism

A predominantly white mob calls a black man named Clint Tarver a “nigger” and “Uncle Tom” as they physically demolish his business. This violence is caught on video, the victim has told his story, and plenty of witnesses exist. Moreover, at the same time this incident occurred, we also have photographic and video evidence of more violence allegedly perpetrated by this same group of pro-union protesters.   

This is happening in America, not some third world country. And it’s not happening in 1964, or in the South, or in a miniseries or TV movie; it’s happening this week in Lansing, Michigan.

And yet, the media won’t cover it.

Let me reiterate: Racism, violence, property destruction — and all of it caught on VIDEO… And still, the media won’t cover it.

It’s just not a sensational story with all the elements that usually sets the media ablaze; it’s also a legitimate story. This black man who lost his hot dog stand to a mob as racial slurs were hurled at him was not only a victim and a completely innocent bystander; he was also an institution within the Michigan political world. ..


 …and yet, the media won’t cover it.

But of course the only reason the media won’t cover it, is, you guessed it, The Narrative.

Because the suspected thugs are pro-union protestors and not Tea Partiers, this act of racial violence is not considered a story. You see, the media doesn’t really care about racism or thuggery or violence — what it cares about is The Narrative — and The Narrative demands that unions must always be the good guys.

So, even if members of the union or their supporters are made up of racist thugs victimizing some innocent guy just trying to make a living, it’s not a story — not because it’s not a story — but because it can’t be a story because the story would damage The Narrative.  

None of this should surprise anyone. We’ve seen it all before. In August of 2009, a black vendor selling American flags at a Tea Party event/protest was beaten in front of three witnesses by two SEIU thugs. Another perfectly innocent vendor minding his own business…

And yet, the media wouldn’t cover it.

And yet…

With a whole lot of selective editing and no evidence whatsoever, the same media that won’t cover actual acts of violence and racism will, of course, manufacture acts of violence and racism to defame the Tea Party.  Since there are no legitimate stories to feed The Narrative’s need to defame the Tea Party, stories are created out of whole cloth to fit The Narrative’s need.

When you think about this and try to take it all in, you ask yourself if it’s really possible that the media is honestly and truly this partisan – this blatant and nakedly hypocritical and unconcerned with actual violence and racism.

But it is.

Erik Wemple is the Washington Post’s media watchdog. I asked him why the media is all but ignoring this story and if I was crazy to believe that, if a predominantly white Tea Party mob had screamed racial slurs while destroying an innocent black man’s hot dog stand, if it might not be the biggest story in the universe right now.

Wemple responded via email:

I try not to engage in “what if this had been” sort of conjecture, simply because we can never have perfectly comparable test cases. Brent Bozell yesterday criticized the networks news outlets for having failed to highlight violence, particularly the incident regarding Steven Crowder. When I posed a similar question to the networks, I got very little in return.

I have seen here and there are characterizations of Tuesday’s activities as boisterous or spirited or whatever. I think such terms, given the documented outbreaks of mayhem, are inappropriate without noting that fists were thrown and property was trashed.

I also asked Politico’s media watcher, Dylan Byers, for comment. He hasn’t yet responded.

All that matters is The Narrative.

There’s a second phase to my story. Because it’s not just about the media not covering a legitimate story; it’s also about the mechanisms the media has in place to ensure they will never be pressured into covering the story.

Here’s how it works:

Something happens in real life that goes against The Narrative.

The mainstream media ignores it.

The story breaks. New media explodes.

The mainstream media ignores it.

The story gains legitimate traction.

The mainstream media ignores it.

The story is so real and righteous that law enforcement or Congress eventually gets involved.

The mainstream media ignores it.

But how does the media ignore such a story, even as all of this reality swirls around them?

That’s what MSNBC, the Huffington Post, Media Matters and other left-wing media outlets are for. Their job is to intentionally muddy the waters of legitimate stories that go against The Narrative with nonsense like this:

But one eyewitness tells he thinks there may be more to the story. Thomas Duckworth, a Michigan resident and lifelong union member, said he’d been at the AFP tent earlier in the day, when he noticed a man in an NRA hat. Later, he said, he saw the man deliberately loosening the ropes holding the tent up. Duckworth acknowledged that labor supporters had cheered the tent’s collapse, but suggested that AFP had deliberately helped initiate the it, in order to depict their adversaries as an unruly mob.

And this:

In 2004, thanks to pressure from New Media, the mainstream media was eventually forced to cover the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their claims against John Kerry’s war record. After Kerry lost to George W. Bush, the media decided this could never be allowed to happen again. So outlets like Media Matters and MSNBC stepped up to manufacture and make up just enough fog and confusion around legitimate stories inconvenient to The Narrative that would justify the media’s ignoring of these stories.

Even though the media knows the fog and confusion is all nonsense, it’s enough to rationalize back-benching and dismissing what’s politically inconvenient.  

This tactic worked to protect Obama’s supporters in SEIU from having to face a public backlash for the beating of Kenneth Gladney — which just happened to occur the same day the White House told their supporters to punch back twice as hard against the Tea Party.

And now the tactic will protect another set of union thugs who are suspected of what would probably be called a hate crime if, you know, The Narrative said it was okay to call it that.  


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC