Last year, Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell stood trial in Philadelphia for the deaths of one woman and seven babies who had their throats slit, but national reporters didn’t want to cover it. It’s a “local crime story,” they said. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple said that when he asked national reporters about avoiding the Gosnell story, the typical response was “Get out of my face with this agenda-driven stuff, and come back when you have a real story.”
Ferguson, Missouri is merely the latest proof that a “local crime story” can be elevated to national news -- when it’s the liberal media’s favorite kind of “agenda-driven stuff.” A local story about a white cop fatally shooting an unarmed young black man in one St. Louis suburb has dominated the national news, to the point that the networks interrupted prime-time TV for an announcement on whether the policeman would be indicted.
These are the same networks that refused to air President Obama’s speech the week before on his immigration end-around. The entire nation couldn’t wait two hours for the local news, or turn to cable news? It seems like an attempt to create an episode for the history books – making Ferguson a destination in black history like Selma, or Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon Martin was shot.
Why is this story so much more portentous in meaning than others? Obviously, it fits a narrative that America – and its justice “system” – is deeply racist. As with George Zimmerman, it seems not to matter what the actual evidence is in this case. No rioter put down a rock or a Molotov cocktail to read the grand-jury report. When the prosecutor’s speech aired on a split screen with a “riot cam” on the Ferguson streets, the networks were not expecting calm. They expected --and were far too eager -- to chronicle a riot, and squeeze some ratings out of the mayhem.