Issues, Media

CBS radio deceptively flips races of Chicago Facebook Live torturers, victim

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Image: CC0

Image: CC0

By now you’ve heard about the four black Chicago teenagers who kidnapped a mentally disabled white teen and tortured him on a Facebook Live video stream. The four attackers have each been charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and are being held without bail.

Again: the attackers were black, the victim white. But you wouldn’t know that from this Thursday morning CBS Radio News report on the incident. In fact, the report leads you to believe the exact opposite:

The viral video of a beating and knife attack in Chicago suggests the assault had racial overtones. CBS’s Dean Reynolds tells us the victim is described as a mentally-challenged teenager.

In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump. Police are holding four people in connection with the attack. [Emphasis added]

As you can see, the report completely fails to mention the races of the involved parties — and heavily implies that the attackers were white and the victim was black:

The report is technically correct, but widely misleading. By noting the attackers used the n-word during a racially-motivated attack while “referencing” Donald Trump, the clear implication is that the victim was black and his attackers were racist Trump fans.

The n-word was indeed used to refer to the victim, but only in the more neutral sense that is often used in black vernacular. Omitted from the report are details that would [have] corrected that misapprehension.

Also left out of the report? The fact that the attackers yelled “f*** white people.”

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