Posted by Curt on 9 December, 2014 at 11:32 am. 4 comments already!


Jazz Shaw:

This was another horrible story out of New York no matter how you look at it, but one which also demonstrated something about the rapid response team in the media brigade. A “disturbed man” by the name of Calvin Peters walked into a synagogue early this morning, stabbed a teenage Israeli student in the neck and was shot dead by police after an extended attempt to disarm him and take him in peacefully. (Video at the end of this article.)

Police shot and killed a disturbed man after he walked into one of Brooklyn’s most prominent synagogues Tuesday morning and stabbed someone there, sources said.

The bloodshed at the world headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights happened shortly after 1 a.m., sources said.

A Chabad spokesman said that witnesses reported that the man said “Kill the Jews” but police said the man might have shouted, “I will kill all of you.” One witness told the Post that the man did not talk about killing Jews.

Calvin Peters, 50, walked into the basement of the synagogue where people were praying, sources said.

“According to witnesses he was heard saying repeatedly, “Kill the Jews!” Chabad Rabbi Motti Seligson said.

As almost always happens, early reporting of the event is varying wildly, even when we have video of the critical sequence of events. I’ve seen Peters’ age reported variously as 49, 50 and 51. He’s described as being homeless, but also a resident of Brooklyn. At least one witness said he was screaming about wanting to “kill a Jew” and another heard no such thing. Some describe him as being mentally disturbed and others recount a long criminal record with 30 or more previous arrests on a variety of charges. But the long and short of it is that he clearly stabbed a student and is now dead.

So how was this described in the press? You can look at the Seattle PI where Peters is described as a knife-wielding man who was fatally shot by police. Haaretz describes him as the assailantwho was shot by one of the officers.

But do you notice what is missing from the newspaper report above, as well as others online and the coverage on CNN today? At no point in the early coverage did I once see anyone writing or hear anyone in the media saying, a white police officer shot and killed a black suspect today in a New York synagogue.

Guess what? That’s exactly what happened. But unlike the shootings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, where that was the lead in virtually every single news report you can find, not one source said it coming out of the gate today. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the ongoing theme of narrative journalism. In fact, I’d like to check back at the end of the week and see if anyone in the press is still even talking about this story.

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