JACK Crowe, news editor of the American website National Review, headlined his news round-up on Monday with a series of alarming stories which you may not have heard about if you live in Britain.
He wrote: ‘The familiar pattern of politicised violence resumed this weekend after a brief respite in most major American cities.’
He told how Chicago police shot a young man on Sunday afternoon after he fired at them while attempting to evade arrest. ‘Hours later, a mob – inflamed by the lie that the cops had shot and wounded a child – laid siege to Chicago’s downtown commercial district, Magnificent Mile.’
The rioters ransacked stores, broke windows and tore cash machines out of bank walls.
The city, Crowe said, failed to deploy enough police to quell the unrest. And as looters were preparing to destroy the Mile, Chicago’s famed shopping district, anarchy reigned 2,000 miles away in Portland, Oregon. There, the streets ‘have not seen a peaceful night since the summer began with a wave of protests and rioting over the death of George Floyd’.
Crowe reported: ‘Roughly 200 people marched from a downtown park to the Portland Police Association Building, where they threw objects and launched fireworks at officers, blocked off the road and set dumpster fires.
‘The police responded by declaring a riot and using tear gas to disperse the crowd. Sixteen people were arrested and two officers hospitalised. But that was a small number compared to the 24 who had been arrested in Portland a day earlier for throwing rocks and launching fireworks at police.
‘It should be said that we know all of this because local news outlets have done yeoman work documenting the unrelenting chaos in Portland.
‘The Washington Post, meanwhile, believes its readers are best served by a glowing photo essay depicting the varying DIY riot uniforms worn by the play-acting revolutionaries.
‘As Chicago’s urban decay spread into its affluent downtown and Portland saw its 73rd straight night of rioting and protests, New York grappled with its own crimewave – more diffuse than seen elsewhere, but perhaps more insidious for that.’
New York City is now on track to have more shootings and victims in 2020 than it had in the whole of the previous two years, the New York Post reported on Monday. Up to last Saturday, the toll was 821 shootings and 1,000 victims. By contrast, there were 905 shootings and 1,099 victims in 2018 and 2019 combined.
One of this year’s many victims, 36-year-old Curtis Holley, was shot and killed in front of his wife on Saturday night after inadvertently flicking a cigarette end near a group of men on the sidewalk in the Bronx.
New York Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez controversially suggested New York’s violence was due to poverty, tweeting: ‘They need to feed their child and they don’t have money, so they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry.’
Maybe she has some insight into the violence that the rest of us don’t. But one wonders what gunning down someone in cold blood on the street has to do with trying to find bread for apparently hungry mouths.
Where is the reporting of this American descent into violent chaos in the British mainstream media? Despite full coverage of presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his possible running mate, the state of the nation these two may be running is given next to no attention here. Would our news editors rather not know?
A quick search of the Telegraph and the BBC brought up nothing, while the Times produced only this narrowly-focused report on Chicago, which lacked national context.
People talk of fake news. But all too often the real bias is simply the one of omission.
Postscript:Also as yet uncommented on in the mainstream UK media – a BLM organiser has defended the Chicago looting as ‘reparations’.