Milwaukee Coverage Reveals Sharp Conflicts In Reporting Of Race Retaliation and Violent Speech

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 9.40.26 PMFox News and conservative media has been reporting that black protesters have been hunting white citizens in retaliation for the recent police shooting, including a reporter who said in a YouTube statement that he had to leave the area in fear of being killed. The question is, if these reports are true, why there has been no hate crime reporting or Justice Department investigation. There is also a sharp conflict raised over CNN’s reporting of the statements of Sylville Smith’s sister. The sharp contrast in coverage suggests either exaggeration from one side or avoidance from another. There of course should only be one side in the reporting of news, but this is the latest example of the reason why so many mistrust the media.

UnknownThe riots began after the 23-year-old Sylville Smith was shot by a black patrol officer. He was armed with a stolen gun and fled from a car during a traffic stop.  The loaded gun had been stolen in an earlier burglary. Smith had reportedly an extensive criminal record.  The police appear to have have body cameras so we will hopefully be able to learn more about the reason for the shooting, though the officers stated that they fired after the gun was brandished or pointed at them.

Independent journalist Tim Pool received acclaim in his coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He also has reported that whites were being hunted down. While Pool expressed sympathy with the protesters, he stated “For those that are perceivably white, it is just not safe to be here. And that’s why I’m deciding to leave.”

Fox has also shown videos of groups calling for the running down of whites seen on the streets.

None of this means that all or most of the protesters are engaging in racist retaliation. However, the sharp contrast in reporting is precisely why people increasingly view media as pursuing hidden agendas or shaping the news.

Another sharp contrast is found between the Washington Times and CNN. The Washington Times has accused CNN of editing out the words of Sylville Smith’s sister who called for attacks on the suburbs. Instead, CNN reported that she called for peace and no violence.

CNN showed Sherelle Smith telling protesters: “Don’t bring the violence here and the ignorance here.” In both broadcast and Web stories, CNN framed Smith as calling for peace. However, the Washington Times said that CNN cut away before Smith yelled” “Stop burning down shit we need in our community. Take that shit to the suburbs. Burn they shit down. We need our shit. We need our weaves. I don’t wear it. But we need it.”

That is a very different take from the article saying that Smith “condemned violence carried out in her brother’s name, saying the community needs those businesses.”   More importantly, it is also obvious news if the sister of the victim is telling people to burn down the suburbs.  Reporters are not supposed to shape the news. The report it.  That is news.  It is also legitimate to explore the history of race tensions and segregation in Milwaukee — the underling anger that erupted into the streets.  Likewise, it is obviously news if there are racist retaliatory attacks and whites being chased down streets or pulled from cars.  These conflicting piece raise troubling questions of how our media has diverged over preferred narratives as opposed to fully reporting all of these elements.

141 thoughts on “Milwaukee Coverage Reveals Sharp Conflicts In Reporting Of Race Retaliation and Violent Speech”

  1. And this is relevant how?

    It’s a direct response to your point. C’mon, this isn’t that difficult. TN Coates wants ‘reparations’ for things done to his great-great-great grandmother. See Thomas Sowell’s The Quest for Cosmic Justice. There’s no end to the claims people might put forward if claims are heritable over 5 generations.

    But to indulge you, you are making my point exactly. I am from west Africa, and I showed above that in every metric, I am better off than most African americans.

    Again, production and income for black Americans is higher than it is for Nigerians – by a factor of more than 7. Understanding the implications of that is not difficult, either. See Keith Richburg’s Out of America.

  2. Per the World Bank, when you bracket out natural resource rents and bracket out the excess share attributable to the most affluent decicle, Nigeria’s gross national income per capita (measured at purchasing power parity) is about 9% that of the United States (or around 13.5% of that attributable to American blacks). Nigeria is west Africa’s most populous and most affluent country.

    1. Art, you are reaching:
      The factors that determine whether one has a good life or not are not found those metrics you offer. Us currently ranks at 43rd in life expectancy, but that speaks more on you and me than it does those on the outer edges of society.

      Freddy gray was severally poisoned by lead, for example, I wasn’t.
      I was breastfed, he very likely wasn’t.
      I had good prenatal healthcare, he didn’t.
      I ate fresh and healthy food, he lives in a food desert without access to fresh fruit and vegetable.
      I grew around in an environment generally free of pesticides, of smog and of chemical pollution, he didn’t.
      I had a safe environment, without guns and much violence, where I knew my neighbors and had familial support. I knew both sides of my family reaching back generations, he didn’t.
      I had traditions and culture, he didn’t.
      I had great schools, he didn’t.
      I never went to school hungry, he did.
      No one ever made me feel lesser because of my skin tone, he lived under that.
      Most West Africans have some measure of my experience, most African Americans have some measure of Freddy’s.

  3. Art says:
    You ordinarily don’t get to claim civil damages after 5 generations, Po. Have you considered comparing the living standards of black Americans with those which are about the mode in West Africa?
    And this is relevant how?
    But to indulge you, you are making my point exactly. I am from west Africa, and I showed above that in every metric, I am better off than most African americans.

  4. What was the redress for the genocide of Native Americans?

    There was no genocide.

    What was the redress for the slavery and oppression of black Americans? …Affirmative action?

    You ordinarily don’t get to claim civil damages after 5 generations, Po. Have you considered comparing the living standards of black Americans with those which are about the mode in West Africa?

  5. Po, the article you linked to (which is not a reputable source) contends the Pentagon ‘cannot account’ for a sum that’s 6x their annual budget. That should tell you that the author is lying or is using an accounting method that does not belong in a poker game. A little critical intelligence, please.

    1. Art, you certainly know about talking out of your ass, you’ve been doing a lot of that all over this thread. So far you have yet to counter any point I have made with anything other than the weight of your opinions.
      Furthermore, you have not read my sources but want to counter them?
      Will you pretend I never corrected you re Homan square and the torture of Black Chicagoans by the cops?
      Re the article I linked? The article itself links to …yes, the office of inspector general

      Audit Report
      Financial Management
      Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported (Project No. D2015-D000FL-0243.000)

      View printable version


      We determined whether adjustments made to Army General Fund (AGF) data during the FY 2015 financial statement compilation process were adequately documented and supported. In addition, we assessed the internal controls over the compilation process.


      The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management & Comptroller) (OASA[FM&C]) and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis (DFAS Indianapolis) did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter journal voucher (JV) adjustments and $6.5 trillion in yearend JV adjustments1 made to AGF data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation.2 The unsupported JV adjustments occurred because OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis did not prioritize correcting the system deficiencies that caused errors resulting in JV adjustments, and did not provide sufficient guidance for supporting system‑generated adjustments.

      In addition, DFAS Indianapolis did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System‑Budgetary (DDRS-B), a budgetary reporting system, removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during third quarter FY 2015. This occurred because DFAS Indianapolis did not have detailed documentation describing the DDRS-B import process or have accurate or complete system reports.

      As a result, the data used to prepare the FY 2015 AGF third quarter and yearend financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail. Furthermore, DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions. Until the Army and DFAS Indianapolis correct these control deficiencies, there is considerable risk that AGF financial statements will be materially misstated and the Army will not achieve audit readiness by the congressionally mandated deadline of September 30, 2017.

  6. Art, you are doing a lot of denying and explaining without any basic source for your denials. You have challenged everything offered so far without any supporting argument.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the FBI, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics produce ample data, as does the Census Bureau. The City-Data site also assembles handy data.

    I cannot help it if you talk out of your ass. Not everyone does. Quit projecting.

  7. I don’t agree with your analysis Art. The hollowing out of America’s industrial base is well-documented.

    Making use of 2009 currency units, the national income (not adjusting for depreciation) attributable to the sum of agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing and utilities was in 1969 $1.46 tn. In 2015, it was $2.65 tn. In real terms, we produce slightly more per capita as well. The industrial base is still there. It employs fewer people than it once did.

  8. Yes, scholrss, it is always up to people to push ahead, no doubt about that.
    But, to think that what black people here have experienced is akin to what immigrants have is to lose sight of all of American history. I am an immigrant,as I said, and though I have felt my share of slights (which are ongoign with the rampant islamophobia) I have NEVER experienced one quarter of what Black people have.
    Additionally, since the first slave stepped foot on these shores, the machine of dehumanization has been constantly humming. Slavery was built around the premise that slaves are sub-human, which was enshrined into law by the idea that they are 3/5 person, then further so with constant lynchings and racist media portrayal, then Jim crow laws, then the dog whistling that never ceased until now, then the prison industry and the drug laws…

    What other group of people, anywhere around the globe has faced such relentless dehumanization then been told, ah, just get over it?
    What was the redress to Jews from the holocaust? Monetary, emotional and special protection.
    What was the redress to japanese americans for the internment? Monetary, emotional and special protection.
    What was the redress for the genocide of Native Americans? Monetary, emotional and some special protection.
    What was the redress for the slavery and oppression of black Americans? …Affirmative action?

    I wonder sometimes how they can take it! I have lived here 20 years and I already suffer from PTSD from the relentless dehumanization and oppression that Black skin feels in every aspect of its life…I am seriously shocked that the ish hasn’t hit the fan more often.

  9. Wow–Jack–that’s pretty huge! Maybe the corporate media is feeling the pressure of the increasing amount of “on-the-scene” independent reporting. We’ll hope. If enough people can keep putting the full story out there, maybe the masses will question everything the corporate media puts out. We can hope…

  10. Plus, there is the dubious at best reports of employment. They are almost to a laughable point. They exist to justify government action/inaction.

    By the way, we had a poster who I have not seen in quite some time. He was retired military, I believe, and I think he was in the Chicago area. He had many a great and insightful experience to share, especially in regards to race relations. If Nick is reading today, maybe you’ll remember who it is. I know his health was not good.

  11. I don’t agree with your analysis Art. The hollowing out of America’s industrial base is well-documented. And it’s effect is surely more than statistics can demonstrate. Alot of what created strong communities here was the collective pride associated with productive manufacturing. Merchants here had their heyday as they shared the bounty of productive labor with them. The community supported itself and did many great things, and residents felt engaged and shared in its identity. Crime was not an issue. People did not lock cars or houses. There is amazing architecture here that wasn’t destroyed in the “urban renewal” in the 70s. All these things make prosperous communities and merely providing narrow-illustrating statistics leaves out a lot of the story. There is a economic benefit to positive communities as people with skills will want to be a part of it, and relocate there, enhancing the depth of the community. I don’t see where this is hard to understand. Embracing globalization has just been apply Newton’s first law of thermodynamics to our country, making this energy able to drain to someplace else in the world for a lower cost.

  12. At the same time the pentagon cannot track $6.5 Trillions,

    The military budget is about $1 tn. The amount which would be lost to such things as inventory shrinkage would be a small fraction of that.

  13. Although it has been hard watching the economy of this region collapse due to disasterous trade policies.

    There has been no collapse. There is slow growth, there is labor market sclerosis. Some parts of the country have been losing relative position because they’re growing more slowly than other parts.

    The one large section of the United States which actually has been imploding would be the smaller towns and rural zones in the Great Plains. That’s Kansas, Nebraska, and some adjacent areas. What’s happening there, and what’s been happening since 1930 in some loci and 1950 in others has been that the countryside (along with its small service centers) has been abandoned in favor urban settlements of a certain size (15,000 or greater).

  14. Good points, shohrss29/ PR…what we are facing is a government that no longer serves its citizens, and let us not point finger at reps or democrats,they are one and the same.
    Most of our social issues are the results of failing economic policies.

    At the same time the pentagon cannot track $6.5 Trillions, many social programs are being cut across the country. Event the idea that welfare is such a problem would not be deemed problematic hadn’t we been spending so much money expanding across the globe and waging global war.

    The more productive, rewarding work people have, the more social growth they experience and the more stable our societies are.
    Poverty is at the core of all social issues, crime, racism, etc… and poverty forces poor people to live in poor areas that are not suitable for proper physical and emotional development. Go to any slum anywhere around the globe and we see the same issues, whether those slums are European, Chinatowns, Pakistani or Israelis.

    Meanwhile, either the laws allow for shooting a fleeing man in the back or they don’t. No week goes by where we do not hear about an unarmed Black man gunned down by cops. Either that is a problem or it isn’t. And those who can excuse it that are those who unwittingly are finding excuse for their own murder when the cops, unavoidably, turn to them. They are brazen and reckless…and we certainly have a cop problem in the US.
    Meanwhile, one of the fastest growing global industries is one of crowd control….in prevision of what, we wonder?

  15. Po–that’s Chicago. And it ain’t just black people who get wacked there. Might be better off trying your luck in Mogadishu or something. Come to think of it, why did we elect a President from Chicago? And yes, that is a predjudiced remark–but not for being a black man, just for being from Chicago. I think you need some better examples, and it would be easier to use southern examples that had more institutional racism. But I think your argument is a thin one. I am lucky enough to live in a community where black people pretty well meshed into it. It looks nothing like the press-enabled constant racial clashes. The only difference is the young black people from the east, the ones who relocate here with people sent to the prisons here. I also never really thought about the people I know as being anything but neighbors. If I have animosity now, it is press-driven. As I have said before, my son, whose grand parents are first generation Americans from Syrian-Lebanese immigrants, grew up listening to his classmates talk about just “killing all the ragheads” or “just wiping out all the Arabs” the world will be a lot better. The government and press has been careful in recent years to move that animosity to “Muslims.” I was able to listen to a lot of that talk first hand on bus trips. However, did I did not tell my son that was an excuse to harbor bad feelings. He has a responsibility to identify himself as an American first. He will be going to college next year, but he has always felt somewhat at arms-length socially. The stigma is part of who he is, but it is up to him to push ahead.

  16. It was a conscious decision by the elected leader (singular on purpose) to replace thriving industry with prisons and tourism.

    Nobody made that decision except in your imagination. A country’s industrial mix will change over time in response to technological development and ancillary factors. Public policy can exacerbate problems, but you’re still going to have frictional costs even with optimal policy.

  17. Art, you mustn’t know what I am referring to. It is this:

    The officer in question was dismissed from the force in 1991 and the example is cherry-picked.

  18. Another problem to the urban solutions you proposed is local municipalities gambling away their future tax income for pie-in-the-sky projects.

    Come again? I’ve suggested that county and municipal governments improve their supply of public goods (namely order-maintenance, not something which can be subcontracted). You’re telling me that we cannot do that because municipal governments have elected to invest in commercial real estate. A simple solution would be to leave commercial real estate to banks and builders and developers and just work to make sure that the developments they build aren’t ruined by hoodlums.

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