Why did many US media omit the Brooklyn subway shooting suspect’s run?
FRank James, the only person interested in yesterday’s Brooklyn subway shooting attack, was taken into custody on Wednesday. The attack injured ten people. But when the attack was initially reported, many US media refused to provide the race of the suspect. These outlets simply listed his height, what he was wearing and his estimated weight – they wanted to hide the fact that the suspect was a black man.
For example, one of the most reputable newspapers in the world, the New York Times, initially describe the suspect as “a large man who wore a green construction vest and a gray sweatshirt”. In its latest update published this morning, the Time described James as “a dark-skinned man”, not a black man.
Another, BNC News initially describe the suspect as “a man believed to be approximately 5-foot-5, 180 pounds who wore a green construction vest during the attack.” This is a vague and unnecessary description and misses an important detail: the race of the suspect. What’s more, the outlet even identified James’ truck and its license plates.
the Associated press initially reported the suspect as a man wearing a construction vest and a gas mask. Interestingly enough, the PA could list the racial demographics of the neighborhood the train passed through on its route, but could not provide the race of the suspect.
“The suspect, wearing a gas mask and a green construction vest”, is how the gothamist describe him.
ABC News initially describe the suspect as “a male wearing a green construction-type vest and gray hoodie, with a ‘heavy build’ and about 5ft 5in tall.” But the suspect’s race was omitted. I guess everyone in New York must have been on the lookout for burly 5-foot-5-inch-tall men wearing gray hoodies as a sign of impending danger.
A subsidiary of NBC, 9 News, declared that “officials gave officers a photo they believed depicted the shooter” but provided no further description of him.
MSNBC detailed the horrific accident and stressed the importance of catching the suspect. The channel’s commentators speculated that the event was pre-planned, citing the suspect wearing a construction vest as evidence for the theory. Yet they completely ignored any description of what he looked like.
These are just a few of the many examples of media omitting the suspect’s race from their initial reports, despite police including the suspect’s race in their description.
When a mass shooting suspect is white, their race is always identified. But not when the suspect is black. This discrepancy seems to be part of an agenda-driven desire to control the narrative of the news instead of just reporting it.