Wednesday, November 02, 2016

One man's terrorist ...

Odd, it didn't take this story very long to fall right off the old issue-salience agenda at (ahem) some networks:

Authorities in Iowa have captured the suspected gunman in the ambush-style attacks early Wednesday morning that claimed the lives of two police officers who were sitting in their patrol cars.

Sounds like it's still a pretty big deal, right? And one that merits a particularly Fox-type headline?
 Let's see what light the sidebars might shed. There's one from Oct. 14:

Hours after five Dallas police officers were killed by sniper fire during a July protest over police aggression, a call reporting a break-in at an apartment came in to the Valdosta Police Department in Georgia.

... It was just one example in a growing number of police officer ambushes across the country in recent months.

... and another from Oct. 9:

If you want to see the face of violence, rage, and hopelessness in America today, take a good look inside our failing inner cities and the desperate people who are struggling to survive. Start with Chicago. 

... Public bashing of our police has become so politically convenient, we now have to listen to vapid Hollywood elites and pampered millionaire athletes offer their shallow commentary.  ...Our president does the nation no service when he announces how he can empathize with Kaepernick’s plight.

So you can see the disappointment at Fox when the suspect is white identified:

... Officers arrested 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene without incident in Dallas County, west of Des Moines, police told Fox News. The Iowa State Patrol and Dallas County Sheriff's Dept. took part in the arrest.

... The shootings appeared to be the latest cases of police officers being targeted for assassination in a year that has seen 111 police officers killed in the line of duty, including 50 by gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

But surely it's still a big deal, right? Especially if there might be a motive?

Asked at a news conference about a video on social media that appeared to show a man identified as Greene being removed from a high school football game, Parizek said he was aware of the video but hadn't seen it and couldn't comment.

Court records show Greene was jailed and charged with interference with official acts after resisting Urbandale police officers trying to pat him for a weapon on April 10, 2014. An Urbandale officer described him as hostile and combative. He entered a guilty plea and was fined.

The problem with Fox journalism isn't just that it's dishonest, though you have to admit that's a fairly big problem. It's that Fox doesn't do journalism -- the nuts-and-bolts, throw-to-the-right-base parts -- very well, period. Thus, six grafs after naming the officers, Fox adds this:

Neither police officer was identified by officials and were still notifying family members. Parizek said their names and details about their service would be released later Wednesday.

What do you suppose might happen if some news outfit tried some -- I don't know, "reporting"? Maybe the Washington Post?

One of the officers was fatally shot next to Urbandale High School. A video uploaded to YouTube last month by an account named Scott Greene was titled “Police Abuse, Civil Rights Violation at Urbandale High School” and appeared to show a person recording the footage arguing with police officers asking him to leave the area.

In the video, the man recording the footage, who is identified by one officer as Greene, is heard telling the police that he was assaulted and almost mugged while “peacefully protesting” at what appears to be a high school. An officer is later seen explaining that the Confederate battle flag he was waving violated the school’s code.

“In the current social climate that we’re in, when you fly a Confederate flag standing in front of several African American people, that’s going to cause a disturbance, whether you intended to or not,” the officer said. As a result, the officer said, this man was no longer allowed on the school’s property.

Another video posted by the same account showed a still image of a man holding a Confederate flag in what appears to be the stands at an athletic event.

A spokeswoman for the Urbandale school district confirmed that the altercation in the video took place at a high school football game. Dena Soenke, the spokeswoman, said the incident involved a person with Greene’s name, but she did not know for sure if it was the same person.

Parizek said police were aware of this incident but were not going to discuss it further “until we understand if it’s valuable to the investigation.”

That certainly sounds like commendable restraint in an investigation. But given Fox's general delight in uncovering motives in these cases:

... you're certainly entitled to ask why a run-in with the cops over the right to flaunt the flag of your America-hating rebel movement doesn't rate a little more salience on the old scale of existential threats.*

Anyway, your new Fox lead story now confirms this stunning Wikileaks bombshell: Hillary Clinton has been running a political campaign for the past 18 months!

* You might also wonder why reader comments aren't enabled for this story, but that's a narrower set of research interests. 

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