Media Diversionary Tactics in Ferguson and Gaza

mk[To order William Kilpatrick’s new book, Insecurity, click here.]

We hear a lot from the media about Israel’s disproportionate response to attacks from Hamas, but it may be time to focus on the media’s own disproportionate response to certain events.

Take the incident of the missing Malaysian airliner. Big story? Yes. But CNN’s decision to give it round-the-clock coverage for two solid months seems a little excessive, until you remember that there was an even bigger story unfolding around the same time—the Russian takeover of Crimea. The annexation of Crimea, the threat to the rest of Ukraine, and the possible re-ignition of the Cold War was a major historical event. It was also bad news for the Obama administration and its narrative that relations with Russia had been reset, tranquility had been established, and our military could be safely scaled back. It is in that context that CNN’s decision to refocus our attention to the possible whereabouts of the airliner should be understood.

The media’s current focus on the shooting of a black teenager by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri seems also designed to divert attention away from the big picture. The story provides an opportunity to shift the spotlight away from a number of other stories that reflect badly on the current administration—the failure of Obama’s Iraq policy, the inability to control the southern border, the IRS scandal, the President’s serial vacations, and the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. One might justifiably conclude that much of the media attention to Ferguson is fueled by ulterior motives.

By focusing on Ferguson, the media (with CNN once again playing a lead role) managed to blow it up into a much bigger story than it might otherwise have been. All that business about the IRS and the Mexican border suddenly faded from sight. And even though the coverage focused on the death of a young black American, it still managed to draw attention away from the major risk to young black Americans, in favor of a narrative which suggests that white racism is the root cause of black troubles. According to the established formula, America has never overcome the heritage of its “troubled racist past,” blacks are still the victims of unjust discrimination, and black youth live in constant fear of white police.

While that narrative was still valid in the fifties and sixties, it is now well past its expiration date. In Chicago this past weekend, seven people were killed and twenty-nine others wounded due to gun violence. All of the victims were black—most of them young. This is about par for a weekend in Chicago. And similar incidences of black-on-black violence occur every week in Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, and New York—not to mention St. Louis, which is right next door to Ferguson. Many of the most violent cities have black mayors, black city councilmen, and black police chiefs. That’s a bit inconvenient for the press because it doesn’t fit into the white racism narrative, but the media stick to their story nonetheless. Yet the causes of black violence have been extensively studied by sociologists and criminologists, and they have been telling us for decades that the root cause is the breakdown of the black family due to high rates of illegitimacy.

If the mainstream media people were as concerned as they profess to be about the lives of young blacks, we would see numerous TV specials about the black family crisis, and instead of sending platoons of reporters and cameramen to Ferguson, CNN would dispatch them to cover the daily mayhem in Chicago. But that would require revising and updating the narrative that has served the media so well, and that, apparently, is just too much trouble.

Not only is the narrative about white racism dishonest, it’s destructive. It encourages grievances, keeps racial tensions alive, and perpetuates violent behavior. In short, the media’s favored formula is a self-fulfilling prophecy that only serves to guarantee a more polarized society.

On the other hand, the media’s distortion of the Ferguson affair does serve one useful purpose. It alerts us to the possibility that other stories are being handled in the same unbalanced way. The biggest story in the world today is the resurgence of Islam. And by-and-large, that story is being managed in the same dishonest fashion.

Which brings us back to the point where we started—the media’s lopsided attention to Israel’s supposedly disproportionate response to Hamas. The similarities to the media’s handling of the Ferguson situation are hard to miss. Some of the same reporters who were embedded in Gaza are now embedded in Ferguson. The media’s concern over innocent civilians in Gaza has now shifted to an innocent teenager in Missouri. And just as the blame for the troubles in Gaza is assigned to the disproportionate Israeli response, the problems in Ferguson and elsewhere are blamed on disproportionate encounters between well-armed cops and unarmed youth. The narrative is also the same. According to the media’s one-size-fits-all explanation, both rockets fired from Gaza and projectiles hurled at Ferguson store windows are caused by poverty and institutional oppression.

Moreover, in both cases, the media is being played like a violin—in Missouri by professional race-baiters and grievance-mongers, in Gaza by Palestinian propagandists who seem more media-savvy than the media itself, and who are adept at staging fake atrocity photo-ops which they know will be obligingly transmitted to TV screens across the world. Just as riots in Missouri feed on media attention, so does violence in Palestine.

But why, exactly, is Palestine given so much attention?

The other, and most irresponsible, aspect of the media’s disproportionate coverage is that in both cases, the stories are used to keep the public’s eye off the larger picture. The larger story that is being kept off-stage in Ferguson is the breakdown of the black family. The larger story in the Israeli-Hamas conflict is that the root cause of the troubles is Islam itself. You might prefer to say that the trouble lies in a violent and anti-Semitic interpretation of Islam, but that interpretation is now widespread. As I wrote recently:

Muslims are attacking non-Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Libya, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, and Thailand. There are no Jews to speak of in these places. So you can’t blame the violence on them. Given the propensity of Muslims to attack their neighbors, what are the chances that in the one place on earth where a Jewish government and an Islamist government are in conflict, it’s the Jews who are largely at fault?

The media coverage of jihadist activities in most of the above-mentioned places is minimal. So also is the coverage of Muslim attacks on Jews in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, and Australia. Nor will you hear much about the rocks, bottles, bricks, and Molotov cocktails thrown during the numerous Muslim riots in the EU and UK.

Likewise, just as the media avoids telling the story of black-on-black violence, it rarely focuses on the fact that the vast majority of Muslim deaths worldwide are caused by other Muslims. To do so would undermine the established narrative that Islam is a religion of peace and justice.

Thus, the obsessive concentration on Israel and Hamas. And thus, when the media does attend to hard-to-ignore cases of Islamic jihad, they are forced to pretend that each occurrence is an unusual departure from true Islam. For example, reporters treat the atrocities committed by ISIS—the beheadings, the sex slavery, the forced conversions, the payment of the jizya—as though they were exotic new phenomena, when, in fact, they were all integral elements of Islamic expansion for more than twelve hundred years.

When you step back from the Israel-Hamas conflict to get a broader view, you notice that groups like Hamas, ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, and Al-Shabaab not only have much in common with each other, they share in a common heritage and a common devotion to Islam. The media, however, is trapped in a narrative that says otherwise. Hence, the need to put the onus on Israel. The thought that the violence emanating from Gaza is part of a worldwide movement to re-establish a seventh-century theocracy is a thought they dare not entertain.

Americans, including many black Americans, are catching on to the game the media is playing with race relations in America. Let’s hope that they will soon catch on to the very similar game being played in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that “ISIS militants and their supporters are using social media to encourage protesters in Ferguson to embrace radical Islam and fight against the U.S. government.” Ironically, the jihadist social media campaign to win over black Americans relies on the very same narrative pushed by the mainstream media. According to a Washington Post article, “One argument they’ve been making for years is that racism and discrimination are rampant in some parts of the West, and they’re hoping the Ferguson riots could help recruit black Americans.” According to one fan of the Islamic State interviewed for the piece, “In Islam there is no racism, and we think black people will wake up and follow the example of Malcolm X…” Some social media users put the matter more bluntly. One typical message reads: “Blacks in #Ferguson, there’s an alternative to this indignity: pick yourselves up with Islam, like #IS in #Iraq.”

Now that the media’s dishonest narrative has been picked up by ISIS and friends, it’s high time for them to reconsider the dangerous game they have been playing.

William Kilpatrick is the author of Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation.

  • James Foard

    Winner of the 2014 Stupid Ass Award

  • KyraNelson

    The problem with black men is black women. They demand nothing from them.

    • tickletik

      No, they demand far too much. They use men for sex and status and then throw them away because they have betrayed their men and taken the state as their real husband.

      The black women are culpable for their own promiscuity and treason against their men. Blsck men are culpable for not standing up for one another and demanding the promiscuity and disarmament of blsck men be stopped. I am bluntly saying that it is a SIN for a black man to allow his brother to be unarmed. Blsck men have an obligation to God to demand that their brother be allowed to legally purchase practical, effective and affordable firearms.

      Next, they should threaten riots over welfare. It is nothing more than thievery to take money from others, even if they are wealthier than you, to give them to people who did not work for it. Black men should regard welfare as both an insult and an attempt to corrupt the moral of their communities,

      Finally they should threaten to go start a war over the no fault divorce system and the atrocity which is known as the family court system

      Blsck women don’t demand enough? Haven’t they satisfied themselves with castrating the men of their community?

  • JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    This is exactly what we are saying. The ghetto population has very lax morals to begin with. In general, if more attention was paid to black behavioral change and less to the white man put me here mentality, we believe attitude adjustment via good black leadership would help change the black ghetto into a real black community. This would further encourage white intermingling with a sane black culture. The only hope for change is for the people in that community to CHANGE. Stop the flow of deleterious programs,anti-white bias and hate preachers and reach out to white help and those in the black community that preach “tough love”. This IS the answer as well as eradicating Radical Islamic ideas and replacing them with true Christian ones. There is NO OTHER WORKABLE WAY !!

    • Dallasyaherd

      People don’t realize what a powerful force they are up against when they question the current Left. When Hilary said years ago “a vast right wing conspiracy” she was doing what Arabs, antisemites and the new left have always done throughout history … accuse of what they do. It is almost the first tenet of Islam at this point. The Left has such a giant conspiracy at this point conrolled by millions of useful idiots with Soros and Greg Gelluzzo at the top, affirmative action, or any hope for honest elections are just not in the cards for the foresseable future. They control everything about “democracy” in 40 countries. Becuase they have already besmirched the name of western conservatives so badly, everyone will think everyone other than the new fake evil left has the conspiracy, when they7 are the one the Jesuit order has joined them.

    • Catherine

      You my pal sound racist, white and male to me. You sound like you’ve got a lot of privilege and you also sound like you’ve done absolutely no research or really thought about why you have your opinion. I doubt you can back up that “the ghetto population has very lax morals..”. So before you comment and try to discuss this, do your research and question yourself like I have before writing your post. Yes, white people face some kind of discrimination but it is absolutely nothing compared to what black people and the non-dominant (women, LGBTQIA, muslims, etc.) face every single day by the media, their communities, and the government. So please, do yourself and a million others a favor by educating yourself on the history of the non-dominant groups and be more aware. Thank you.

      • Tip Lawless

        It’s good to see the LGBTQWERTYE-I-E-I-O contingent weigh in.

  • Vercingetorix

    “In Islam there is no racism, and we think black people will wake up and follow the example of Malcolm X…”

    Really? “Bits and pieces from history indicate that Muslims enslaved over 150 million African people and at least 50 million from other parts of the world.”

  • Dallas25305

    The problem isn’t white racism, it’s Black racism and anyone with a brain in their head knows it. What the supreme leader Hussein Obama and his racist henchman want is to make sure whites are never able to defend themselves. They know blacks will attack whites in groups and want to make sure whites do not have guns to protect themselves. Ferguson has became the perfect chance for the racist Obama regime to make sure white cops do not interfere with black crimes. Mr Hussein knows he can depend on Sharpton, the Black panthers, the nation of Islam and the other black power racist to organize the riots that will be praised by cockroaches in the Democrap leftist media.

    • Catherine

      Okay, you just called black people racist. Now I don’t know how much research or intellect it took you to write all you just wrote but you my friend are most definitely not black or you would not have wrote this… or maybe you just got over you black ignorance? right? because that’s a thing? I don’t know about you, but there’s something called white privilege, and a million other privileges I can think of that come along with being heterosexual, being male, and white. Whites have a ton to use to defend themselves, especially against people who threaten them. So before you thrown out that “the problem isn’t white racism, it’s black racism and anyone with a brain in their head knows it.” think about the thousands of years of history and civil wars that have occurred because of white men/the dominant group discriminating and killing the minorities. Okay, because that history, matters. And black people matter. All people matter. Do your research next time.

  • Dallas25305

    Your historically right. Islam practically reinvented slavery because Mohammad the evil told his followers they could have all the slaves they wanted as long as they where not Muslims.

  • Young Werther

    “The wretched of the earth” *crawling all over the earth*…This objective has been met…merely awaiting the final solution, yes?

  • Pericles

    “By focusing on Ferguson, the media (with CNN once again playing a lead
    role) managed to blow it up into a much bigger story than it might
    otherwise have been.”

    Diversion and distraction have been one of the foremost ploys used by the Obama regime and his media sycophants for the entire 6 years of his occupation of the White House. With so many simultaneous failures and scandals what else were they to do? The truth has not been their friend.

  • Pericles

    “Not only is the narrative about white racism dishonest, it’s
    destructive. It encourages grievances, keeps racial tensions alive, and
    perpetuates violent behavior. In short, the media’s favored formula is a
    self-fulfilling prophecy that only serves to guarantee a more polarized

    Yes, in this case they definitely ‘have a strategy’ (but not when it comes to ISIS).

  • Pericles

    I decided to delete my comment and give you Front Page editors a break from trying to decide whether to allow or disallow it. I thought you guys were beyond political correctness but I was wrong.

  • Pericles

    “Now that the media’s dishonest narrative has been picked up by ISIS
    and friends, it’s high time for them to reconsider the dangerous game
    they have been playing.”

    They will never reconsider! A leopard cannot remove its spots nor a zebra its stripes. There is hardly a bigger waste of time and energy than to offer Leftists advice and correction.