Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
If all human lives are equally valuable, as the so-called “mainstream media” pretend, why do they highlight some while completely ignoring others?
Take the recent Israeli/Palestinian conflict. For two weeks, day after day, hour after hour, the media showed emotionally-charged videos, pictures, and provided regular updates of Palestinian lives lost, with 248 being the most recent figure.
If the average American was asked why the media so dwelled on this conflict, including by providing regular and updated statistics, their response would likely be that any human death is a terrible and therefore newsworthy matter—hence the media are only doing their job, objectively and fairly.
But if that was really the case, why do the media completely ignore so much other suffering and death—often exponentially worse than what the Palestinians experienced in both quality and quantity—around the world?
Consider the ongoing genocide of Christians in Nigeria, for example. In that west African nation, 248 is about the amount of Christians killed by Muslims every few weeks, going back for some two decades now. According to the most recent report, between January and April of this year alone, 1,470 Christians were hacked to death. On average this comes out to about 368 Christians killed every month for four months straight.
According to a more general report, “Not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists” between just 2009 and the first quarter of 2020; 13,000 churches were additionally destroyed by “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslims since just 2016.
It is only slightly better for Christians in other sub-Saharan nations: in Mozambique, the Central African Republic, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burkina Faso, Muslims are terrorizing and slaughtering Christians, and have been for many years now.
Yet one expects that only a tiny, miniscule percentage of those Americans who heard about killed Palestinians ever heard about the slaughter of tens of thousands of Christians all throughout Africa, since the media seldom report on and certainly never dwell on the latter.
This is all the more irresponsible considering that the reason Christians are being brutally slaughtered—because they are Christians, because Muslims are taught to hate and subjugate the “other”—is certainly more newsworthy, than, say, why Palestinians get killed (terrorism crackdowns and other mundane factors).
Is the media racist, then? Do black lives not matter?
In fact, no lives intrinsically matter for the media; only those that can help push a certain narrative have any value for and are therefore worth reporting by the media. And, increasingly, wherever one looks, that narrative is about demonizing the innocent and/or law-abiding and exonerating the guilty and/or law-breaking.
Thus, every year in America, several thousand blacks, including children, are tragically killed by other blacks (324,000 between just 1979 and 2014). The media could care less. Yet, when one black man, George Floyd, was inadvertently killed during an arrest, the media went ballistic in an effort to further the narrative that all police are “racist.”
Of course, the media never cared about George Floyd; they only cared about using him to demonize the police, whose job it is to maintain law and order.
Similarly, the media does not care about the Palestinians; they only care about using them to demonize Israel, which is also trying to maintain law and order, including by defending itself against nonstop terrorist attacks from its Muslim neighbors.
From here, one also understands why it is that when the shoe is on the other foot—when the guilty butcher the innocent, as Muslims are doing to Christians, not because they are trying to maintain law and order, but because they hate “infidels”—the media is silent: that status quo is fine as is and requires no attention, certainly no amelioration.
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