The tweet below made the rounds on twitter this weekend. The New York Times described Planned Parenthood spree killer and domestic terrorist Robert L. Dear Jr as a "gentle loner", then later removed "gentle" without comment when the public backlash started.
This despicable attempt at manipulating public opinion, along with deliberate obfuscation of the matter when called out on it fits neatly into a long mainstream media history of vilifying and dehumanizing black, brown and foreign people, while treating white people who commit hideous crimes very differently. You often see humanizing and compassionate language when mainstream media describe white killers - in stark contrast to rhetoric we see in mainstream media when murderers come in black, brown or non-American bodies.
Below is what happens when , , myself and others engage a NYT writer on the matter. The reporter felt compelled to involve himself in an existing conversation with little discernible motive other than dissimulation, belittlement and snarky subtweets.
And so it begins. Dismissal by distancing.
Translation: "I am somebody, you are nobody because I don't know you, therefore your reply to me deserves no actual response". One of the oldest ad hominem attacks in the book. You'd think they teach you in reporting school not to do that since shooting the messenger has got to be bad for the industry.
This is also the part where I got some coffee, rubbed my hands and jumped in:
It hadn't been the first time this past week that a reporter made a big show out of dismissing and ignoring my arguments, so I started to tweet a stream to summarize these events, especially since NYT reporter also snarked at me in a subtweet while I wrote this stream: