Media are covering the homicide crisis again, but not the cause of it


Minneapolis Police Death
A check-cashing business burns Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (John Minchillo/AP)

Media are covering the homicide crisis again, but not the cause of it

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Now that the midterm elections have concluded, some in the establishment media have now admitted that the issue of crime is harming people across the country, yet there is still no admission of why we have seen such a surge in homicides.

At Commentary, Noah Rothman compiled several examples of liberal pundits downplaying the crime issue before the midterm elections. That includes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post claiming that “violent crime is not soaring” and that “in fact, it might be declining.” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that narratives about rising crime were conspiracy theories, and both Hochul and California Gov. Gavin Newsom tried to make Republican-run states the scapegoats for homicides in Democratic-run cities.


But the tune has begun changing after the election. The New York Times noted that major crimes have increased in New York City since the pandemic started and that violent crime has risen in 2022 compared to 2021 in several other counties. The Washington Post documented “nine stories from America’s homicide crisis,” noting that “during the last three years, homicides nationwide have reached their highest levels in decades.”

Because crime no longer poses an electoral risk for Democrats, the establishment media are free to pretend to care about journalism and cover it once again. And yet, neither the New York Times piece (around 2,000 words) nor the Washington Post’s coverage (around 5,000 words) contains any of the following words or phrases: “Black Lives Matter,” “BLM,” “riots,” “protests,” “George Floyd,” “Minneapolis,” or even “unrest.”

While “the deadly spike coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic,” as the Washington Post noted, homicides had begun ticking down again before Black Lives Matter protests (and riots) began after the death of George Floyd. Homicides then spiked again nationally, a trend that can also be seen in citywide data from Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and New York City, among others. We can also see that arrest numbers cratered in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, both of which had soft-on-crime liberal district attorneys.

The riots and lawlessness that were excused and ignored by Democratic governors, mayors, and city leaders, along with the “reform” policies of Democratic district attorneys who sought to give criminals as little punishment as possible, unsurprisingly emboldened criminals. Instead of reckoning with this, many cities stripped their police departments of funding and recommitted to their reform agendas. Many in the media stopped talking about crime, but the issue itself never went away, and the causes were never addressed.

The causes will likely never be addressed in the establishment media. Outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times fully committed to the “racial reckoning” of the Black Lives Matter movement, and so they will never meaningfully explore the connection between those riots and the surge in homicides, even as it disproportionately harmed black communities on which they claim to be so focused.


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