« You've got to be kidding me | Main | The forest for the trees »

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

In a "news analysis" in which the New York Times actually tries to put recent police shootings into statistical context, the reporter gets coy:

Though police shootings have declined consistently since then, individual incidents, like the shooting of Mr. Diallo, have nonetheless fueled a public perception that some officers are reckless in their handling of firearms. Mr. Diallo, an unarmed West African man, was shot and killed in February 1999 by four officers who fired 41 bullets, hitting him 19 times, after they mistakenly thought he was reaching for a gun.
"Fueled a public perception?" The incidents fueled a public perception? How exactly do "incidents" do that? Doesn't he mean that the Times itself fueled the public perception, with its ridiculously disproportionate coverage of the incident?

I mean, it's good to know that things are much better than they used to be:

But as police officials grappled yesterday with the many lingering questions that surround the recent cases, experts said the shootings obscured a larger reality: that the New York police had been largely successful at curtailing unwarranted gunfire by officers.

Indeed, three decades ago, such shootings were considerably less rare. In 1973, New York police officers shot 176 people, or more than four times as many as they shot last year, according to police statistics. Fifty-four of those people died, compared with the 12 shot dead by the police last year.

Great news -- but perhaps it would have been nice for the Times to report it at the time the Diallo furor was ongoing.

Note, incidentally, that the Times doesn't mention Rudy Giuliani even once in this article which praises the city for conditions while he was mayor. But it takes a gratuitous swipe at him in an article about a shooting which took place a year after Giuliani left office:

Speaking yesterday morning on John Gambling's radio show on WABC, Mr. Bloomberg expressed concern for the families, saying "four human beings are dead," and called the killings a "great tragedy, no matter what happened." His remarks suggested the mayor was trying to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who had criticized not only those killed by the police, but in one case, their families.
That's not in the "news analysis" piece, remember. That's "objective reporting." Not that Giuliani cares what the Times thinks about him, I'm sure.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 4, 2003 8:46 PM.

The previous post in this blog was You've got to be kidding me.

The next post in this blog is The forest for the trees.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.31