I will confess that this morning's lead editorial in the Intelligencer surprised me. "Restoring Trust Of Police Officers" deals with the problems in the Cleveland police department and the mistrust it has created among its citizenry. The editorial uses the recent shooting of a 12-year-old and the killing of two unarmed suspects in 2012 as examples to conclude:
Mistrust such as that in Cleveland is not uncommon throughout the United States, as Americans have come to realize during the past year. Many police departments need to change their cultures - and to get rid of officers or deputies unwilling to alter their own behavior.
A good point in a reasonable editorial.
And then I looked at the rest of the editorial page. There at the bottom of the page was an unattributed column (a quick google revealed Pat Buchanan as the author) on media coverage of what the lead editorial was talking about. "Black Vs. Blue: Media Truth is Not the Statistical Truth" argues that the media, and specifically the New York Times, should not be writing about police violence against the black community when black-on-black violence is also occurring. (The obvious answer is that one is not mutually exclusive of the other and the media has written about both.) The column gets interesting not because of Buchanan's narrowly-defined argument but because of what the Intelligencer chose to cut from his column (the part cut from the original article is in bold):
This is reality. Indeed, if the ugliest expressions of racism are interracial assaults, rapes and murders, the heaviest concentrations of racism in America are in the black communities themselves.
But the preferred story of the Times and mainstream media, of most cable channels and social media, is white cops victimizing black folks.
Thus we have all heard about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, but few know even the number of black folks gunned down annually in their own black communities.
The press is not interested in ferreting out those statistics.
Why? Such stats would muddy the message the media seek to send and reinforce: I.e., America must confront the crisis of rogue cops.
What is coming is not difficult to predict. . . .
As, invariably, white cops clash with black suspects, the media will seize upon and pump up every episode that fits and advances their scripted narrative. Angry and violent protests will occur. There will be judicial proceedings and trials, like that of the West Baltimore cops coming up.
America will divide and take sides. And the rival “war on cops” and “Black lives matter!” claims will be adjudicated in the election of 2016.
I find it interesting that the Intelligencer chose to edit out a significant portion of Pat Buchanan's column. Why? Because the Intelligencer has had enough of Buchanan's subtle and not-so-subtle racism? I don't think so. If you take a closer look, you'll find that the sentences cut from Buchanan's column are critical of articles and editorials like the one found at the top of the page that argue that America (using Buchanan's words) "must confront the crisis of rogue cops."
How sad. The Intelligencer's finally writes a decent editorial but then edits a Pat Buchanan column because they don't want anyone thinking that Buchanan might not approve of it.