Thursday, March 1, 2018

All The News That Fits...Our Agenda


Are you old enough to remember when the news and reporting was impartial? Okay, me neither. But are you old enough to remember when at least you thought the press was impartial? I point you to a story from the venerable AP:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About 800 “criminals” avoided immigration arrests because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf alerted the public to the surprise operation, an extraordinarily high number of missed targets, according to a federal official.
Notice the "scare quotes" around "criminals"? University of Sussex has this to say abut that:
Quotation marks used in this way are informally called scare quotes. Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase from which you, the writer, wish to distance yourself because you consider that word or phrase to be odd or inappropriate for some reason.
According to the feds, via the AP, half the people they've arrested in the Bay Area, in addition to immigrations violations, had criminal convictions for "assault, weapons offenses and driving under the influence." In personalizing the story for my local dead tree paper, there was this:
ICE said agents detained at least one Stockton man, from Mexico, who had been convicted for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old.
Let's recap... the AP puts "scare quotes" around the word criminal, in describing illegal aliens, who are prima facie criminals, but in addition have been, not accused, but convicted of various criminal acts, including assault, weapons offenses, DUI and lewd lascivious acts with a minor, and yet the AP doesn't want to call them criminals without some sort of wiggle room?

The use of scare quotes in describing illegal aliens as criminals is editorializing, which belongs on the editorial page, not the lede of what in the olden days, was envisioned to be impartial reporting. This is what you get when you have students at journalism schools telling you they want to change the world.

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