Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hate in the Time of Trump

Media trips over itself to make hate-crime narratives converge

Four black Chicago residents have been arrested in connection to the torture of a mentally disabled white man that the suspects broadcast on Facebook Live in what is potentially the first hate crime in the Trump era that was not a hoax.

The Washington Post reported on the disturbing video early Thursday morning, detailing the beating in graphic detail and noting that the alleged perpetrators shouted “obscenities about President-elect Donald Trump and white people.” Hours later, the Post’s The Fix blog—”regarded as one of the most heavily trafficked blogs in Washington“—published an analysis of the vicious crime headlined: “Pro-Trump narratives converge in one awful attack streamed on Facebook.”

“If you believe discrimination against white people is rampant, that Donald Trump supporters face persecution, that Chicago is a war zone, and the media is dishonest, then your entire worldview is likely to be confirmed by one awful story,” the story’s first paragraph says.

Disrupting ideological narratives appears to be a newfound cause for the Post. The paper has made hate crime stories an important piece of their coverage since Donald Trump’s electoral victory. In the two months since election day, the paper has published 196 news stories, analyses, and editorials mentioning Trump and hate crimes, an average of 3.2 pieces a day, according to Lexis Nexis archives.

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