Tuesday, February 13, 2007

JS, mastering scare tactics, to join Homeland Security

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, having proven its ability to blow an incident involving two cars totally out of proportion to make Mayfair mall seem especially dangerous, announced that today that it will join the Bush Administration's Homeland Security Department so such shoddy journalism will win praise.

"We are proud of instilling unnecessary fear because we wanted to," said Martin Kaiser, editor of the new Bush Administration tool. "We know we played on racial anxieties, even though the story did not overtly mention race. "

"Did you like the way we gave way more play to this story about an isolated incident in a suburban shopping center parking lot than we do to stories about most city of Milwaukee homicides? We hope to rise to new heights in inducing fear by reaching new lows in journalism. I think we're well on our way to achieving that."


Anonymous said...

Clever, clever . . . but I know the people involved, and I know more details than were reported, and it was terrifying for them. And nothing I would wish on anyone, even those who belittle it.

When you're trapped in a car with your daughter while men are crashing into it, maybe you won't react so quickly to lock the doors. And then while they try to break into your daughter's window, while they then cause more than a thousand dollars of damage -- and you're not well-off but living on public schoolteachers' pay -- we will hope that no one in the media cares at all.

And we will hope that your young son is not coming out of the mall to see this happening to his mother and sister, and then that your son can sleep that night. My friend's son did not and thinks that he ought to have done something -- which only would have made his mother have to come out of the car to protect him but be attacked as the car was.

And then she could have ended up with a broken jaw and other injuries, as did the young woman attacked outside her car at Mayfair just a few days before. But you probably would applaud the Journal Sentinel for not making a big deal about that story.

But do enjoy your shopping experience at Mayfair -- since soon, if you don't take seriously what is happening there, you will find it a lot easier to find a parking space.

Gretchen Schuldt said...

That the person was frightened wasn't the point -- she had a terrible experience that no one should have to go through. The JS took it, though, and blew it into more than it makes of nearly every aggravated battery, rape, murder, and other FBI index crime that occurs. And why? Because it happened at Mayfair. Because there have been reported problems with black kids at a shopping center white suburb. The question is this: why is your acquaintance's fear in a parking lot in Wauwatosa more newsworthy than fear suffered by and actual injuries done to people elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

No, that may be the point you attempted to make.

My point is that good media criticism, this is not -- not when an attempt to attack the media belittles more than the media.