Accidentally on purpose?

Concerning the false ABC headline about the Toledo riot, a reader writes:

The headline is so at odds with the article that—on the surface—it simply has to be a screw-up. In other words, it’s not an intentional lie.

The headline must have been written by someone who didn’t actually read the article, but, instead, decided at a glance he knew what it was about and whipped out a boilerplate headline. So the real meta-story of the article—below the surface—is the rigor mortis mind-set of some of the media.

My reply:

I don’t think I even thought about whether it was “intentional” or not. It’s the entire mindset that it shows, as you say. However, if your theory about how the headline came to be written is correct, that would support my point that the lead, “Protesters at a white supremacists’ march threw rocks…”, sounds as though it could be the white supremacists who are rioting. The headline writer may have just read the lead. Now, was the lead an intentional lie, written deliberately in that way to make it sound as though it was the whites who were rioting, or least to make the point ambiguous? Or was that also merely “accidental,” merely the expression of an unconscious mindset? And then what about the absence of the word black to describe the rioters? Was that intentional, or just a mindset?

My point is that the wrong headline is not a fact that stands by itself but is the culminating expression of an entire set of attitudes and assumptions. If the headline were a deliberate lie, that would actually be less interesting and less revealing of liberals than the way you and I have explained it.

But then there’s a further piece of evidence: For hours and hours, after the story was posted, presumably sometime Sunday morning, no one at ABC picked up on the mistake. What does that tell us? And guess what, I just clicked on the story, on Monday morning, and the headline hasn’t changed. In a whole day, no one has noticed the mistake. Or if they have noticed, no one thinks it matters. What does that tell us? Deliberate or accidental? The question is almost irrelevant. It’s the total worldview of liberalism that drives liberals to blame whites and avoid placing blame on blacks. Whether this activity is “conscious” or “unconscious” is purely secondary.

Also—an afterthought—when is the last time there was a white race riot in this country? It doesn’t matter. For liberals, America is one continuing white race riot.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 17, 2005 08:02 AM | Send

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