One of my favorite Onion headlines is
Stereotypes Are a Real Time-Saver
I’m a busy guy. And, while I’d love to, I don’t have the time to get to know every person I encounter in the course of my daily life. So thank goodness I have a handy little device at my disposal that helps me know how to deal with just about anyone I come across: stereotypes. Yes, stereotypes are a real time-saver!
The Denver Post appears to have borrowed this crucial piece of wisdom to guide its journalistic standards. In reporting the tragic death of Tom Clements, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, the Post added the following pieces of gratuitous, unsupported, speculation to its initial reports:
Clements’ death occurred a week after he denied a request by a Saudi national, Homaidan al-Turki, to serve out the remainder of a Colorado prison sentence in Saudi Arabia.
Colorado corrections officials are investigating whether a paroled white-supremacist prison-gang member at the center of the investigation into the execution-style slaying of state prison chief Tom Clements was ordered by the gang to do a “hit,” a source told The Denver Post on Thursday.
You’re right about the stereotype thing, but I think it’s also an ailment of consumer driven news media. They have to fill column inches, or airtime. The result – when no facts are known – is all kinds of speculation, interviews of people who happen to be walking by, and yes stereotyping. I’ve been following this story for DeafInPrison.com, and apparently, they’ve caught the guy, in Texas. After he recovers from the arrest – Texas style, complete with a hail of gunfire and a flaming, 100mph crash – he’s being extradited. He doesn’t know how lucky he is. If America is the World’s Jailer, then Texas is her Hangman. I should have a follow up post, this afternoon.
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