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Friday, May 4, 2012
WND Plays The Race Card, With Occasional Backpedaling
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs -- who we last saw peddling the "real news" that Obama had a hand in killing a medical examiner in California -- is back with some more sketchy reporting of the kind he could only do at WND (because no real news organization would take it seriously).

Kovacs penned a May 1 article under the inflammatory headline "100 blacks beat white couple, media bury attack." ("100 blacks" was later changed to "many blacks," presumably because there's no evidence that "100 blacks" participated in the attack in question.) Kovacs asserted that "a white couple was attacked by dozens of black teenagers, and the local newspaper did not report on the incident for two weeks, despite the victims being reporters for the paper," based on the claims of a columnist for the newspaper in question.

The columnist is the only source Kovacs cites; he couldn't be bothered to contact, say, the police in the town where the attack took place. He also offers no evidence whatsoever that the attack was racially motivated, as he portrays it.

Kovacs buried the fact that, according to the columnist, "The responding officer coded the incident as a simple assault," meaning that the paper would be unlikely to report it, and was also trying not to give preferential treatment to its reporters over the public.

Of course, there's a reason you contact more than one source before reporting on a story -- that single source may have his or her facts wrong. And that's what happened here, prompting Kovacs to do some damage control.

The next day, Kovacs finally gets around to talking with the police -- who point out that there is no evidence at this time that the attack was racially motivated:

“That’s what happens when [an opinion columnist] reports the news, not bound by the facts of the case,” said Chris Amos, public-information officer for the Norfolk Police Department.

As WND reported yesterday in a story posted on the popular Drudge Report, the couple was pummeled April 14 by dozens of black teens, and the Virginian-Pilot newspaper did not report the incident for two weeks, despite the fact the victims, Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami, are both news reporters for the paper.

Today, police tell WND they’re not sure if the attack was racially motivated.

“Could it have been? Yeah, it could have, I guess,” said police spokesman Chris Amos. “We certainly haven’t ruled that out, but we haven’t seen anything that jumps out at us other than someone throwing a rock at someone’s car.”

“A whole lot of racial implications have been made. We don’t know the motive of this. Race didn’t become a factor until Twitter comments later. No one at the scene said it was racially motivated. They didn’t tell us then and they didn’t hear any [comments such as] ‘Remember Trayvon Martin.’”

See, Joe? This is why you don't run with the first person you talk to -- although Kovacs is quick to point out that his previous article was "posted on the popular Drudge Report." Which, of course, may be the ultimate reason for Kovacs' violation of basic journalistic principles.

Because President Obama must be involved in this somehow -- and because hating Obama is all WND has -- Kovacs notes for no apparent reasonthat the newspaper's publisher was "nominated by Obama and recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be deputy secretary of HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development."

Further damage control from Kovacs came in another follow-up article in which he works up the  courage to talk to the newspaper's editor, something else he couldn't be bothered to do on day one:

“They think we buried the story. We didn’t. We didn’t bury anything,” Denis Finley, editor of the Virginian-Pilot, told WND. “People are just not stopping to think. What would be my motivation for protecting people who beat up two of my reporters? It’s completely ludicrous that I would do that.”

“I think we did the right thing. I think we’re on solid ground. I don’t think we can win here. If we had published a story, it would look like we’re playing favorites. Because I didn’t publish it, now I’m accused of a cover-up.” 

Kovacs also quoted the police department spokesman as again asserting that the case "is not being investigated as a hate crime." Still, Kovacs insisted on portraying the attack as racially motivated anyway, claiming that "the couple was pummeled at a stoplight the night of April 14 by dozens of black teens.'

But who cares about facts when you can play the race card? A May 4 article by Chelsea Schilling -- who has her own sordid history of getting things wrong at WND -- asserts that the case is about "a mob attack by large numbers of black teenagers against a young white couple in a car," treats the columnist who got originally played up the race angle as authoritative and buries statements from the police that there's no evidence of a hate crime.

But Schilling isn't done trying to make a mountain out of this molehill. Under the headline "Wave of black mobs brutalizing whites," Schilling claims that ther have been "dozens of brutal assaults by black mobs and assailants against white victims – and some attackers are citing the revenge for the Martin slaying as reason for their aggression."

Despite claimingthe existence of "dozens of brutal assaults," Schilling identifies only 10 -- including the above case even though, again, nobody who actually knows anything about this case is calling it a hate crime.

(Is this going to become an ongoing list, like WND's creepy obsession with female teachers who have affairs with their students?)

Way to play the race card, WND. You must be proud of yourselves in appealing to the racist nature of your core audience.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:37 AM EDT

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