From guest contributor Thomas Lipscomb, an experienced newsman who has been published in papers as various as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Sun-Times.
It began with the asinine comparisons of Emmett Till’s and Medgar Evers’ murders with the death of Trayvon Martin, a black thug who had doubled back specifically to take on a Neighborhood Watch volunteer who was forced to defend himself. The man who helped break the Emmett Till case, Bill Huie, was a friend of mine and Till was innocent of everything but being a Northern black “who didn’t know his place” in a vicious little Mississippi town. And Evers had risked his life for years and KNEW HE WAS DOING IT to end segregation. And Alabama resident Bill Huie risked his life telling the story.
To say either of those men deserved to be compared to thugs like Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown, and that those who apparently shot them in self-defense while being attacked (one of them acquitted and the other still facing judgment) are equated to the cold blooded racists who first planned to kill and then killed Till and Evers is simply obscene.
How can anyone forget that both Jackson and Sharpton came to public notice by making the most outrageous lies in public and to major media? Everyone knows about Sharpton and his Tawana Brawley hoax, but few remember the disgusting claim Jesse Jackson made after the shooting of Martin Luther King. According to the New York Times: “The morning after the assassination, Mr. Jackson appeared on television from Chicago, wearing the same bloody turtleneck he had worn the day before. It was stained, he said, with Dr. King’s blood.” Jackson claimed he had cradled King’s head as he died on that Today Show appearance.
But eyewitnesses like Rev. Ralph Abernathy, King’s successor as head of the Southern Christian Leadership. have gone on the record and stated Jackson was nowhere near King when he was shot and had already headed across the parking lot after an argument with King.
What we have is news media refusing to do what newsmen have always done for a century and listen to all the claims and then go to the clips and make a public comparison and evaluation, but who instead are actually doing NO digging, only amplifying lies and liars that are not only not valid, but dangerous to the peace of the community. To actively pollute the understanding of an ethnic group that has been misinformed and miserably educated for so long that much of it has degenerated into a swamp of violence, poverty and misunderstanding, and then accrediting liars like Sharpton and Jackson as valid spokespersons, in some case with newsroom credentials, is the total abdication of the historic responsibilities of the free press of the United States.
Intellectual bankruptcy is not only a tragic waste and a sign of a collapsing social structure, but it kills.
Jefferson has been quoted many times about his support of a vigorous press. But few have noticed this statement. “It is a melancholy truth that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood.”
I guess no one needed to until now.