CBS News is under fire for a radio report on the notorious Chicago Facebook beating which listeners say was so distorted it made the attack sound like it was done by white Trump supporters on a black victim.
The actual attack, which has horrified the country, involved four black teens who livestreamed themselves torturing a disabled young white man on Facebook Live. For 30 excruciating minutes, the four individuals abused, punched, and scalped their victim and yelled “f*ck Trump” and “f*ck white people.”
They have since been charged with hate crimes in addition to aggravated battery and kidnapping.
The CBS News radio report is being criticized for its contorted wording which seemed to imply heavily — without saying so directly — that the victim was black and his assailants where white. In fact, of course, it was the other way around. The report can be listened to here: (Update: You can listen to the full clip here.)
“The viral video of a beating and knife attack in Chicago suggests the assault had racial overtones. CBS’s Dean Reynolds tells us the victim is described as a mentally challenged teenager.
In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump.”
While the report is technically “correct,” listeners unfamiliar with the story could not be blamed for having the impression that the attackers are Donald Trump supporters abusing a black man for his ethnicity. The script is deceptive in its omission of pertinent details.
In the actual event, the accused assailants did more than simply “reference Donald Trump”—they said “f*ck Trump.” The report insinuates that they were speaking favorably of the president elect. Removed from context, saying that the victim was the called the n-word carries the implication that he was black. Key details are missing from the report—such as the “f*ck white people” statements that led to the hate crime charges.
The CBS report has attracted attention on the Reddit community KotakuInAction, which was originally formed in support of the GamerGate movement for ethics in game journalism. The community has since expanded its scope to issues of broader significance.
CBS News has long been known for its pronounced liberal bias, as documented by ex-CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg in his 2001 #1 bestseller Bias and by ex-CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson in her book Stonewalled. In 2004, legendary CBS News anchor Dan Rather stepped down in a scandal over a botched report attacking President George W. Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard. The current president of CBS News, David Rhodes, is the brother of Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s chief foreign policy guru.