When mass shootings don't matter... to the media

First, the bad news: as you’ve no doubt heard, there was another mass shooting. Nine people shot, three dead. The good news: A “person of interest has been taken into custody.

DETROIT – A convicted felon who was wearing body armor when police arrested him in a Detroit suburb will be questioned in an investigation into the fatal shooting of three men in a back gambling room of an east side barbershop.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig described the man as a person of interest in Wednesday evening’s shooting at Al’s Barber Shop that left six other people wounded. Speaking at a Thursday news conference at police headquarters, Craig said the bloodshed may have stemmed from an ongoing feud.

Craig did not name the person of interest and provided few details about the arrest. He said Rochester police picked up the man north of Detroit without incident on an unrelated felonious assault charge.

That’s pretty terrible. And of course, the reason you must know about it is that the press must be all over this story, right? Well… not so much. I heard seond hand that CNN had done a fifteen second throw before commercial on it. Buzzfeed managed five whole sentences about it. ABC News put up a 26 second video segment. Huffpo – always quick like a bunny to talk about the evils of guns when so much as a single person is injured – managed a fair number of paragraphs. But it was entirely factual, with no opinions on the causes, the evils of society or what have you. In short, this story essentially hit the mute button wall shortly after it hit the air.

Why is this? Could it be that the shooter(s) and the victims didn’t fit the right profile?

Lorne Carter told the Detroit Free Press that he was smoking a cigarette against the wall of a nearby business when he heard what sounded like 30 to 40 rapid shots.

Detroit has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Including Wednesday night’s barbershop slayings, 289 criminal homicides have been committed so far this year in Detroit.

Criminal homicides accounted for 386 of the 461 death investigations in 2012.

“Anytime you have … shootings of nine, it certainly does rise up as one of Detroit’s more violent incidents,” Craig said.

Craig said one person was shot and three others wounded during a shooting in October 2012 on the city’s west side. Seven teenagers _ including five students at Cody Ninth Grade Academy _ were shot and wounded while waiting at a bus stop near that school in June 2009.

This took place on the East side of Detroit. I wonder what could be missing from this story which prevents the scholars at MSNBC and CNN and the New York Times from launching into a lengthy tirade on the evils of guns and the deplorable lack of safety for citizens? Could it, perchance, be that the shooter didn’t fit a particular profile? Were the victims, gathered together in a back room for an evening of gambling, not quite sympathetic enough figures? Were their lives somehow less valuable or the shooter not quite evil enough? Or – just maybe – does this shooting not fit the right profile to make tasty political sausage? Does the fact that this city already has some of the most restrictive gun restriction laws in the country make it somehow less newsworthy?

Things that make you go “hmmm.”

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Jazz Shaw 10:01 PM on June 07, 2023