Wednesday, April 26, 2006

He's right about one thing

In the coverage of a murder case that has convulsed Belgium, where a teenager was stabbed after refusing to hand his MP3 player to robbers, there was only one aspect that interested Powerline's "Hindrocket" -- the refusal of an AP wire report to say that the suspects in the case were North African:

So that's the rest of the story, which the AP apparently thought you were better off not knowing. We Americans, you know, are liable to get riled up and have our ignorant prejudices reinforced if we know all the facts of a murder case. That's called "editorial judgment."

Indeed it is. Because:

A Polish-born youth, 16, has been taken into custody but police believe a second youth has fled to Poland.

Initial reports that the suspects were of north African origin had threatened to destabilise community relations, with Muslim leaders calling for calm.

When media said CCTV footage had suggested the killers were north African, Muslim religious leaders in Brussels called on people not to shield the suspects if they knew them.

But the news that the suspects were of Polish origin prompted outrage from the Muslim community and criticism from the federal justice minister.

"For some days, some people without knowledge of the results of the investigation had pinpointed a culprit, stigmatised an ethnic community. Now they have to face their own conscience," Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx said.

"Hindrocket" has updated his post with a link to a Little Green Footballs clip of the surveillance video, but not to the news that the suspects are not North African.

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