Violence, crime and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Last week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a formerly great American daily newspaper, darkly warned its readers that the greatest threat facing the USA in modern times is the grave danger of conservative white supremacists who” …seek out, hunt, and kill their prey.” The extent to which this happens is open to question, and perpetrators of this type of mayhem should be prosecuted and placed behind bars, where they belong. The Post-Dispatch, however, in their gleeful enthusiasm to bash the “…repulsive individuals” who, according to the paper, are the “…biggest domestic terror threat to America”, ignores what is happening in their own backyard.

In the January 19th edition, Tony Messenger, the newspaper’s former editor and current columnist-at-large, trotted out statistics that proved, to his own satisfaction, that white supremacist violence constitutes a clear and present danger to the peace and tranquility of our great republic. When using statistics of this sort, a number of cautions are in order. First of all, some incidents of Islamic terrorism have, at the urging of a former President who shall remain nameless, been classified as “workplace violence”, thereby skewing the numbers considerably. Also, when trying to use numbers to prove or disprove a certain point, one should remember Benjamin Disraeli’s epigram warning of “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”. Still, Mr. Messenger plunges ahead with great certitude, and even greater self-satisfaction, confident that he is correct.

In the same edition of the Post-Dispatch, in the Law & Order section, the paper reported four murders, a drug dealer ending up with a nine-year sentence, a wrong way crash killing one person and leaving two others seriously injured, and, finally, suspects arrested in three separate, yet probably related car-jacking incidents. A reader must be left to conclude that the Post-Dispatch considered these incidents to be simply another Thursday night in St. Louis, since the paper’s columnist ignored these crimes and, instead darkly warned the public of the greater danger of white supremacist violence stalking the land.

Your humble Townhall correspondent queried Mr. Messenger about this issue,  but received no response. Despite the silence from his desk, there are no signs that the paper intends to give the “white supremacist violence” theme a rest. On January 26th the paper ran another full editorial warning of the dangers of white supremacist violence. Despite a disturbing uptick in violent crime in St. Louis over the past few years, the Post-Dispatch prefers to warn its readers of the terrible happenings in Whitefish, Montana and other garden spots of the world.

Back in 2009, federal and state law enforcement representatives created a firestorm of controversy when they lumped pro-life advocates, Tea Party activists, anti-tax groups, and numerous conservative religious movements in with those relatively few movements advocating armed resistance, mayhem, and anarchy. The fact that the Post-Dispatch and other mainstream media organs are choosing to dust off this old chimera of “white violence” is open to question. Perhaps it is done to cover the media’s lack of condemnation of Islamic terrorism, or their equally shameful lack of interest in the misdeeds of home grown disturbers like Antifa, and Black Lives Matter. It might also be an emotional issue, in the sense that the liberal media has invested far too much capital in this issue to let it go without a fight. In any event, we are likely to endure a barrage of this type from the liberal echo chamber over the next few months, or even years.

When one lives in a large metropolitan area, he/she grows accustomed, sadly, to crime and a decline in civil society. The same John/Jane Q. Public also grows accustomed to biased media coverage of the daily whirl. Still, the reading public in Eastern Missouri, as well as in the larger USA, probably would consider violent street crime, of which St. Louis has far too much, to be a greater problem than the overplayed threat of “right-wing domestic terrorism”. Yet, we will wait, for a very long time, for the Post-Dispatch to give equal column space to the problems of street crime, and will wait, also in vain, for an answer to our queries on this matter.