A mass shooting in Fresno, CA seemed tailor-made for Breaking News announcements on every cable and broadcast network in the land – until it wasn’t. Images of four dead and another six wounded should have been scrolling on the screen as pundits on CNN and MSNBC decried the rampant occurrence of mass shootings and the need to pass new gun control measures.
The awful news out of Fresno broke on Sunday initially and caused quite a stir in the mainstream media. The shooting took place in a family’s backyard as a group gathered to enjoy watching a football game. Multiple gunmen entered through a side gate of the yard and fired into the crowd without saying a word. Left dead were Xy Lee, a Hmong singer and musician whose videos on YouTube have been viewed millions of times, Phia Vang, 31; Kou Xiong, 38; and Kalaxang Thao, 40, all residents of Fresno.
But Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com noted that the newsworthiness of the story had changed drastically by the next morning. He wrote, “By Monday morning, there was almost no additional coverage. I think I saw it mentioned briefly twice on CNN, and then it was back to the impeachment hearings pretty much non stop … In other words, this mass shooting is uninteresting…”
So, what changed? Reynolds said once all the facts were in the story lacked appeal because it “failed all the normal tests” because it “didn’t fit in with the narrative.” He added, “Had the men at least been using ‘assault rifles’ they might have merited a bit more coverage. But those events are vanishingly rare.”
With ten people shot and four killed, where was the coverage? Where were the calls for more gun control? How did a hot breaking story grow stone cold in less than 24 hours?
First, the shooting victims were adult males from the Hmong community. The Hmong were recruited by the CIA in Laos during the Vietnam War to fight off communist forces as they guided U.S. bombing missions and rescued downed American pilots. There are now 300,000 Hmong in the U.S. with 34,000 in Fresno alone.
Fresno city councilman said, “They’re a very humble and respectful community, and it’s a tragic situation to experience. They literally ran away from a war-torn country and sought refuge here, and for them to experience the same tragedy they ran from is heartbreaking.”
Also, Fresno police reported the assailants used semiautomatic handguns. There was no evidence of the media frenzy causing AR-15s or extended magazines. The victims were all adults and of the same race.
Like a similar shooting in New Orleans a few years ago the hard truth is black on black or Hmong on Hmong shootings simply aren’t interesting to the media powers that be. In the New Orleans incident, few people who didn’t live in the city or subscribe to the Times-Picayune ever heard about the Bunny Friend Park shooting that ranked as the second-largest mass shooting of 2015 in the United States.
As Jazz Shaw of Hot Air wrote, “The Fresno shooting has effectively already gone down the memory hole, while the last school shooting (that claimed fewer victims) is still popping up in the news a week later.”
This media coverage (or lack thereof) should tell you everything you need to know about members of the media and their priorities and what they really care about.