Liberal media say we should stop covering crime, because it’s hurting Dems
The liberal media suddenly cares about crime. Oh, not the staggering toll on businesses and quality of life, or even the loss of life. No, they’re upset that “fear-mongering” hurt Democrats in the midterm elections.
And for that, they blame the New York Post.
“NYC Media Might Have Cost Democrats the House,” laments New York magazine.
“New York’s Seismic Tilt Toward the GOP,” the New York Times claims, was due to “doomsday-style ads” and “constant media headlines.”
Fact is, it was New York Democrats who cost Democrats the House, by pushing a flagrantly illegal gerrymandered election map, which, after being overturned by a judge, led to a more level congressional playing field. Add in an accidental governor more interested in raising money than debating ideas, and a spirited campaign by Republican challenger Lee Zeldin and, well, here we are.
But setting that aside, let’s consider their arguments — seven myths they push to claim that voters were “fooled”:
1. SURE, CRIME IS UP, BUT IT’S NOT AS BAD AS IT USED TO BE!
“Incidents of major crimes are higher in New York City and Nassau County than before the pandemic, though they remain well below levels seen in recent decades,” the Times notes.
“Decades” is a pretty vague term. Crime rates for 2021-22 have reversed a consistent decline in shootings and homicides since the mid-1990s, as well as drops in other index crimes.
Newsweek had to go back 32 years to try to make a point about comparative safety — juxtaposing 2022 with 1990. And yes, in 1990 there were 2,245 homicides. In 2021, there were 485. So far this year, 391. But are we really comparing the worst year for crime in modern New York City history as a way to make people feel better? Overall crime is up 30% from last year. The average New Yorker doesn’t want to see how bad things can get.
2. NEW YORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY
After education activist Yiatin Chu tweeted that she “Paid $2.75 to be in a subway car with a loud and aggressive man threatening to hit his female partner. Switched cars at next stop to be in a public toilet / urine-odor, crowded car for the rest of my ride,” the Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones replied, “Yes, yes. This was absolutely unheard on subways until two years ago.”
Maybe not unheard of, but certainly more rare. There was a tremendous focus on improving the streets and subways under Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg … and yes, even Bill de Blasio. Because despite his absentee mayoralty, he understood that none of his socialist pipe dreams were possible if people didn’t feel safe. So he kept the proactive policing of Bill Bratton and his acolytes.
To the same point, the Times claimed that The Post “Splash[ed] violent crimes across its front page, however rare they may still be.”
But we don’t run stories about random pickpockets on the front page; there have been a number of recent crimes that have shocked the conscience. Here are some of the incidents that we covered in the past few months:
- A 61-year-old FDNY lieutenant, a 24-year veteran of the force on her way to lunch, was randomly stabbed to death in a frenzy by a madman.
- Eight innocent bystanders were shot in one month, including a 16-year-old girl and a 70-year-old grandma. All of them are black, many of them women.
- A Hispanic woman was brutally beaten, randomly, in a subway station by a homeless ex-con to the point where she might lose an eye. “I don’t give a s–t,” said Waheed Foster, the man who did it, and who also beat his foster grandmother to death. “So what?”
- A shoplifter was arrested 101 times — and let go almost every time because of bail “reforms.”
We covered other news during these months. The Queen died. We’re sure the Kardashians did something. But according to Democratic activists and their media handmaidens, the fact that we decided these soul-crushing incidents were news was, to quote New York magazine, “hyp[ing] rising crime to an unreasonable degree.”
We believe that others have abdicated their responsibility to the public.
3. THE VOTERS DON’T EVEN LIVE IN HIGH-CRIME AREAS!
“The homicide spike did not reach into affluent enclaves of Westchester or Long Island; but the New York Post did,” says New York magazine’s report.
This ignores a few issues. First, a good percentage of those voters commute into the city, avoiding the seriously mentally ill camped out in Penn Station or Grand Central. Or they may want to come into the city, to see a Broadway show, eat in a nice restaurant. At least they used to.
But most importantly, does that mean that they shouldn’t worry for the condition of their state overall? It is black and Hispanic New York City residents who bear the brunt of the majority of crimes. Progressives say white suburbanites are racist to worry about crime, but wouldn’t it be racist not to care about the victims?
4. CRIME ISN’T THAT BAD, CHECK OUT THIS STATISTIC
Returning again to the “Well, it ain’t Mogadishu” argument, New York magazine writes, “New York’s murder rate remains less than one-fifth as high as it was in the early 1990s. By contrast, Philadelphia’s homicide rate is at an all-time high.”
Well, thank goodness we don’t live in Philly.
But what so many of these reports ignore is that this isn’t about pure statistics.
Michelle Go was a 40-year-old woman standing on the platform at Times Square in early 2022 when a deranged homeless man shoved her in front of a subway train, killing her. On paper, that’s one homicide. In reality, it’s a terrifying message to the subway riders of the city. Not to mention Asian Americans, who witnessed a 100% increase in hate crimes in the past two years.
In Newsweek’s comparison of 1990 and 2022, it quotes former Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, who throws cold water on reporting crime by pure numbers. “For the first time in my life, even in the late ’80s and ’90s when the crime rate was killing 2,000 people a year, I never felt as unsafe as I do now just walking around,” Paterson told the WABC radio show “The Cats Roundtable.”
5. YOU’RE JUST DOING THIS BECAUSE OF THE ELECTION
Liberal pundits claim The Post only started highlighting crime in an “alarmist” fashion to help Republicans. Sadly, these sorts of incidents have been making news for more than two years — since the pandemic and the passage of the no-bail laws.
In July 2020, we ran the heartbreaking funeral of a 1-year-old, gunned down in gang violence. In February 2021, we ran a story about a woman shoved onto the subway tracks on the front page; a month later, a piece about the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Nothing has changed. Including the indifference of Albany legislators
6. YOU’RE BEING CRUEL
This week, The Post featured a man who was arrested 33 times for shoplifting, many of them at the same Duane Reade. Chronic shoplifting has exploded in the past two years, and the bail “reforms” mean they’re usually freed to rob again — and face little or no time in jail.
Progressives frame this as “a crime of poverty” and are dismissive of corporate chains, telling them to just take the loss.
But small businesses, family-owned businesses, immigrant-owned businesses — these are enterprises that can’t just absorb the costs. We’ve seen it in Portland, where clothier Rains PDX shut down after 15 break-ins. And even if you are a large corporate retailer like Duane Reade or Starbucks, how long before the danger to your employees or the losses to theft become too great to bear? Branches already have closed in the city. When there are no consequences, shoplifters will become more brazen. And three guesses what neighborhoods these companies pull out of first, a vicious cycle that leads to even more decay.
These aren’t crimes of poverty. These are career criminals fencing beauty products, likely to feed a drug habit. By coddling them, you’re destroying neighborhoods.
7. ERIC ADAMS IS TO BLAME
When Democrats and the media aren’t blaming The Post, they are pointing the finger at Mayor Eric Adams, who “put crime at the center of his campaign last year, thereby establishing a bipartisan consensus that New York was experiencing a crisis of public safety,” New York magazine said.
“Establishing.” You mean recognizing exactly what was happening? Adams won the race because he understood the moment. And we’re heartened that this week he announced a plan to treat the homeless mentally ill, even if they must be forced into psychiatric beds to get better. Because letting a person who isn’t in their right mind just live on the streets or in the subway is the opposite of compassion.
Democrats had a better-than-expected midterms nationally, holding onto the Senate and flipping some state legislatures.
They are sore because they lost the House by a slim margin, thanks largely to GOP gains in New York state.
But any analysis as to why must go beyond slogans and look at the substance. It wasn’t the coverage of crime that lost the midterms, it was crime itself.
Stop blaming the messenger. Fix the problem.