Megan McArdle acknowledged how the threat of right-wing violence was a common theme in media reporting, following the mass shooting in Buffalo, 纽约, by a suspected antisemite white nationalist.
“The aftermath of the Buffalo massacre saw a spate of articles describing the menace of right-wing extremists. The New York Times’s David Leonhardt characterizes it as ‘a violence problem that has no equivalent on the left,‘” McArdle wrote.
然而, she added that “the data often cited to support this conclusion don’t say what most people think.”
The columnist explained how the media often cited reports on extremism and hate from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) whose reports included cases which didn’t seem political, such as incidents of domestic violence, child custody disputes, and prison gangs “engaging in pedestrian criminal violence,” in their examples of right-wing extremism.
McArdle said she wasn’t cherry-picking but actually “describing the majority of the incidents in the ADL’s 2021 报告” on extremism.
She went on to cite the ADL acknowledging the discrepancy in their data.
“One of the most striking features of white supremacist murders is the large proportion of non-ideological killings to ideological killings,” the ADL wrote in its most recent report. “Over the past 10 年份, 只要 86 的 244 white supremacist killings (35%) were ideological murders,” the columnist cited.
McArdle predicted that because of these reports, the media would latch onto “any new case with a tenuous link to the alt-right” to add it to the trend “meriting wall-to-wall coverage.”
然而, she claimed, other cases motivated by hateful ideology, like the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre, 是 downplayed by the media.
“与此同时, a Black man driving into a parade after making anti-White remarks on Facebook is seen as a sick individual,” McArdle wrote.