Apr 1 2011

Worthy and Unworthy Border Murders

To media, some Arizona killings are more interesting than others

Brisenia Flores

In March 2010, prominent European-American rancher Robert Krentz was murdered in a remote area of his sprawling property near Douglas, Arizona. Details of the crime remain murky. Early media reports cited authorities claiming to have tracked footprints from the murder scene 20 miles south to the Mexican border (New York Times, 4/4/10). A month after the killing, the Arizona Daily Star (5/3/10) cited “high-ranking government officials with credible information” in saying that “investigators are focusing on a suspect in the United States.” According to the Star, the officials, who wouldn’t be named, “expressed a desire to quell the fury over […]

Apr 1 2011

Chris Christie, the ‘Churchill’ of New Jersey

Republican governor’s union-bashing style wins media praise

New Jersey’s most important TV star isn’t on MTV’s Jersey Shore. Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s YouTube showdowns with his critics—especially the state’s public school teachers—have made him a fast-rising Republican star, lionized by the likes of the Weekly Standard (4/26/10), National Review (8/16/10), Glenn Beck (5/14/10) and George Will (4/22/10). Mere months after his election, pundits were weighing his presidential chances in 2012, and Rush Limbaugh (2/12/10) was declaring: “Is it wrong to love another man? Because I love Chris Christie.” That enthusiasm is not confined to the right-wing echo chamber. The NBC Today show (10/20/10) told viewers that “with […]

Apr 1 2011

Surprised by Solidarity in Wisconsin

Media erred in assuming public shared their distaste for unions

One of the early assumptions in media coverage of the Wisconsin protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed anti-labor legislation was that the public wouldn’t sympathize with “overpaid” public-sector workers. But soon enough, reality intervened. The New York Times’ Matt Bai (2/27/11) recommended that “taking the fight to the unions is a good way to bolster your credentials as a gutsy reformer with voters who have been losing faith for years in public schools and government bureaucracies.” In the March 7 Time, Amanda Ripley wrote that hating public workers is a historical fact: “Since the beginning, Americans have resented government workers’ […]