UPON SECOND THOUGHT

Leave it to the New York Daily News (motto: We Make the Post Look Serious) to provide the ideal example of everything wrong with the way the media lionizes cops while demonizing literally anyone else.

Recently someone assaulted an MTA worker in the middle of the night and as the tabloid media are wont to do, they ran some rather sensational stories to the effect of, to quote the headline, "Thug attacks female MTA employee at Bronx train station."

A hulking brute grabbed a 28-year-old MTA employee up in a bear hug at a Bronx train station, shoved her onto the platform and began choking her in an unprovoked attack – then ran away smiling, authorities said Wednesday.

Then it turned out that the Thug Brute was – wait for it – an NYPD officer. Magically, the tone changed when this crucial fact was discovered. The headline now refers to an NYPD cop who heroically turned himself in after being "accused" of possibly attacking someone.

Police Officer Mirjan Lolja, 37, was suspended after the assault in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker — who was on-duty and in her uniform — was allegedly put into a bear hug, thrown to the floor and choked, cops said.

Not as much of a Thug as we originally thought, despite the fact that he does look vaguely possibly Hispanic or something.

Be Sociable, Share!

19 Responses to “UPON SECOND THOUGHT”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    Look, I'm a card-carrying skeptic. (At least I think I am; I can't be sure. Zing!) So of course I want to consider the possibility that, as each of these incredibly obvious moments of media-driven racism emerge, that they are not, in fact, moment of media-driven racism.

    There are–there must be–good cops who are not racist. More still are there mediocre cops with no more than your average allotment of racism. And in the media, even at places like the NYDN and the Post and Fox News, there are people who believe in the version of the Police that results from a genuine (if naive) belief in the fundamental goodness of the institution of law enforcement (though I strongly suspect this has a lot to do with the 'received narrative' propagated by movies and television and the cops themselves.)

    I believe these people exist. And I understand why, these days, their hackles are up–because when they hear "Cops and their defenders are racist," they think it means "YOU are racist."

    So to them I say: It doesn't mean that. It does, however, mean that despite how much you want to believe the contrary, SOME of the people you work with and SOME of the people you support are pulling some SERIOUSLY horrific shit, and you just can't pretend that they don't anymore. There is no excuse–not even "it's a tough job" or "you'd be lost without us." There is no defense.

    Stop defending and supporting–by silence and willful ignorance–behavior that creates "peace" in the form of silenced voice and terrified victims. Stop claiming that self-evident racism is misunderstood. Stop pretending that the possession of military-grade hardware does not lead to brutality.

    Just stop. Please. Just stop.

  2. Bonnie ringen Says:

    What J Dryden said.

  3. Jimcat Says:

    Have to agree about the News making the Post look like respectable journalism. I've been saying that for years. For decades they were "New York's Picture Newspaper", and the pictures were the only things that you could trust.

  4. Misterben Says:

    Dear Lord, they actually said "hulking brute"? In a newspaper, they said "hulking brute"? I thought that was only in comics!

  5. John Danley Says:

    Nice to see that Daniel Holtzclaw is back in circulation again under a new alias.

  6. queenrandom Says:

    Wow, the difference is so stark! The author even changed to passive voice in the second, and somehow remembered that the word 'allegedly' exists when talking about cops rather than thugs. Man could they be more obvious?

  7. Sloterdijk Says:

    The name Mirjan Lolja is (likely) a Balkan name.

  8. Arslan Says:

    I'm guessing former Yugoslavia too, either Croatia or Slovenia.

  9. Skipper Says:

    Reminds me of the two photos of people getting goods following Katrina. In both photos, the people were chest deep in water with a makeshift raft loaded with food etc. One caption informed us that the people had "found" the groceries in a flooded store. The other photo caption informed us that the people had "looted" the groceries from a flooded store. In one photo, the people were white. In the other photo, the people were black. Guess which people were the "finders" and which were the "looters." Yup, that's right.

  10. Bill Says:

    Um, guys. Maybe we should pay attention to the fact that there are dozens if not hundreds of Americans currently in jail (and more being arrested every day) for what was, until very recently, completely Brandenberg v Ohio protected speech.

    This seems like a sea change moment on par with the suspension of habeus corpus or the imposition of martial law in the Boston bombing manhunt. Except even worse, as this isn't a mere legal maneuver or a localized event, but rather something that is happening nationwide and involving everyone from the DoJ to suburban police departments.

    And with the exception of a few DFHs like Greenwald and some libertarian types like Eugene Volokh and Ken White, NOBODY IS FUCKING TALKING ABOUT IT!

  11. Skepticalist Says:

    "Dear Lord, they actually said "hulking brute"? In a newspaper, they said "hulking brute"? I thought that was only in comics!"

    This is antique. It's what you'd see in newspapers that were at each other's throats in 1915.

  12. Skipper Says:

    For those who haven't been paying attention, things like "hulking brute" are back in fashion in newspapers these days, as they try to become more hip and relevant. Reporters are also apparently encouraged to insert snide comments into their stories. An example from the formerly esteemed Boston Globe:

    "Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a piece by Lawrence Otis Graham, a black attorney, the author of more than a dozen books, and, if his family picture is to be believed, a man who lives 1,000 miles from a decent barber."

    Really? A snide comment about his hair? In a supposed "news story."

    But I'm with queenrandom. The thing that got me in this case was the sudden switch from active to passive voice. As the politicians say, "Mistakes were made."

  13. Skepticalist Says:

    It isn't "hip," It's ugly, stupid but no doubt very effective.

    This kind of shitty news writing is old. Reading early news copy today is hard to take. In many cases, the worst of it was found in the "best" papers.

  14. c u n d gulag Says:

    The way NY's cops have been acting, in the rewrite, it would have been more accurate to write "petulant man-child" in the place of "hulking brute."

  15. HULK Says:

    Only one Hulk, gaarrghh!!

  16. anotherbozo Says:

    Wow, I thought "hulking brute" went out with yellow journalism at least by the 30's. The NYT, by the way, would never use such a prejudicial and inflammatory descriptive. Their article would read something like

    what witnesses described as a "hulking brute"

    though unless there was another Daily News writer on the platform to witness the takedown, it's not too credible that a random witness would use anything that colorful.

  17. Mo Says:

    Ed…or should I say, "Shrill"?

    http://wonkette.com/570758/smirking-thug-who-attacked-lady-subway-worker-was-an-nypd-cop-surprise#wPfV5Xi8S3vfh97l.01

  18. Jado Says:

    "…Stop defending and supporting–by silence and willful ignorance–behavior that creates "peace" in the form of silenced voice and terrified victims. Stop claiming that self-evident racism is misunderstood. Stop pretending that the possession of military-grade hardware does not lead to brutality.

    Just stop. Please. Just stop."

    They CAN'T.

    If they stop defending it, the next question is something along the lines of, "Uhh, scuse me Officer. Are you going to arrest that guy for assault? The one in the blue uniform, yes. The one that randomly attacked that man over there with the broken nose and black eyes. Yes. Aren't you going to arrest him?"

    And then what will the "good" cops do? What do you do when you are presented with a blatant conflict between your "brotherhood in blue" and your vow to "protect and serve"?

    You sidestep the problem by never letting it get that far. Police are allowed to break the law. Because if they aren't. other police will have to arrest them. And no one wants that. Well, no one in blue…

  19. ralphie the fig Says:

    It is interesting that the local news maroons needed to mention that the MTA woman was on duty and had on her uniform. Perhaps it's a given in NYC that off-duty cops are allowed to prey on women not on-duty and not in uniform.