Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Betrayed by the Media: Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

Like the Curmudgeon, I had not heard of the horrific murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom until recently, even though they occurred in January.


Because the media has been virtually silent about them.

The lack of coverage seems odd at first: a young couple is carjacked, both are sadistically raped, tortured, and murdered. This is exactly the kind of thing you expect to see splashed across the TV around the clock on CNN, MSNBC, etc.

It seems there are some inconvenient details. As Jack Dunphy points out, the murdered couple is white and the accused are black
Chances are, unless you live in Tennessee, you will not recognize the names Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Christian, 21, and Newsome, 23, both of Knoxville, were driving through that city together on the night of January 6 when they were kidnapped and murdered. [Newsom’s] burned body was found along some railroad tracks on January 7. Christian remained missing for two more days until her body, stuffed in a trash can, was found in a home not far from where Newsome’s was found. Police and prosecutors allege both victims were raped before being killed. Yes, both. Three men and a woman have been charged with the crimes in a 46-count grand jury indictment handed down in Knoxville on January 31.

The story was given a few brief mentions on the AP wire, which were in turn carried on the Fox News and ABC News websites, but you’ll find no mention of the crime in the online archives of CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, the New York Times, or the Washington Post. Run a similar search for stories on the Duke case and you’ll be sifting through the results for hours. It’s not as though these news providers have shied away from crime since being embarrassed in the Duke case. For example, when Tara Grant went missing from her suburban Detroit home in February, the investigation grew and grew in media attention until it became a national story. An AP story appearing on the MSNBC website ran under the headline, “Mich. case a perfect recipe for media frenzy.” And indeed it was. When Grant’s dismembered body was discovered inside her home, triggering a manhunt for her husband and his eventual arrest, the coverage ramped up nearly to the point of Laci Peterson-type saturation. Only the carnival surrounding Anna Nichole Smith’s death kept the Grant murder from being the Story of the Month. Yet the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher [Newsom] are known to almost no one outside Tennessee. Why?

It’s simple: the four suspects accused of killing Christian and [Newsom] are blacks from the inner city of Knoxville.
When the crime is white-on-black (cf. James Byrd, Jr. and more recently Don Imus' remarks and the false allegations against the Duke lacrosse players) or white-on-white/?-on-white (cf. JonBenet Ramsey and Natalee Holloway), we are inundated, to the point of saturation, with stories sensationalizing the event and obsessing over every minute detail. (A Google News search of the words "Christian and Newsom" turns up only three pages and very little beyond local media coverage. By contrast, a similar search using the words "JonBenet Ramsey" produces six pages even though the crime took place more than ten years ago.)

When the crime is black-on-white, we get a few telegraphic articles outside the local media. If you really dig around on Google News, you find two (2) sources that mention the more gruesome details

"Newsom was kidnapped, raped and beaten. According to reports, his penis was then cut off before he was shot several times and set on fire, all while his girlfriend watched. His body was then dumped alongside train tracks. Christian was kept alive and gang-raped multiple times over a span of four days. Her breast was cut off while she was still alive and her kidnappers sprayed cleaning fluid into her mouth to cleanse it of DNA. Her body was then put into a garbage can."
The details are so horrifying that the story sensationalizes itself. This should be front-page news, but it's not. (Currently, FOXNews.com is the only major online news source I could find that mentions this crime at all, but the most recent story is from two months ago.) Is there concern that such a shocking story would inspire backlash and "revenge" crimes against blacks? Or does it simply not fit the politically-correct media paradigm for what the American public deserves to know?

I don't have the answer to that, but I want to find out.

If this story grieves, sickens, or enrages you as it has me and many people who are only now finding out about it, let the media know. Word of this story is already making the rounds on the web, particularly in the blogosphere, but the mainstream media needs to know that silence over this story is troubling in the extreme -- and unacceptable. Tell them this, and ask why there hasn't been more coverage.

New York Times
Washington Post

Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom did not deserve such a cruel fate. The least that we, the public, can do is to draw as much attention to this as possible and see that this terrible crime does not go ignored.


Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Yankee James, I have deleted your comment, because I don't want to adervtise a "white pride" organization on this blog. I am not interested in that kind of response to this heinous crime.

I do not deny that there are serious problems involving blacks in this country, and that political correctness is running amuck. However, as a Christian I believe God loves all of his children. Furthermore, Carnaby and I have black relatives. You will not find any sympathy for "white pride" here. And, in fact, this is precisely the kind of response that will take attention away from Christian and Newsom and focus it where it cannot possibly do any good.

4/24/2007 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this was local news. trust me, the media was not quiet about them here.


4/24/2007 4:53 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

I don't doubt it, Uncle.

But if you take media bias out of the equation, it just doesn't make sense why the Duke lacrosse kerfuffle made national headlines and this didn't.

4/24/2007 6:58 PM  
Blogger Levi said...

I think that Nancy Grace will cover this case. She is a crime victims advocate. A death penalty activist & a former prosecutor.

Email her show @ NancyGrace@CNN.com

These dirt bags are DISGUSTING!

5/14/2007 7:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Testing ...

<< Home