This behavior shouldn’t be tolerated from sleazy tabloids, let alone a Chicago affiliate of a journalistic institution like CBS.
Mr. Jason Van Dyke, the killer of 17-year-old Mr. Laquan McDonald, this week was formally indicted on six counts of first-degree murder.
Also, last week documents were released that, according to CNN, “contradicts nearly everything police said happened” on October 20, 2014, the date Mr. Van Dyke, a white man, pumped sixteen bullets into a fleeing Mr. McDonald, a black boy.
A rogue police officer; fresh documents that prove an elaborate cover-up; government corruption at its highest level; and an embattled Mayor and State’s Attorney who the public wants gone are all great story arcs that any good journalist could build upon to produce a quality and engaging narrative.
Mr. Brad Edwards of Chicago’s CBS 2, however, isn’t a good journalist in my opinion, thus he choose to ignore the aforementioned news items which are of great public interest not just to Chicagoans, but Americans at large, in order to peruse Mr. McDonald’s juvenile record and broadcast his findings—among which were that Mr. McDonald was sexually abused at age four – on Twitter, hoping to find an audience.
What Mr. Edwards found instead were critics, all of them outraged by the TV personality’s low-brow, distasteful, unethical and unprofessional manner. Looking through the series of Mr. Brad Edward’s tweets on Mr. McDonald’s childhood, moreover the comments on them, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who found news value in what was presented, even if they were on the side of Mr. Van Dyke.
Among those who complained about the content was Ms. Jamira Burley, a former member of Philadelphia government: Ms. Burley once served as the Philadelphia Youth Director and now works for Amnesty International.
Twice today I placed a call to the television station that employs Mr. Edwards and asked for Mr. Jeff Kiernan, CBS 2’s news director, and both times I got his answering machine. Earlier in the day on social media, I asked the public to place calls to Mr. Kiernan and demand that he provide reasoning for what his employee did.
Mr. Edwards isn’t the first media maker—journalist, come to think of it, is too revered of a word to be associated with such a troll-like behavior—to dig up irrelevant details on the deceased instead of probing the murderer, but he should absolutely be the last.
There should be financial and social consequences when black life—any life really—is handled with such blatant disregard by the media.
This behavior shouldn’t be tolerated from sleazy tabloids, let alone a Chicago affiliate of a journalism institution like CBS.
There are many ways to hold Mr. Edwards and his employers accountable for this unforgivable and distasteful act of Chicago journalism, and a lack of patronage should be just the beginning.
‘Exploring Generations of Black Activism,’ a live broadcast featuring black male thought-leaders on Saturday, December 19th, 2015 beginning at 1pm EST and heard exclusively on www.TheDrVibeShow.com, will be moderated by Christopher “Flood the Drummer” Norris.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Photo: AP/Paul Beaty