Wholly Toledo Update: ABC and Other Headline Writers Get it Completely Wrong
It would have been humorous yesterday if it weren’t so sad: The local radio newscasts here in Cincinnati made every attempt to describe what happened in Toledo without using the dreaded “R word.”
The AP doesn’t hesitate to call it a RIOT, but reporter John Seewer waits five paragraphs before telling us that the stated “reason” for the mayhem was an event that hadn’t yet occurred, and that because of the rioting, never took place (HT Drudge; bolds are mine; my heckling is in italics):
Emergency Declared After Anti-Nazi Riots
TOLEDO, Ohio–A crowd protesting a white supremacists’ march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said. (so the march must have happened)
When Mayor Jack Ford and a local minister tried to calm the rioting, they were cursed for allowing the march, and Ford said a masked gang member threatened to shoot him. (again, we still think the march happened)
At least 65 people were arrested and several police officers were injured before calm was restored about four hours later.
Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help. (finally, an admission of what REALLY caused the rioting)
“It’s exactly what they wanted,” Ford said of the group that planned the march, which was canceled because of the rioting. (oh, the march DIDN’T happen. So how was it “allowed” in the first two paragraphs? I guess leading with “A gang-dominated crowd taking advantage of a white supremacists’ planned but cancelled march” would have been a bit TOO accurate.)
At least two dozen members of the National Socialist Movement, which calls itself “America’s Nazi Party,” had gathered at a city park to march under police protection. Organizers said they were demonstrating against black gangs they said were harassing white residents.
The violence broke out about one-quarter of a mile away along the planned march route shortly before it was to begin. One group of men pounded on a convenience store, and others overturned vehicles. There was a report of a shooting but police hadn’t found a victim, Police Chief Mike Navarre said.
About 150 police officers chased bands of young men through the area. Officers wearing gas masks fired tear gas canisters and flash-bang devices designed to stun suspects, but the groups continued throwing rocks and bottles. Several officers and firefighters suffered minor injuries, Navarre said. At one point, the crowd reached 600 people, officials said.
Finally, police marched shoulder-to-shoulder down the street shouting to people to stay inside, and the crowd of several hundred broke up.
At least 65 people were arrested on charges including assault, vandalism, failure to obey police and failure to disperse, Navarre said. He said the white supremacists had left hours earlier. (nice of you to wait until the 10th paragraph to tell us that they weren’t even around)
“We frankly could have made a couple hundred arrests easily,” Navarre said. “We just didn’t have the resources on hand to arrest all of them.” (well, why don’t you publicly ask for eyewitness accounts and videotape so you can arrest the rest of the thugs instead of just giving up, as you appear to be doing?)
The mayor had appealed to residents the night before to ignore the march. He said the city wouldn’t give the Nazi group a permit to march in the streets but couldn’t stop them from walking on the sidewalks.
When the rioting began, Ford tried to negotiate with those involved, but “they weren’t interested in that.” He said people in the crowd swore at him and wanted to know why he was protecting the Nazis.
They were mostly “gang members who had real or imagined grievances and took it as an opportunity to speak in their own way,” Ford said. (so rioting is a form of “speech”?)
“I was chagrined that there were obvious mothers and children in the crowd with them,” he said. (you can’t come up with a stronger word than “chagrined” when you see mothers supporting their sons’ lawlessness?)
….. Keith White, a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march in the first place. (uh, Mr. White, the march didn’t take place)
“They let them come here and expect this not to happen?” said White, 29.
This is incredible. Every attempt is being made to blame the actions of thugs on a march that didn’t happen. No way. Toledo has been devolving into a mini-New Orleans or mini-Detroit for some time now, and yesterday’s riot is just the latest evidence of the downward spiral.
A question for the local Chamber of Commerce: Exactly why would I as a businessperson want to set up shop in Toledo?
It’s probably hoping for too much, but perhaps having a gang member openly threaten to shoot its mayor might shake him, and the city, out of its permissive complacency.
UPDATE: This post would not be complete without a look at how The Toledo Blade handled it:
- Headline: “Nazi visit ignites violence; 60 arrested as crowds rampage”
- The Blade waited until the ninth paragraph to tell us the Nazi march was cancelled.
Also, note that for both AP and The Blade, the clear message we’re supposed to take away is that it’s the Nazis’ fault, not the rioters themselves, as if people have no control over how they respond to people they don’t like.
UPDATE 2: Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion was on this late last night, and wonders what Martin Luther King would have done (“Not riot, that’s for sure.”).
UPDATE 3: It would be nice to think that the Ohio Civil Rights Commission might be investigating the allegations of “black gangs they said were harassing white residents” cited in the article. That would be doubtful–they are far too busy addressing a supposedly more important matter.
UPDATE 4: Michelle Malkin is on it, and says “Don’t believe ABC News and AP.” She points an ABC News link that has Seewer’s AP article headlined “White Supremacists Riot in Toledo, Ohio” and sub-headlined “Mayor of Toledo, Ohio, Declares Emergency, Sets Curfew After Hundreds of White Supremacists Riot.” Uh-huh. Also worth noting: Mr. Seewer, though he does allude to “black gangs” in the piece, never mentions the race of those who participated in the rioting.