The New York Times and The Washington Post continue their liberally biased practice of burying police officers’ race when they are black, but rushing to highlight race when the officer happens to be white, an analysis of two similar cases shows.
The cases compared were those involving Tulsa officer Betty Shelby and Charlotte officer Brentley Vinson. Shelby, a five-year veteran on the force, shot Terence Crutcher, who is black, after police came across his car stopped in the middle of the road. Dashcam video appears to show that police Tased and shot Crutcher as he walked back to his car with his hands up.
Vinson shot Keith Lamont Scott, who was also black and allegedly armed. According to police, Scott ignored multiple warnings to drop his handgun.
In a random sampling of 11 articles from The New York Times on the Tulsa shooting, The Daily Caller News Foundation found that 63% of articles mentioned Shelby’s white race and Crutcher’s black race in the same sentence. Thirty-six percent of the articles did not mention the officer’s race, but emphasized that the victim was a black man shot by a police officer.
TheDCNF examined 10 random articles from The New York Times’ coverage of the Charlotte shooting. Only 40% of the articles mentioned that the officer involved was black. The rest of the articles sampled referred to the shooting as a black man being shot by an officer.
An analysis of statistics for randomly selected articles from The Washington Post reveals less evidence of bias than the Times but still suggests slanted coverage. Out of 17 articles on the Tulsa white-on-black shooting, 17% mention both the race of the officer and man involved. Eighty-two percent of articles just mentioned the race of the victim.
On the Charlotte shooting, TheDCNF examined 14 random articles from The Washington Post. Only 14% of the articles sampled mentioned that the officer involved was black. The other 86% ignored the officer’s race but mentioned that the victim was black.
When reporting the Tulsa shooting, The Washington Post emphasized that Shelby, a white police officer, killed Crutcher, an unarmed black man. Alternatively, when reporting the Charlotte shooting, the Post buried the race of Vinson, a black officer, who shot Keith Lamont Scott, a black man.
In one article on the Tulsa shooting, The Post featured Shelby’s and Crutcher’s race in the headline, as well as in the lede to the story. When reporting on the Charlotte shooting, The Post did not mention Vinson’s race until halfway through.
The Post ran another article on the Tulsa shooting that placed the races of the principles involved at the very beginning of the article. When writing about the Charlotte riots, however, the publication mentioned Scott’s race first, and then mentioned Vinson’s race two paragraphs later.
In one example of its coverage of the Tulsa shooting, The Times ran an article that mentioned Shelby’s and Crutcher’s races at the very beginning of the story. When covering the Charlotte riots, the Times mentioned at the outset that Scott was black but failed to mention Vinson’s race until the end of the story.
In another article on the Charlotte shooting, The Times mentioned Scott’s race at the beginning and in the headline; Vinson’s race is not mentioned until halfway through the story.
This report, by Amber Randall, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.