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Media Bias in Dealing with Cop Stories - Divide and Conquer?

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posted on May, 20 2006 @ 07:38 PM
It seems that there's a story about out-of-control cops in the national news daily. Everything from breaking out the tazer on disabled folks, pregnant women, the elderly, to bribery, mob ties, wholesale violence, racism, the works.

Now, cops are human, there are bound to be some crazies in any demographic. But, are there more in this profession because of the sort of person it attracts? Can more be done to screen applicants and reduce these problems? Or, is the notion of out-of-control cops over-represented in the media because it's so sensational? After all, when the people we arm and empower to protect us turn against us, it's pretty heavy. That's a serious breach of trust.

Part of me says it's not possible to over-represent these crimes, they're so heinous, and the citizens deserve to know what their public servants are up to. But are we being turned against the cops to take the heat off of crooked politicians and their backers?

Is there a concerted effort by the media to reinforce the siege mentality in LEOs and citizens? This seems to be the case, so naturally that makes me wonder: why? What could anyone, media moguls and their connections specifically, hope to gain by turning ordinary citizens against the police, and vice versa?

This is a story I read, that prompted me to post this thread.

Baltimore City police arrested a Virginia couple over the weekend after they asked an officer for directions.

Debating the accuracy of any of these stories is somewhat futile, because we only have the information that we're given. Rather, I started this thread to pose a question about the possibility that both the cops and the citizens are buying into a false reality, a media reality, that serves to turn us against one other.

Divide and conquer...

Now, the other thing that complicates matters is the fact that cops often deal with only the worst of the worst. They have a limited perspective, and I think over time it can lead to myopia, where they fail to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, ever. They see so many scumbags, they forget there are good people out there, and they forget how to treat good people with respect.

I've noticed a trend among younger cops, some are honest-to-God idealists. They joined to help people, and they really don't have any interest in power or cruelty. After a while, it seems some of the idealists leave for bigger and better things, and some lose their faith and stay on as glimmer-less wage-slaves.

Overall, I've met a lot more good cops than bad cops. The horror stories are all over the news though, what's a humble citizen to believe?

Please, no cop-bashing on this thread. Unless you intend on serving as an illustration of the problem.

[edit on 20-5-2006 by WyrdeOne]

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 06:43 PM
Its a good point. My own experience is that the media loves to blow everything up to be bigger than it is. Sure you have a few bad cops. But so far, I am yet to see cops pulling people out of Starbucks and beating them senseless or misconduct of a regular frequency. I have noticed that sometimes the media will spend a few days or weeks reporting on several similar crimes or activities of any sort, as if they are suddenly a new thing and are increasing drastically every minute. Like when the media in the 80's were reporting every single freeway shooting in California, and people were suddenly under the impression it was a new trend and was happening to everyone everyday.

Then they eventually got bored and moved on to something else. Did freeway shootings suddenly stop? No. They just werent suddenly the thing holding all the media's attention anymore.

Now they are on to reporting masses of bad cops. I think its the same thing. Media sensationalism and making mountains out of molehills. However, you will find that 20 years ago, cops had the same kind of idiots in their ranks as they do now. But no one payed attention back then.

Im sure next month the new "epidemic" hitting the nation will be bowlegged lesbian nazis for jesus working at the DMV, or some other crap.

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 08:49 PM

I'd forgotten all about this thread, thanks, Skadi, for ressurecting it.

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 09:00 PM
It's all part of the culture. When you're young, you love to hate cops. They're the ones keeping you down, taking your pot. Arresting you for vandlaism and mischief and whatnot. The media plays on that resentment, and then reports every single incident with a degree of bias you don't usually see that outside of the 'reporting' here on ATS about Palestine and Israel.

That said, the procedure for recruiting officers up here is ridiculous. Takes six months minimum, psych tests...hell, by the time some of my classmates are done the application process, I'll be done Basic. Unfortunately, if you know anything about psychology, you know that if you're a psychopath with high intelligence, you can prettymuch evade detection indefinitely. They can fake good on psych tests and whatnot.

I still give every cop I meet the benefit of the doubt, and treat them with respect. And these stories, more often than not, I take them with a grain or two of salt.


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