Conservative Media Coverage of Maryland Student Rape is Shamefully Political

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Looking to avoid hot topics like the false allegations of wiretapping, the failing health care bill, and the increasingly troubling connection between the Trump administration and Russia, Fox News and other conservative media outlets have shifted their focus to a story that better fits their narrative - the rape of a 14 year old girl by two Central American immigrants, at least one of which is believed to be in the country illegally.

Obviously such a case is something the Trump administration is going to want to showcase because it provides cannon fodder for the "build the wall" crowd which is why Press Secretary Sean Spicer made sure to mention it in a recent press briefing. It should come as no surprise that the media arm of the Trump Administration - Fox News - would make this one of their top news stories.

Bill O'Reilly for example said that is was shameful that none of the "liberal" news outlets were covering the story because "Illegal immigration is a political issue." While true that illegal immigration is a political issue, what rape cases Fox News chooses to cover versus what other main stream media outlets cover says a lot more about the bias at Fox News than it does ABC, NBC, CBS or CNN. For instance a quick Google search of the rapes Fox News deems news worthy come up with the following headlines: "Afghan teenager detained in rape, slaying of German student", "Mexican charged with rape in Kansas had 19 deportations", and "Idaho town torn by alleged rape, fear of refugees".

Of course it should be noted that Fox News has ignored a number of other recent rape cases that really don't fit their narrative like "Diocese places priest accused of rape on leave", "West Tenn. pastor accused of raping teen after tying her up", "Pastor of LaFollette church charged with statutory rape of 16-year-old girl", and "Preacher, teacher's assistant charged in rape". The reality here is that Bill O'Reilly and his cohorts at Fox News are attempting to portray immigrants as inherently criminal despite the multiple studies that show immigrants actually commit less crime than natural born citizens.

Having said that, if these conservative talking heads aren't pushing this story simply because it matches their political ideology and the real goal is just to make sure Americans are safe, then they might like to know that white Americans make up an inordinately large number of those arrested for Arson, Vandalism, and DUI's. In fact whites make up 84.2% of those arrested for DUI, with white kids under 18 accounting for 91% of the DUI's in this age group. Given that around 10,000 people die a year in the U.S. from drunk drivers, perhaps there needs to be some extreme vetting for whites who would like to drive in the United States.

If the concern here however is mainly with sexual assault, then it should be mentioned that, despite making up 62% of the population, whites accounted for 66.2% of the rapes and 72.4% of other sex offenses. Data also show that 93% of sex offenders label themselves as "religious" and that within faith communities the sexual abusers have more and younger victims.

There is no doubt that we should do our best to make sure that rapes like the one that occurred in Maryland are stopped; but complaining that everyone else is presenting biased information when your coverage focuses almost exclusively on the few cases of rape by illegal immigrants while ignoring the other 100,000 rapes that occur every year is extraordinarily hypocritical.

Beyond that, demonizing an entire segment of the population by presenting some anecdotal evidence is a great way to create fear among your viewers, but it is an awful way of generating good legislation to deal with the real problem. The reality is, that for every "bad hombre" that comes to the U.S. there is another hero who saved a cop’s life, rescued a child from a kidnapper, or saved the life of a young boy or girl in need of help.

If only Bill O'Reilly and the other fine folks at Fox News were willing to hold themselves to the same journalistic standards they demand of others.