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The unreported story of media racism

The unreported story of media racism

The reporting of the death of Gabby Petito has raised the old issue of media racism.

Just as the increase in black city officials has not completely ended the historic racism of the Democrat political machines in America’s major cities, the growing number of “people of color” on the news networks have not stopped the historic racism in the reporting of news.

We now have the latest example.

The death of Petito, and the ongoing search for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, has been a headline story with “legs” – as the journalism Jargon goes.  It started out big when Petito went missing and her boyfriend returned home with her SUV – and not her.  Since that time, the search for Petito has been an evergreen feature of the daily news shows.  We are still getting nothing-new news updates daily.  CNN has even produced a prime-time Saturday night documentary on the case.

What about Daniel Robinson?  Who?  Daniel Robinson is a 24-year-old geologist who has been missing for several months. He is a well-educated handsome fellow with a great professional career and bright future.  Unlike Petite, however, he is black. 

This tragic story of Petito has been one of the top stories – competing for top-of-the-news position with the Capitol Hill riot, the supply-chain crisis, the border crisis and the Pandemic.

What can possibly make this story any more newsworthy than the hundreds of other individuals who “go missing” – and the scores who have gone missing since the disappearance of Petito broke into the news.

The extensive news coverage has mobilized citizens into various forms of participation in the tragedy.  As one commentator put it, “it is an American tragedy.”  And the hundreds of other missing people are not?

There are those unofficial memorials that are filled with flowers, vigil lights, teddy bears and messages of hope and prayer.  A Petito bench is being crafted for the “memorial site.”  Though both the victim and the pursued boyfriend are residents of North Port, Florida, her birthplace in New Jersey is participating in a range of civic mourning events.

The minority communities – specifically the black community – has a higher rate of missing young women than the white, Latino, Asian or Native American communities.  Many of those missing wind up dead.  But none of them get the media attention of a young pretty white girl.  And Petito is not the first missing – and murdered – young white girl to have the compulsive attention of the national news media.  It is nothing less than obvious and outrageous racism on the part of the sanctimonious Fourth Estate.

The only time a black killing makes the news is if they die at the hands of a white police officer.  And that is rooted in a very different narrative and different political motivation.  In the case of police-related deaths, only the black victims matter – even though more white males are killed by police than black males.  And THAT is a different form of media racism.  But that is a subject for another time.

And this is nothing new.  In my earliest days of civil rights activism – some 50 years ago – one of the issues-of-the-day was the underreporting of minority crime victims.  The murder of a single white person would garner a lot more media attention – locally and nationally — than the greater number of murders taking place in the inner cities on a regular basis.  In too many cases, there was no major media attention at all.  The news reports of black and Latino murders were left to the very small and local ethnic publications – if even that.

On the international stage, media racism has been a factor for generations.  Tragic events in Africa – riots, famines, coups – were never given the same coverage as similar events in Europe.  Many riots, disasters and plagues were not reported at all in the American press. 

Even today, when President Biden attempted to minimize the new emboldened terrorist threat in the aftermath of the Afghanistan surrender, he emphasized what he deemed more serious threats emanating from regions of Africa.  Before his raising the issue, how much coverage did those ongoing terrorist activities in Africa get in American new coverage?  Very little.  And they still do.

The American media needs a lot of soul-searching and self-correction before they can pound their collective chest over their fighting racism in America.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frankstetson

    Except for the backhanded, unsubstantiated swipe against Urban democratic racism even with blacks in office, this is a great article Larry. Although, let’s be honest, it shouldn’t matter how many blacks are in the newsroom, this is wrong because it’s wrong.

    Reaches Rachel’s level of superior investigative reporting. A noble effort. .

    My two cents, leave Fox status out of this one for a second,, who cares. This is clearly a major problem of the liberal msm. Fox may have issues too, but this is universal across liberal msm. The only major MSM outlet I could find that was covering it since the end of September came out of the UK. And it’s a good story complete with potential for covering a little bit of racism in the police department and chances are, the culprits if they ever catch them.. Sounds like something liberal MSM would really sink their teeth into for that reason alone.

    But in terms of human interest, as far as I’m concerned, there’s as much here as the Gabby story, which I have to add probably had more legs for the fact that her boyfriend couldn’t be caught as it did for her being a white woman. However, your point is solid, we have a real problem here and MSM needs to step up and fix it once and for all. This is atrocious..

  2. Joseph S. Bruder

    Petito was a media darling for a few months – one of many people who flares up in the public eye for a short time. She was posting videos about her trip across the country and already a “celebrity” before she went missing and was later found dead. And by the way, I guess you missed that the remains of the boyfriend were also found a few days ago.

    Larry, you lament that a black man who is missing is not more prevalent in the news… well, I do recall seeing an article about him missing, but he wasn’t a celebrity that I know of… How many non-celebrities go missing in a year? Children? How many articles do you see about women escaping from an abusive husband? Black or white, those are the kinds of things that main stream media and especially the right-wing conservative media ignore.

    On the other hand, look at the overt and obvious racism from the likes of Tucker Carlson or any of FOX’s entertainer/hosts. I’d say you’re missing the forest for the trees. We’re talking about errors of omission by MSM compared to outright open racism by right wing media. Even some of your columns have been racist screeds under the guise of conservatism. You got pretty upset when someone called you Horowiz instead of Horist, and emphatically said you were NOT Jewish. And you’ve been banging the drum about the border crisis, yessir, don’t want those brown-skinned Mexicans or whatever shit-hole country they’re from coming up here… and black Haitians? fuggetaboutit… I don’t hear you screaming about white Canadians sneaking across the border, or white Europeans that straddle the borders to make money. Let’s sound the alarm about all things Chinese, but not a word about far right (white) Hungarian dictators.

    As usual, Larry, again you’re just carrying hod for the far-right conservative media. I guess you figure pointing your finger at all the others makes your own behavior look better by comparison.

    • Dan Tyree

      Racism is a myth intended to divide Americans

    • larry Horist

      Brother Bruder … a modest grammatic correction. You say I “carrying hod.” A hod is a piece of construction equipment … an object. You should have said “carrying THE hod.” I draw this to your attention because for a moment I thought maybe you were using the Hebrew word, hod. In which case I would being carrying my opinions with splendor and majesty. But then I realized that you would never say such things about me – and you do not have the intellectual capacity to have known the Hebrew, anyway.

      I should take this opportunity to inform you that your obsessive mendacious insults that you spew at A Larry Horist have no impact on me since I know I am not the Larry Horist you hate so much. I know that because you do not know me personally — and none of your gratuitous mischaracterizations apply to me. They are the traits and qualities of the mythical Larry Horist that you created and now cannot evict from you mind. It is your own concocted straw man against which you fling your rejoinders in what appears to be a pitiful effort to use imagination and arrogance to create a personal sense of self-esteem and importance. I would gladly join you in opposing the Larry Horist you describe, but, alas, he does not exist in the real world. And you wonder why the real Larry Horist will not engage with you as you occasionally beg. Why should I? You already have your own mythical Larry Horist with whom to spar in the privacy of your mind.

  3. Frankstetson

    IMO, fox is a red herring here, Joseph. Don’t think Larry even pegged liberal msm. I did.