Rantz: Seattle Times legitimizes dangerous claim police symbol is racist
Left-wing Seattle Times reporter Mike Carter forwarded and legitimized a vicious smear against police officers and their supporters, referring to the “Thin Blue Line” flag as a “symbol of white supremacy and institutional racism.”
Carter tries to couch his language about the flag, claiming that “some” people hold the inaccurate view. But this is how media bias works its way through stories at The Seattle Times.
The smear in context
In his piece, Carter details an incident between a senior criminal investigator with the Attorney General’s Office and a waitress at a restaurant.
The investigator hastily left his meal at the Fish Peddler in Tacoma after he saw the waitress was wearing a Black Lives Matter button. The investigator is a former Seattle police homicide detective and his two sons are police officers. Understandably, he is upset with an activist movement that seeks to defund the police while vilifying the work officers do in service to their communities.
When paying the bill, the investigator wrote “BLM Button = No Tip” and “That’s How Socialism Works.” He then had words with someone he thought was the manager.
The waitress wrote about the incident on her Facebook page.
The smear legitimized
During the incident, the waitress saw the investigator pull out his wallet. On Facebook, she noted she could “see the American flag symbol with the blue line through the middle and I KNEW it was all downhill from there.”
The waitress is referring to the Thin Blue Line flag, which is a symbol of support for law enforcement. But Carter wanted to give it context that didn’t exist in the Facebook post. He wrote:
She described a ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag, which has been adopted as a symbol for solidarity with law enforcement, although some see it as a symbol of white supremacy and institutional racism.
What was the point of this language? It doesn’t actually give context to the story because the waitress doesn’t make that point. All it does is further inflame tensions between police and activists.
Bias at work
Only a small group of fringe, anti-police activists view the flag as racist. Nevertheless, Carter opted to provide this context for no reason other than to shame the investigator and smear police. It’s a subtle dig.
When there is an anti-Semitic hate crime, would Carter couch the violence with context that forwards a hateful position? Would he say, “Well, some people believe Jews are inferior and responsible for all the world’s problems.” No, of course not. You’re best advised to not provide useless context that normalizes a truly disturbing view.
The waitress didn’t say the flag is a symbol of hate. She merely noted the investigator had the flag, making him a supporter of police. And presumably she understands there’s not a great relationship between police and BLM.
In this case, Carter chose to vilify a symbol that supports cops. The timing is especially disturbing, even if unintentional, given the weekend saw an ambush attack that nearly left two Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies dead.
What’s worse, the left-wing reporter decided to link to the activist nonprofit Marshall Project to further explore the “fraught history” of the Thin Blue Line flag. He doesn’t want to bother explaining why a fringe group holds such a ludicrous view of the Thin Blue Line flag, so he’ll send readers to a group that downplays the fringe beliefs. Even a cursory view of the Marshall Projects shows their pro-BLM bent, as they link to a seemingly endless variety of pieces critical of policing.
Carter has a tendency to subtly jab or make political points. In covering a story I broke, Carter derisively referred to me as “right wing” because he’s not familiar with my show. This is just another example of how he operates.
Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook.