Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Crazy as a Fox 5

Fox News at 5 PM was dead set on showing a negative face to the 40th West Indian/Labor Day Parade. Although the broadcasters described it as New York City's largest parade, Fox never showed shots of the floats, dancers, stiltwalkers, or trucks. In fact, there was a party of christians asking people did they want to pray. The Brooklyn Catholic Archdiocese paraded on a truck. It was an event attended by people of various ethnicities, nationalities and personal interests. In fact, restaurateur Kathy Ewa set up one classy vending booth offering jumbo shrimp cocktail and Bourbon Chicken over rice pilaf.

No, Fox News, on September 3, during the 5 PM airing had reporter Robert Malcolm talk about an unidentified 26 year old black man getting shot in the leg two times. This shooting occurred in front of 935 Eastern Parkway during the latter part of the parade. Rather than the usual on-the-ground shots, the video was done from the helicopter. Why? there was plenty of crowd and traffic control to allow for a news van to get to the site. Robert Malcolm did his report away from the shooting site.

Interestingly, no one was arrested. There were police officers along the parkway and posted two blocks away from each intersection between Grand Army Plaza and Utica Avenue. To add to the sensationalism, Robert Malcolm, during his last of five reports on the shooting, said it was a double shooting, excused himself and said one shooting involving two shots.

Then Fox repeatedly showed a 5 second shot of men being jostled. It appeared that they were swinging at one another as if someone was walking through the crowd creating a disturbance. Once the disturbance moved along, the same crowd went back to dancing on the sidewalk. Just what is Fox news trying to depict? That a body of 1 million or 3.5 million people can't behave themselves? Is it too easy to believe that there must be a shooting when people of color come together?

A flick of the TV knobs to Channel 11 revealed the other side of the event. The preview of the 10 o'clock news spotlighted the gaily costumed dancers and stiltwalkers found on Eastern Parkway at the same event. What's a parade without colorful costumes, music and smiling street performers.

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