G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Color me surprised. I first read about this story through Gawker so I’ll stay with it through Gawker. A Louisiana woman claimed she was attacked and set on fire by three men wearing KKK hoods. Gawker reported this with a level of skepticism that allows for them to be plausibly deniable when they inevitably relayed:
The story of Sharmeka Moffitt, the 20-year-old from Winnsboro, Louisiana, who was allegedly set on fire by three hood-wearing men in a racially motivated attack, took a bizarre turn this afternoon after police announced at a press conference that they now believe she injured herself.
Moffitt suffered severe burns and remains at LSU Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition.
According to Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas, Moffitt confessed to setting herself on fire just after scrawling the words “KKK” and “nigger” on the hood of her Buick LaCross with toothpaste. Additionally, the State Police Crime Lab matched Moffitt’s fingerprints and DNA to a cigarette lighter found at the scene.
Moffitt’s motive remains unclear.
Unclear as a Rocky Mountain water stream.
I can’t even remember the last time a member of a minority group was legitimately attacked. It’s gotten to the point that every single prominent report of a person being attacked for being a minority should be automatically assumed to be a hoax. Instead of “black woman was attacked by three members of the KKK” the headline should be “black woman claims to have been attacked by three members of the KKK – is probably making it up.” Same with homosexuals who claim to have been targeted for their sexuality. And when the crime seems extremely heinous, perhaps carry an even greater assumption that it is a farce. Liberal-progressives are so afraid of committing a Type II error against a minority victim that they pretend that people don’t lie for attention.
Just to bring all of this full cirlce: Gawker also initially reported without skepticism that a lesbian woman named Charlie Rogers was attacked by three men who carved on her body and scrawled bigoted remarks on her garage wall and also tried to set her house on fire. Gawker bought her story. And then, of course, they reported on the hoax. Thus, fitting Ryan Holliday’s criticism of modern journalism’s pageview model, Gawker got double the pageviews out of one completely farcical news story, and they display no introspection over it. It’s maddening, I tell ya.