What Did the AP Know, and When Did It Know It?
Imagine you were a member of a group being targeted by a serial rapist, but the media refused to provide you with this potentially life-saving information, which in the age of AIDS and resistant forms of venereal disease, could protect you from having your life destroyed or even ended, because it didn’t like the way the truth looked? Or imagine you wanted to learn about the prevalence of rape but you couldn’t, because the media refused to provide the public with the real story? Or imagine you’re simply a citizen who wants to be informed, as an end-in-itself? There is nothing theoretical about the above questions. In and around Baytown, TX, since April a gun-wielding serial rapist “ a clean-shaven black man, 18-21 years old ¦ [5’10-6′] and with a shaved head and carrying a backpack “ has been targeting small, frail, white men, 18-21 years of age, who live at home with their parents, but the Associated Press doesn’t want potential victims, students of rape, or inquisitive citizens to know the truth.
Racial Profiling, in the Real World
In an 18 December story, Houston-based Associated Press reporter Joe Stinebaker refused to identify the race of the Baytown rapist’s victims, even though they were almost surely chosen based on their race, and knowing that the black rapist attacks only small, frail, young white men is an essential piece of information for potential victims to protect themselves, and for residents to look out for, in preventing further rape/robberies, and possibly helping to catch the assailant.
The rapist “ who also robs his victims “ has so far victimized at least five young white men in and around Baytown; the Baytown police are sure he’s raped more men than that, but surmise that other victims have so far been too ashamed to come forward. The rapist’s m.o. is to pick out a victim, stalk him for a time, to ensure that he is alone, and then confront him either just outside of his house, or break into the house and confront him inside, first robbing and then raping each victim. The rapist favors a gun, but has also used a knife; he is always armed.
Baytown is an oil refinery (ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips, and Amoco) and chemical plant-dominated (Exxon Chemical and Bayer) city of approximately 70,000 souls on Texas’ Coastal Plains. The city’s information page puts it on the northern shore of Galveston Bay between Houston on its eastern flank, with Beaumont to the west, and Galveston to the north. The photograph of Baytown on the city’s information page shows a peninsula jutting into Galveston Bay.
News accounts of rape often hide behind euphemisms such as sexual assault, but homosexual rape means just that. In this case threatening his victims with a gun or knife, a man forcibly violates the anus of another man, forcing his sexual member into a place not designed to accommodate it, tearing the flesh, ejaculating into the delicate, bloodied tissues, and if the rapist is HIV+, almost certainly infecting his victim, and thus ending the victim’s chance at ever having a normal sex life.
Unprotected homosexual intercourse is far and away the most high-risk form of sex for the transmission of HIV; no other sex act even comes close.
Since the rapist is targeting exclusively young white men, we are also talking about racist hate crimes and civil rights violations. Imagine the outcry, coast to coast, if a white man were targeting and raping young black men. (While I am convinced that the notion of hate crimes is unconstitutional, as long as white men are going to be charged with them, blacks who target victims based on the latter’s race must also be so charged.)
AP reporter Joe Stinebaker buried victims’ description of the rapist in the penultimate paragraph of his 252-word December 18 story. That was because many readers quit reading a news story early on. Stinebaker’s last paragraph read, The victims have all been men in their late teens.
One police press rep (surprise, surprise!) Stinebaker quoted also was anything but helpful.
“I wish we had a link between the victims, because we might have a better chance of catching him,” said Lt. Richard Whitaker of the police department in Baytown, where took of the attacks took place. “We don’t have any affirmative links at all.”
Try, that they were all white, small, frail, between the ages of 18 and 21, and all lived at home with their parents, Lieutenant. That’s what police call, fitting the profile.
If Stinebaker quoted Lt. Whitaker accurately and in context, the Lieutenant was saying that there is no profile. As of press time (6 a.m. Wednesday), Lt. Whitaker had not returned my telephone messages requesting comment on this story.
The socialist MSM has promoted the racial profiling hoax (and that includes the AP, in spades), whereby we are to believe that police target innocent black men for arrest and even murder them, but the truth is that thousands of police departments all over America are almost as politically correct as your average university sociology department.
What’s the Story?
The reader may well be wondering how I know that the AP is suppressing information. What are my sources? In a Houston Chronicle story that was posted to the newspaper’s Website on Dec. 16, 2006 at 2:51PM (i.e., exactly fifty hours before Joe Stinebaker’s AP story was posted around the country), Cindy Horswell reported,
But what makes this case so unusual is that women are not the target. So far the five victims have all been young, white males in their late teens or early 20s, mostly students still living at their parents’ homes.
The attacker is described as a light-skinned black male, clean-cut and nicely dressed, in his late 20s. He stands 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds.
Far from burying the most essential information at the end of her article, or even suppressing it altogether, Horswell put it all in the second and third paragraphs of her 728-word story, where they belong.
Who? What? Where? When? How? are still the essential questions that every news story “ even moreso every crime story “ must answer. Answering them does mean burying the information at the end of the story, much less not publishing it at all.
Kudos to Cindy Horswell.
The AP Stonewall
I first contacted AP on December 20 to ask Joe Stinebaker why his story lacked such essential information. That contact was a mere formality; unlike every single other American press organization I know of, AP refuses to provide telephone numbers or even eddresses, where readers, journalists, and researchers may contact its writers. And if that weren’t bad enough, the AP demands that anyone seeking to contact one of its staffers, write to its media relations department at firstname.lastname@example.org. I provided my telephone number, in addition to my eddress, in a request to Jack Stokes, AP’s director of media relations. Stokes never responded. Media relations at the AP is a euphemism for institutionalized stonewalling.
This is not the first time that I sought a response for a story from the AP’s corporate lords. In early September 2004, when I wrote a story on the Boosgate hoax that AP reporter Tom Hays had engineered, I repeatedly emailed and called AP’s offices, requesting comment before going to press, but never got a response. In my experience, AP is much worse than non-media corporations, in its refusal to respond to journalists.
Obscure as I am, when I call a Fortune 500 company for a comment on a story, I often get a call-back within the hour. Get the Story! Having no time to waste on stonewalling operations, on 21 December I ignored the suits and sought out Joe Stinebaker on my own, but was informed that he was on vacation until 2 January, using up accumulated time, as was his editor, Wendy Benjaminson. However, an AP source assured me that AP reporter John Porretto had done a follow-up to Stinebaker’s story in which Porretto had spent a full day in Baytown during the middle of last week, and had written a story on the case that would include the victims’ race that would appear on news Web sites last Friday (22 December) night, for the Saturday edition. I searched the Web for Porretto’s story last Friday night, and ever since. Finally, the story was posted at, among other places, the Houston Chronicle’s Web site yesterday (Tuesday) at 2:05 p.m. But after being held back for four days, Porretto’s story still refused to mention the race of the victims. (Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall at the editorial meetings during that period, when Porretto’s article was discussed?)
A Half-Truth is a Whole Lie
Meanwhile, Democratic Party strategist, law professor, and rape victim Susan Estrich wrote a syndicated column based on the Baytown rapist story that went out on Christmas Eve in syndication. In Male rapes occur, and it’s time to address them, Estrich used the Baytown case to press the point that male-on-male rape is a real problem that has been swept under the rug.
Estrich’s column was a perfect case of a half-truth is a whole lie, in which she swept the problem of black-on-white male rape under the rug.
More Rapes are Committed Against Men than Against Women
As I have “ or rather, as Human Rights Watch has shown, male-on-male prison rape is a big problem, particularly black-male-on-white-male-rape. Indeed, in her 2001 report for Human Rights Watch, No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons lawyer-investigator Joanne Mariner revealed,
Past studies have documented the prevalence of black on white sexual aggression in prison. These findings are further confirmed by Human Rights Watch’s own research. Overall, our correspondence and interviews with white, black, and Hispanic inmates convince us that white inmates are disproportionately targeted for abuse. Although many whites reported being raped by white inmates, black on white abuse appears to be more common. To a much lesser extent, non-Hispanic whites also reported being victimized by Hispanic inmates.
Based on her reading of studies by prison rape scholars, Joanne Mariner estimated that more men than women are raped each year in the U.S. I would not be at all surprised to find that the Baytown rapist is an ex-con who developed a taste for raping white men while in prison. The victims he has targeted match almost all of the characteristics of prisoners targeted for rape that Joanne Mariner cited in her study. (Mariner cited one more characteristic “ that of seeming delicate or vulnerable or slightly feminine, which no American newspaper is going to cite in this day and age, though Los Angeles Times reporter Lianne Hart’s quote of a Baytown police captain’s roundabout description of the relative sizes of perpetrator and victims, is close enough.)
As America’s prisons are practically laboratories for the production of HIV by violent convicts who deliberately infect other prisoners, let us hope the Baytown rapist is not also HIV+. Public health researchers Hammett, Harmon, and Rhodes estimated that in 1997, 7.5-10 percent (150,000-200,000) of America’s prison population was HIV+.
Another non-AP reporter who did her job on the Baytown rapist story is the Los Angeles Times’ Liane Hall. In a Christmas Eve story, Hall revealed the victims’ race, as well as suggesting that they were small and frail “ ¦ ˜fairly identical in stature,’ [Baytown Police Capt. Roger] Clifford said. ˜He’s bigger and can dominate them.’ (Hall’s story also appeared on Christmas Day in the Dallas-Forth Worth Star-Telegram, which keeps its Web stories up longer than the L.A. Times.)
Kudos to Liane Hall.
But as one expect, local news operations had been way out in front of the national organizations.
An 18 December story posted at the Web site of Houston’s KHOU-TV Channel 11 looked odd. It was credited to the Associated Press, yet included the victims’ race in its description, in the final paragraph. Note, however, that when a news organization buys an AP article, it is not obliged to run it as is. It may cut an article for space or content considerations, or supplement it with material it has uncovered through its own staffers, or through other associated media organizations.
The KHOU staffer I spoke to, who requested anonymity, said We actually did the story before that. I guess ¦ let’s see, the police department gave us that information, as to the victims’ description. We actually did that story on December 4. The KHOU source insisted that it was AP that had KHOU’s used material, not the other way around.
Kudos to KHOU.
The AP cover-up is significant for two reasons.
AP is, with the New York Times, one of the two most influential news organizations in America. Through its hundreds of outlets in America and abroad, AP reaches tens of millions of readers; Joe Stinebaker’s story was published as far away as Asia. Even the New York Times publishes many AP stories. And although for years, the conventional wisdom has held that the news business is dominated by TV, and more recently, the official unconventional wisdom holds that the Internet has killed off newspapers, the New York Times and AP are in fact more powerful than ever. While local TV news focuses on fires and murders, local and national TV news organization set up their news day according to what they read in the New York Times and/or from AP.
Second, AP engineers hoaxes in which it publishes fake news while suppressing the real thing. I already cited its Boosgate hoax. Presently, the top of AP’s home page has a link to a statement of support for Iraqi AP photographer Bilal Hussein, who is in military custody. What the statement leaves out, is that Hussein is a terrorist suspect whom U.S. military authorities found with traces of bomb-making material on his person. And AP is especially egregious in matters of interracial rape. When Duke rape hoaxer Crystal Gail Magnum first made her false charges against Duke lacrosse team members, AP refused to report that not only is white-on-black rape a crime so rare as to be statistically non-existent, but that white-on-black gang rape is actually non-existent, and also refused to report that at Duke, as my Autonomist editor, Rocco DiPippo revealed, black men have for years made a sport of raping white women. But suppressing the news wasn’t enough for the folks at AP. They ran a hoax article by one of their national propagandists, New York-based Erin Texeira. In late April, Texeira published an article in which she quoted young black women, who complained that they routinely suffered boorish and sexually abusive behavior from white men.
The young black women can almost finish each other’s stories. They go to a party, a concert, a nightclub. Twenty-somethings of all colors are flirting and dancing. And then it happens. Inevitably, a woman says, a white man asks her to dance erotically while he watches. Or he grabs her rear end. Or asks for sex, in graphic detail, without bothering to ask her name.
Many of Texeira’s quotes, if they were quotes, were recycled lines that black racists had used to complain about Halle Berry’s Oscar win in 2002. The complaints were that in Berry’s movies she was always sleeping with white men, and/or doing strip teases for them, which the blacks considered a racial outrage. And Texeira was aware of that, since she referred to the complaints later in the story. Anyone with any experience in such racially mixed situations in today’s knows that were a white man to mistreat a young black female in such a fashion, that the female would slap him, scream, and every black male in the vicinity would immediately pummel the white. Young black women do however, endure such lewd, crude behavior all the time “ from young black men. White men are notoriously timid around black women, and with good reason. In New York, it has for many years been a sort of young black women of all social levels to casually assault white men, because they know that if the white man defends himself, he will be beaten to a pulp by every nearby black and Hispanic male, while whites will either stand around and do nothing, or support the racist thugs. Whether a reporter pipes fictitious quotes or quotes transparent liars, she is still guilty of journalistic fraud.
In another exercise in fiction, on 1 July, Texeira reported that educated black men train themselves to act in a passive fashion, so as not to frighten whites.
So, there you have the AP alternate universe of interracial rape, which is in turn a microcosm of race relations, a world in which white men are constantly assaulting and raping black women, while black men and women are exclusively victims.
(In the foregoing story, I used some material from reporter Ken Fountain of the Baytown Sun newspaper (free registration required); Fountain has been covering the Baytown Rapist story since at least 21 September.)