You may have heard there was a shooting and car crash that left three people dead on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday. Leave it to the LA Times, via reporter John M. Glionna, to unleash its own fiery wreck of politics and misinformation.
From its first story:
Paul Pillat witnessed the incident. For seven years, Pillat, whose nickname is "Tumbleweed," has lived on the streets of Vegas. His regular haunt is the intersection where the crash occurred. ...Okay, that's an interesting assessment. Get a bum's opinion. Never mind the statistics, or the objective fact that the Las Vegas Strip is one of the most surveilled, heavily policed metropolitan areas in the world.
Pillat said he had come to expect violence on the Strip. "It's the Wild West here. People don't understand. They think it is fun and games. It's not. It's dangerous," he said.
At the news conference, [Sheriff] Gillespie emphasized that the city remained safe. "I've been asked whether the Las Vegas Strip is safe: Yes, it is," he said. "As you know, there are no absolutes when it comes to people's behavior."So here, we give the sheriff's response, and undermine it with vapid, off-base political commentary. There is zero link between the city's gun ranges and this crime (apparently a fight between California gangsta thugs); and anyone who thinks the city of Las Vegas "has embraced lawlessness" has surely not spent much time here. (Note: I live in Las Vegas and most days frequent the Strip.) But nothing is too much a stretch to get in a plug for gun control, it would seem.
Still, the shooting hit a city that has embraced guns and lawlessness as a way of business. Settled by organized crime members, downtown Las Vegas has its own Mob Museum. The Strip and surrounding freeways are littered with billboards advertising galleries where customers can fire AK-47s and other high-powered weapons. (Emphasis ours.)
It gets worse. In the next story from the same reporter, we open with the sad tale of the deceased:
One of the victims in a spectacular predawn shooting and crash on the Las Vegas Strip has been identified as Kenneth Cherry Jr., an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch.Does John Glionna pause to wonder why this "aspiring rapper" drove a Maserati and had a criminal defense attorney in his employ? Perhaps she does PR on the side?
His attorney, Vicki Greco, said his death was shocking. "Out of everyone I know in the rapping industry, there is no way I would have ever, ever expected to find that he was shot on the Las Vegas Strip in such an aggressive manner," Greco said.
"He didn't have a [criminal] record or a history. He was just a good kid trying to make it and be a good father." Cherry had two children, she said.
We don't learn until the end of the article that:
Cherry had several arrests in Oakland and Berkeley, many for gun charges. He was convicted on a gun charge in 2007, stemming from an arrest in Berkeley, sources told the Tribune, although details on that conviction weren't immediately available.Now this is a head scratcher. If you have this information, why would you spin this as an innocent victim story, and publish the transparent lies of his attorney in the top half of the article?
I happen to have heard on good authority some details of that particular attorney-client relationship, and a reporter worth his wages might find some good stuff there. Suffice it to say, that reporter probably doesn't work at the L.A. Times.
Great job on the analysis. You bring up the point that you can quickly deduce a reporter's slant with just a few articles. This guy is as transparent as can be.
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