December 07, 2007

News Journal editorial policy on race of suspects -- inconsistent!

Back in August we were given proof that the Wilmington News Journal is a whopper when it comes to political correctness. Here is but a glimpse of what this policy says:

Our policy is not about being politically correct, it's about being accurate. Race is such an unreliable descriptor. What race is Halle Berry or Tiger Woods or Jennifer Lopez? They are extreme examples, but project them onto everyday people and you see the problem.

This doesn't seem to apply, though, when the suspect is Caucasian. Case in point: Terri Sanginiti's article on a carjacking in Hockessin yesterday:

The witness described the suspect as a middle-age white man, slender built, about 6-feet-3 inches tall, with a light-colored goatee and square framed glasses. He was wearing blue jeans, a navy-colored jacket, knit hat, gloves and a scarf partially covering his face.

Say what? But I thought that "race is such an unreliable descriptor"!! Naturally, as BadIdeaGuy over at Target Rich Environment said (and to whom the hat tip for this story goes), I applaud Ms. Sanginiti for finally giving the public a full description of a criminal suspect. But I e-mailed her to ask her why the apparent change in policy. Her reply? She got "special dispensation" from her editors. When I asked her just why she got this "special dispensation," she said that each case "is different and has to be discussed with an editor." She also said that it is "primarily dependent on the amount of details in the description provided that is considered."

Is it me or does "has to be discussed with an editor" sound more like "has to be discussed with our PC officer"? And as we all know, PC doesn't apply to people of a particular hue, now, does it?

Posted by Hube at December 7, 2007 05:27 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I wish I could be the fly on the wall to listen in on these idiotorial meetings where these policies are formulated and "special dispensations" are granted. BTW 'special disoensations" is a Catholic faith term - does the WNJ realize it is using a non-secular term in its procedures manual?

Posted by: AJ Lynch at December 8, 2007 11:57 AM

'special dispensations' equals 'white'-print it; non white (to be pc) don't print it. Hey, the police probably were bias in their selection of a suspect!

Posted by: cardinals fan at December 8, 2007 08:29 PM

Terri is not the one who makes these decisions, and I doubt the term "special dispensation" was actually used by her editors.

Posted by: Al Mascitti at December 10, 2007 11:18 PM