Lynn Sweet, the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, held a Fox News contributor’s feet to the fire for spouting off untruths about so-called mainstream media coverage of Chicago crime rates during a segment on the police shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
The 17-year-old was gunned down last October, shot 16 times by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who has been charged with first degree murder. Graphic video of the shooting was released this week, sparking protests.
Fox News host Leland Vittert and guest Cal Thomas wasted no time veering conversation away from the killing of the teen to “black-on-black crime,” a favorite talking point utilized by conservatives to distract from discussion of racialized police violence.
When asked by Vittert whether reporters are “intimidated” by protesters and not askingthem questions like, “why aren’t you protesting all of the other black murders that happen inside Chicago,” Thomas responded with the accusation that news organizations are not reporting on violent crime in Chicago.
“Black-on-black crime in Chicago is virtually ignored, certainly by the national media,” Thomas said, rattling off the number of shootings which he said were at 2,700 for 2015. “But that doesn’t seem to concern the mainstream media as much.”
Vittert then turned to Sweet, who pointed out their assumptions were not factual.
“There has been tremendous attention to crime in Chicago,” she said. “I don’t know how any person who is familiar with the situation says that there’s not.”
Sweet then pointed out that national news coverage of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s bid for reelection had focused on crime in Chicago.
“So I don’t even understand the premise of where you’re coming from on this one. Respectfully said,” she said.
Watch the exchange, via Fox News, here: