Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Cashin' In

Why the media focus on race in the “child grooming” trial?, the Liberal Conspirators want to know.

Well, indeed. You didn’t see a lot of focus on race in this case from 2009, nor in this one from 2010, neither of which is any less horrifying than the one that ended in Bradford today. 

Evidence as presented by Ceops suggests that this kind of crime is more prevalent among Asian men, but you seldom hear angry demands that, say, alcohol-related violence be referred to as a white man's pastime.  After all, I live in Scotland - up here, I'd be surprised if ethnic minorities account for even one percent of violent and/or sexual offences.  That's one headline you never see in the Record.

I’ve written about this before and I'm going to have to repeat myself a bit here.  The long and short of it is this - race is presented so centrally in the Bradford trial because it has an attribute that the others lacked, i.e. an opportunity to pin the blame on an unpopular bugbear and then indulge in a bit of moral grandstanding.

From the get-go, every time this case has appeared in court, it’s been accompanied by a rash of articles and reports decrying an all-pervading political correctness that somehow prevents their authors talking about race and sexual abuse – even while their authors are explicitly talking about race and sexual abuse.  Linking race and sexual abuse is taboo, an unmentionable truth, a no-no, a sacred cow, the gorilla in the pantry or whatever, the hacks tell their readers and viewers, and then they…

...explicitly link race and sexual abuse.

In fact, there have been numerous reports about apparent links between crime and race, specifically relating to this case, in the Mail, the Times and the Guardian; on Channel Four news and its accompanying website; in the Telegraph and on vast array of other news websites.

There have been announcements made on child grooming as a specifically Asian problem by the Minister for Children; by the previous Home Secretary; by various Members of Parliament; by the police Child Protection Centre, all of whom laid out their opinions in the starkest possible fashion.

Elsewhere, it’s the hot topic on blogs, newspaper websites and nutter hangouts, with every crackpot in the land free to express his or her opinion as bluntly as he or she likes.  A five-minute Google search proves this beyond doubt.

So, whither the PC Brigade, when it can't even suppress such a sensational story?  Well, maybe that question contains its own logical answer.

I'd contend that the target of these pieces isn’t Asian men, as has been darkly hinted today.  Nor is it Muslims or any specific minority, and it isn't even child abusers as such. The target is the British public, and more specifically its perpetually offended reflex of victimhood, injustice and persecution, which is the vein you absolutely must hit if you want to sell newspapers.

In this, it’s no different at all to stories about women having a billion kids so they can claim council houses or Britain’s Got Talent contestants claiming disability allowance, both with the assistance of our overweening culture of soft-touch blah blah whatever. 

Both give the reader 1) indefensible villains to villify; 2) a context of your-money-funded villain-coddling to rail against and 3) a very personal sense of wounded outrage and resentment to nurse and stroke… thus bringing the reader back to buy the paper again the next day, to find out what else they are not allowed to hear about.  It's the Great British media business strategy, all on one page!

All-white child abuse rings can’t really be sold to this market and indeed, haven't been. They don’t trip the right switches or spark the same emotional response, although their crimes are equally heinous.

If a bunch of white men abuse a group of children, nobody can pretend that the abusers are somehow protected by a nebulous political correctness; nobody can credibly feign concern that they themselves could face a recriminations simply for raising the perpetrators' ethnicity as a negative. It’s just a depressing reminder that there are large numbers of evil fucks out there, and it’s hard to make money by depressing your readers and making them feel helpless.

Asian men abusing kids, though – that can easily be reconciled into a pre-existing freakout about PC Gone Mad/Overindulgence of criminals/Reluctance to criticise ethnic minorities/Discrimination against white people or any number of similarly retarded, tabloid-fodder stories. It stokes anger and indignation. Indignation sells bucketloads!

Summary: The targets here aren’t Asians, or criminal-coddling libruls or even sex offenders and really, you'd think it'd be the sex offenders part that is of primary importance.

The targets here are sales targets.  If that means making race a critical factor where its relevance is debatable and pretending to be terrified of some non-existent, never-occurring Vengeance Of Tha PC Brigade… Well then, that’s what it takes.  Ker-Ching!

Don’t imagine that everything you see and hear is about politics, folks. It isn’t.  Newspapers and politicians have motivations that supercede the need to push particular party lines.

Even the Express is first and foremost a business, and even the Mail would gladly tell its readers tomorrow that labour unions are awesome or that knife-wielding hoodies are lovely, if those stories sold better than fostering resentment does.

And hey, with the Sun and the Mail as the nation's most popular newspapers, I think we're past the point where we can doubt which business model shifts more units. 

As to whether cashing in on the public's perfectly justified outrage over organised sexual abuse of vulnerable children is a morally reprehensible behaviour or not... Well, I suppose that if they didn't do it, somebody else would, but let's leave that question for another day.

1 comment:

Ilkley Chess said...

Excellent post with one exception.

Bradford had nothing to do with it. Do you have Galloway on the brain?

The abuse was in Rochdale and the trial was in Liverpool.