The Resurrection of Emmett Till

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a long article about the murder of Emmett Till. This tweet sums it up:


What made the Till story timely this week? Could there be a connection between the Jussie Smollett fiasco and the Times’s interest in the 64-year-old Till case? Steve Sailer actually predicted the Times story on Till a week ago:

As I predicted in a February 15, 2019 iSteve post on the New York Times’ credulous coverage of Jussie’s Hate Hoax:

I imagine we’ll once again be deluged with NYT stories about late-breaking developments in the Emmett Till case.

Sailer recalls his own column from last August, which is a pretty brilliant analysis of how the press operates, and why it influences us even when we are aware of its profound bias:

There is always vastly more news than a person can remember. Thus your picture of reality is inevitably distorted to some extent by the power of the media, what I call the Megaphone, to pound over and over into your head certain true news, but not other true news.
***
For example, consider two black teens who once were true news.

In 1955, Emmett Till was murdered by two white men who were quickly acquitted, making his story memorable for being one of the last examples from a long era of state-excused white-on-black civilian violence over black males hitting on white females.

In 1987, Tawana Brawley launched our present era of making up hate hoaxes against whites by claiming that the reason she got home late was because she was being gang-raped by six white policemen.

Which incident is more rationally relevant to 2018? But which does the prestige media consider more au courant?

The statistics that follow call out for an explanation:

In 1980, the name “Emmett Till” did not appear in the pages of the NYT. In 1990 it showed up twice, and in 2000 four times.

From 2004 through 2012, the Times mentioned this old incident an average of nine times per year, and from 2013 to 2016 almost two dozen times per year.

Last year, “Emmett Till” appeared in 72 different Times articles. And this year is on track for 92 stories about the 63-year-old tragedy.

Tawana Brawley, on the other hand, has gone down the memory hole–to the point where Al Sharpton, of all people, was quoted seriously in the “prestige” media to the effect that Smollett should be punished if he fabricated the MAGA assault!

[I]n the 2010s, Tawana Brawley has come up in only 15 articles versus 249 mentioning Emmett Till.

So, why does the New York Times believe that the Till case has somehow gained ever more relevance, more than a half century after it occurred? Because large numbers of similar cases are taking place? Of course not. Rather, the opposite. Given the lack of racist outrages in contemporary America, the Times has to keep going back to the historical well to fire up its constituency. Some have put this in economic terms:

Black-on-white crime vastly exceeds white-on-black crime, as everyone knows. But the Times stubbornly pursues its partisan agenda.

The problem is that the Megaphone, as Sailer calls it, is effective even though nearly everyone is on to the leftists’ game. I liken the insistent agendas of papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post to annoying jingles in radio and television commercials. We all know what the marketers are up to. Nevertheless, we can’t get the annoying jingles out of our heads.

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