And NBC News claims the big award for misleading headline of the week with this doozy:
Former NYPD Officer Arrested for Anti-Semitic Graffiti in Brooklyn
The headline is one of those things that is technically correct but incredibly misleading. The fellow being charged with the crimes, Michael Setiawan, served in some capacity for the New York City Police Department. It’s also pretty clear from various surveillance cameras that he is the one who spray painted a fairly large number of antisemitic messages. So why is it a misleading headline?
Because to be accurate the headline should read, Mentally Disturbed Man Arrested for Anti-Semitic Graffiti in Brooklyn.
But, how many of you would click that story?
Yes, Setiawan spent a couple of years with the NYPD but they went their separate ways in 2007. That’s seven years ago. The fact that he was once a police officer has as much bearing on this case as if he once went to the same high school as Mayor Bill de Blasio.
I see this sort thing all the time and not just in headlines but in general debate and sprinkled in news stories trying to spin a topic. It’s generally designed associate a group with a despicable person. Jared Loughner is an atheist, Donald Sterling is a Democrat, Frazier Glenn Cross is a Republican. These three men may have been members of those organizations but that doesn’t mean those organizations are responsible for their behavior. That those organizations should be in any way held responsible for their behavior.
Setiawan is a nut-job. He spray-painted a lot of antisemitic garbage all over a few neighborhoods. He probably needs mental care. Perhaps prison. I’ll let the courts work it out.
I just wish we didn’t have to find an angle in everything to vilify those with whom we disagree.
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