In The Wall Street Journal, James Freeman takes apart recent insinuations in Washington Post reporting that murder rates are rising in red states by citing the Post’s own reporting on the Democrat-run cities where the crime increases are actually occurring. He writes:
Democrats who led the way in demonizing police in 2020 may be relieved that the political reckoning in 2022 involved only the loss of their majority in the U.S. House. But the Washington Post publishes a grim reminder that while the midterm elections may be over, Americans are still bearing the tragic consequences of a historic crime surge. News editors at the Post could be even more helpful by clarifying which public officials are accountable for civic suffering.
The Post reports:
During the last three years, homicides nationwide have reached their highest levels in decades.
The deadly spike coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic: The rate of killings rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 and remained high through the following year, according to a Washington Post database created to track the toll. Even now, as the bloodshed has slowed, the homicide rate outpaces pre-pandemic levels.
The Post notes the horrific cost of the crime wave on victims and their families and adds:
Gun crime disproportionately impacts people of color, especially Black men. Victim data collected from each city profiled here show Black people made up more than 80 percent of the total homicide victims in 2020 and 2021. And while data show gun deaths have surged around the country, a number of cities lead the way.
The Post visited nine of these places, which have seen some of the nation’s highest recent murder rates.
Is it merely a coincidence that the mayors of all nine of these places are Democrats? The Post story doesn’t make the connection. Instead, the newspaper simply observes that the featured cities “are spread mostly across the South and Midwest.” Hmm.
There’s an old saying that a problem well-defined is half-solved. Unfortunately in this case the Post’s framing of the story may lead some readers to the strange conclusion that violent crime is largely a phenomenon of jurisdictions run by Republicans. It just so happens that a number of Democrats including California Gov. Gavin Newsom have lately been taking to social media to promote exactly this dubious hypothesis.
Fortunately for Post editors eager to add important context to their news coverage in the future, they can consult their columnist Marc Thiessen, who recently debunked Democrats’ claims of a “red state murder problem” based on homicide rates in a number of states that tend to vote Republican. Wrote Mr. Thiessen:
In most of these red states, the high murder rates are driven by the lethal violence in their blue cities.
Take Missouri. Yes, it voted for Trump. But it is also home to two of the most dangerous U.S. cities — St. Louis and Kansas City — both of which are run by Democrats. Earlier this year, CBS News did an analysis of the “deadliest U.S. cities” using the latest FBI and other crime data. In 2019, it found, St. Louis had the highest murder rate in the nation… the vast majority of Missouri’s homicides took place in its Democrat-run cities.
The same is true for Louisiana, which has two of the most lethal Democratic-run cities in the country: Baton Rouge, which in 2019 had the sixth-highest murder rate in the nation with 31.72 murders per 100,000 residents, and New Orleans, which had the seventh-highest rate with 30.67 murders per 100,000. Without those cities, the state’s murder rate would significantly drop.
That’s not all. Tennessee’s homicide rate was driven up by Democratic-run Memphis, which ranked ninth in the country with 29.21 homicides per 100,000 residents…
Now along comes the report from the Post’s news side chronicling the violence in St. Louis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Memphis and other places run by mayors from one political party, which goes unmentioned. As citizens consider how to stop the bloodshed, it’s critical to examine a city’s political leadership and its policy choices.
Action Line: Americans looking to avoid the big blue blob cities should begin their search for a better America with my Super States map for 2022. Avoid the Democrat-run cities where crime has been unleashed by #DEFUNDTHEPOLICE politicians. Instead, settle in one of America’s beautiful small towns where Main Street still means business. In the meantime, click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and be one of the first to get access to my new 2023 Super States.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.
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