Tragic murder of British Parliamentary Member highlights the horrific crimes journalists are concerned about, and those that journalists either ignore or try to minimize. David Amess was a Conservative MP who was brutally attacked and stabbed by an Islamic fundamentalist on Friday. And while the networks offered just under ten minutes of coverage from Friday night to Monday night, they focused over 15 minutes to the murder of liberal Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 by an anti-immigrant extremist.
Elizabeth Drew, a long-time columnist for the liberal left, posted the most sexist response to Amess’s passing on Twitter. She mocked the victim’s name. She made a mockery of Amess’s death.
A few hours later, Drew deleted the tweet and she offered this brief, lame apology: “Apols for a lapse. Tweet deleted.”
MRC analysts looked at the coverage of the murders of liberal Labour Member of Parliament Cox in 2016 and the killing of the Conservative Amess in 2021 and contrasted the difference. The three days were similar. Between June 16th, 2016 and June 19th 2016, ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts devoted fifteen minutes and sixteen seconds to Cox’s shooting. The stabbing of Amess was allowed to take place between October 15 and October 18 2021.
On Saturday night’s CBS Weekend News, Roxana Saberi labeled the deceased Amess as “hard-line,” saying, “The Conservative member of Parliament was stabbed multiple times at this church. According to police, a suspect aged 25 was arrested at the church. They believe Islamic extremism may be the motive. Amess was known for his hard-line views on Brexit…”
According to NPR, the British Metropolitan Police investigation “has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.”
However, networks paid more attention to the Cox case in 2016, where a Brexit-supporting fanatic murdered him. It was June 16, 2016.CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley underlined, “Today in Britain, a member of Parliament was shot and stabbed to death. Forty-one-year-old Jo Cox was an outspoken campaigner for Britain to remain in the European Union.”
Reporter Jonathan Vigliotti made sure to highlight the killer’s motive, saying, he yelled “Britain first,’ the name of the anti-immigrant, right-wing party.”
Both these crimes are equally horrific, but journalists like Drew mocked the death of a conservative politician and network reporters are underplaying Amess’s death at the apparent hands of an Islamic terrorist. All political assassinations aren’t created equal for ABC, CBS and NBC.