So we watched the news this morning. During one segment they aired a pre-produced report on the rise of violence against Asian Americans. OK. I'm not saying it isn't happening, but just off the top, here are a few things that leaped to mind as I watched the report:
1. No stats were given. It was about a five or six minute long segment. It was not a reporter on the street, but it contained interviews and was edited ahead of time. Yet not once did they give me any stats or numbers to go by. Are Asians experiencing this at higher rates than others? What are the percentages? What are the raw numbers? Nothing.
2. With one exception, everyone they interviewed was Indonesian or Indian. Technically those are included in the broader geographic definition of Asia, that much is true. But when most Americans on the street think "Asian", they think Chinese, Korean, Japanese. They typically reserve Indian or Indonesian as a similar, but separate culture.
3. #2 is important because without saying it, the story kept linking the violence to Covid. Why? It never said, but I'm not stupid. I know what it was getting at. Because we say Covid comes from China (and even more unsaid, because Trump kept pointing that out) we now have this racist backlash. And yet, if what it was desperately not wanting to say is accurate about why there is this sudden anti-Asian wave (which suggests the numbers might not actually be there to say it, hence no numbers given), you'd think the victims would be more Chinese than Indonesian, wouldn't you?
4. Two clips were shown of Asians being assaulted. One could have been an altercation that went bad. One did look like a completely unprovoked, random attack. One of the attackers was clearly black. What does it all mean? Again, don't know. No stats, facts or numbers were provided.
These jumped out at me. At the end of the report, I knew nothing other than there is this thing happening - trust us. No reasoning was given, though it was said it *might* have to do with Covid. That's all that was said. And yet, when it was over, I knew there were some things I was supposed to conclude:
A. Of course it's happening. We're a systemically racist nation after all.
B. Despite one of two clips being shown involving a black attacker, I had a feeling this was supposed to be part of the larger 'white racist privilege systemic racism' narrative of the Left.
C. Though never explicitly stated, I also felt I was supposed to blame Trump, or at least blame those suggesting China has anything to do with Covid.
D. I was supposed to ignore the fact that an entire pre-produced news segment only offered interviews without any corroborating evidence, facts, numbers or data to support its claims.
And that's how you do it. I have no doubt many watching this concluded at least three of these. The fact that the fourth thing that came to my mind was the only actual facts to come away with, I'd wager many will run with at least one or two of the first three. Which was, I'll bet, the story's intention.