MSNBC Misleadingly Suggests a Doubling of Whites Killing Minorities

June 3rd, 2018 8:12 PM

Over several days since Thursday, the same MSNBC that ignored reports of some Democratic members of Congress having ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, have been working in overdrive to highlight a handful of white supremacist political candidates who are running for office as Republicans but most likely will never be elected.

And, as she discussed her report on the subject, NBC correspondent Morgan Radford cited misleading statistics suggesting a substantial increase in the number of whites committing murders and other hate crimes against blacks when a look at the data paints a very different picture.



As previously documented by NewsBusters, Radford's report first began running on Thursday, and also ran on the NBC Nightly News and NBC's Today show. On MSNBC, the report ran a total of five times between Thursday and Saturday, and, including panel discussions, the subject has consumed almost 37 minutes of airtime.

In a few of her appearances, especially on Saturday, Radford referred to numbers hinting at an increase in whites targeting minorities. On Saturday's MSNBC Live with Alex Witt, Morgan intoned: "Anti-hate groups say the number of hate crimes has jumped up 20 percent in the last year in major cities, and the number of people killed by white supremacists doubled in 2017 compared to 2016."

Radford seemed to be citing a report by the Anti-Defamation League which found that 18 people -- a tiny number compared to the 14,000 homicides that occur nationwide in a typical year -- were killed in 2017 by what it described as "extremist-related" individuals who were white. The 18 killings occurred across 15 separate incidents, but an examination of those 15 incidents finds that at least 11 of the people killed were themselves white -- in a few cases fellow white supremacists.

Out of the 15 cases, only four would unequivocally qualify as politically-motivated or racially-motivated attacks that one would expect to find on such a list. Those include the car-ramming murder of a white protester at the United the Right rally in Charlottesville; the murder of a white police officer in Montana by a father and son with a history of anti-police sentiments; the murder of two white men in Portland, Oregon, who heroically came to the defense of two Muslim women on a train; and a black man who was murdered in New York City by a white man who was angry about interracial marriage.

But, ironically, the ADL report reveals that, in the Oregon case, the perpetrator had a history of supporting the left-wing socialist Bernie Sanders in his presidential bid, even though he was considered right wing.

It is also possible race played a role in the Aztec, New Mexico, school shooting since the two shooting victims are both Hispanic, but investigators have not concluded as such.

The other cases on the list are much more suspect, and include such events as domestic disputes that turn deadly, white supremacists in conflict with one another, and even one case in which a white murder suspect had an accomplice who was himself black.

And there's an instance in which a prison inmate with a white supremacist history helped murder two prison guards in an attempt to escape from prison, and another case in which a white prison inmate was accused of murdering a black inmate.

There was also a bizarre case in which a white supremacist converted to Islam and then murdered two of his roommates who were themselves white supremacists.

It is also important to put into context that there are typically more than 14,000 homicides in the U.S. each year, and surveys indicate around 70 percent of felons who register to vote after leaving prison, register as Democrats. So criminals convicted of serious offenses are substantially more likely to lean left than to the right.

Additionally, according to FBI statistics, whites are estimated to perpetrate only about 44 percent of homicides even though they make up about 70 percent of the population. So zeroing in on a tiny subset of whites who commit murders is highly misleading.

As for Radford recalling an increase in hate crimes as if only whites commit hate crimes, NewsBusters has pointed out that, in recent years, increases in recorded hate crimes have coincided with an increase in blacks committing such crimes but a drop in white perpetrators.