CHICAGO, May 5, 2010— Associated Press reports three photojournalists and a reporter were killed in one week in Mexico. They were reporting on the drug-trade fueled violence in Veracruz. Two drug cartels are battling each other over territory. Independent news sources have become targets of the cartels.
According to AP prosecutions are just as rare in the murders of journalists and photographers as they are in all the other drug trade murders. Journalists have been very careful to practice self-censorship because reportage might upset the drug cartels.
What else is new? American journalists have been practicing self-censorship on major organized street gangs and drug cartels in major urban areas for years.
Every day in America gangs and drug cartels kill people. Many are innocent bystanders. Some are young children. The drug trade is running unabated. Murder is rampant. The cycle of violence is never ending.
Gang or cartel leaders are rarely named though the information is readily available. If one is arrested or indicted the story is short and buried.
If a traditional organized crime figure(s) is indicted or arrested there are full- page photos, long stories, and days of reportage during the trial. It is amazing how senior citizen, wheel chair bound or cane wielding, oxygen sucking barely living mobsters can garner major coverage for crimes committed decades ago.
Not a peep about the gang leaders or drug lords ordering or committing crimes every day in America. The cash rolls in. The bodies pile up. No one cares.
From the 1950s through the late 80s there was broad coverage on the activities of mobsters. Major media outlets had organized crime beats. Reporters wrote stories on the lives, foibles, murders, crimes, and arrests of colorful mobsters. They were even fodder gossip columnists and comedians.
Some mob reporters became famous, Sandy Smith, Art Petaque, John “Bulldog” Drummond, Jerry Capeci, Gene Mustain, and Jimmy Breslin, to name a few.
You cannot name one reporter who covers gangs or drug cartels. They just do not exist. Comedians dare not make fun of gangs or drug lords.
We know more about Al Capone, John Gotti, Tony Accardo, and Carlo Gambino than we do about the leaders of the Latin Kings, Crips, Bloods, Ganster Disciples, Zetas, Sinaloa Cartel, Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), or the host of other violent gangs and drug operations in our cities today.
Yet, the real threat is the urban terrorist armies the street gangs and drug cartels are raising. On a daily basis in major urban areas they kill and sell poison. There are hundreds of thousands of gang members and drug dealers across the nation.
Why are these organized criminal entities ignored? Why are they given a free pass by the media? There are two reasons. Both are political which is why they make no sense.
Since most of the gangs are composed of blacks and Hispanics, the oh-so politically correct media does not want to be accused of racism, especially by their own reporters and columnists. Being accused of racism is the media’s biggest fear. Big city media are not known for being fearless about the truth.
The media fears the race mongering political preachers who are reverently called civil rights leaders. No one can name one thing they did during the civil rights movement except carry signs or yell. But they are leaders.
It was and still is politically correct to portray Italian, Jewish, Irish, Chinese, and Russian mobsters in negative ways or give them generous publicity. It was and sill is culturally acceptable to put their faces on the front pages, make them public enemies, and use the combined forces of law enforcement and media to take them down.
It was and still is acceptable to call their friends, relatives, and people they did business with “associates of organized crime”.
There were and still are “mob lawyers”. No one would dare refer to an attorney as a “gang” or “drug” lawyer. The American Bar Association would go ballistic.
While everyone was pursuing organized crime, the Black and Hispanic gang’s and drug cartel’s growth was exponential.
Secondly, mayors do not want their cities portrayed as places where denizens of evil are walking the streets killing people at random. It is not good for business, tourism, conventions, and conferences.
They did not mind the Mob. The mob was the caterer who provided services they would or could not like gambling and prostitution. The mob also controlled the unions, especially some of the public employee unions, service employee unions*, taxi unions, and the unions who worked at convention and conference sites. The mob, through third parties, also contributed money and foot soldiers to the politicians, especially Democrats.
The Chicago, Kansas City, and New York City Democratic parties were entwined in close familial relationships with the boys. Some claim those relationships are still alive today.
Business organizations also get involved. They believe they will lose money if urban areas are portrayed as places of wanton criminality. So they pressure the politicians who pressure the media.
So let the murders roll on. Let children keep getting killed. Let poisonous dope keep bringing millions in profit. Let the politicians, editors, and media keep their blindfolded noble and honorable heads in the sand. They will not be called racist.
We can call them aiders, enablers, and abettors of murder, mayhem, and drug addiction.
Who cares how many people are murdered? Who cares how many people died the slow poisonous death of drug addiction? Who cares how powerful the gangs and drug cartels get?
Who the hell really cares?
*The Chicago Mob created SEIU. It was a merger between two building employee unions. They ran it for decades. The thug tactics SEIU uses today were derived from their Chicago Mob days.
Next: What can be done.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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