Can Twin Falls Get Back to Paving Streets? (Opinion)
Somewhere during the course of Monday’s show I mentioned Muslims don’t have a monopoly on abusing young children. In fact I pointed out not all Muslims are child molesters and child rapists. Then I mentioned these crimes are often committed by Caucasians who profess to be Christians. By sheer population numbers I suspect white Christians still commit most of these crimes in America.
Also I defended the work of Twin Falls Police and the Twin Falls County Prosecutor’s Office as they investigated the alleged abuse of a 5-year-old girl. I did criticize the City Council for not taking seriously public concerns about the case. And yet I was still accused online yesterday of whipping the public into a frenzy and near pogrom.
After watching much of the Council meeting last night I think members of the deliberative body showed their concern. Now perhaps things will simmer down and we can get back to the basics of paving streets. That said the public perception of what I talked about on-air and at our website leaves me mystified. In a post I wrote yesterday afternoon I mentioned a quote from Prosecutor Grant Loebs. He told a newspaper reporter the boys being investigated by police weren’t “recent refugees”. It’s a quote. It’s not an attempt by Mr. Loebs to obscure the story. If the reporter asked a follow up along the lines of, “What do you mean by recent?” it wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper story. This isn’t the fault of Grant Loebs. Yet, there were people at the Council meeting calling for his ouster from office. Aside from the fact he doesn’t work for the city what exactly did he do that suddenly requires his dismissal? The case involves children. Both victim and accused. He can’t hang their pictures on posters all around town.
As for media coverage there is ample reason to criticize. As social media and Internet amplified the story rumor became fact for many. On the other hand some of the newspaper follow-up I read yesterday attempted to discredit 100 percent of the Internet traffic not related to newspapering. In other words the competition. I get the impression an editor at the Idaho Statesman also wants to champion the refugee resettlement program and headlined in a story yesterday morning the social media chatter was “false”. As in everything. Maybe it explains why we didn’t see anyone delving into the Loebs’ quote because “recent refugees” leaves open the refugee door. Is recent yesterday? Last year? 1999?
Standard news media has been aware of the story for a few weeks and shouldn’t be indicted for allowing the police and prosecution the time to investigate, however. When friends I hadn’t heard from in months or years were calling and e-mailing me with questions about what they were reading thousands of miles away it’s a wake-up call for those in government, law enforcement and all media. We’re dealing with a powerful force and need to be prepared to respond. I’ll admit we aren’t fully there and need to develop a new paradigm.
One other thing. A member of council Monday defended his remarks labeling some members of the public as being racists and anti-Muslim. In February someone told the Council we needed to “preserve the white race”. If the white race is dying out it’s because it has so few babies. Could we also mention racial pride in itself isn’t detestable? Why do people celebrate after all on May 5th and March 17th? For arguments sake let’s say the guy who did blurt out the concern is a racist. It doesn’t make everyone who objects to the resettlement program racist. It’s a bit like saying all Democrats are flag burners because I once witnessed a Democrat burning a flag. For the record I make a lot of comments like this on radio with tongue planted against a cheek. I’m also not an elected representative of the people.