Cross posted at the MRC's NewsBusters blog
CNN started this week off by displaying a classic racial double standard in its coverage of police officers shooting suspects under questionable circumstances.
In contrast with last spring when CNN barely touched the trial of a black male Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed white woman, Justine Damond, after she called 911 for assistance, this week the network has already spent substantially more time on the trial of a white female Dallas police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man, Botham Jean, after she accidentally entered her neighbor's apartment thinking it was her own.
After the trial of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger started on Monday, by Tuesday morning, four different CNN shows had covered the story. Correspondent Ed Lavandera has been stationed at the courthouse, and gave full reports on Monday's CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto; and on CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin. He also gave a full report on Tuesday morning's New Day.
Tuesday's Early Start ran a couple of briefs. So far this week, CNN has spent 10 minutes and 16 seconds on the story.
By contrast, when former Minneapolis cop Mohamed Noor was tried last April, CNN waited until the trial concluded to give it any coverage, and then buried the story in a couple of briefs during the early morning Early Start show, totaling a minute and six seconds.
Additionally, on Saturday, September 7, CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield devoted a six-minute segment to the case as the jury was being selected.
CNN's handling of the two cases fits a pattern in which the liberal news network rarely ever makes time for white suspects who are shot by police under questionable circumstances while highlighting a significant number of such cases when the shooting victim is black, thus giving the impression that police officers are blatantly discriminating based on race.
In fact, according to data collected each year by the Washington Post, only about 25 percent of police shooting victims are black, even though media coverage makes it look like it might be as high as 90 percent.
On Tuesday, shortly before 8:00 a.m. Eastern, New Day co-host John Berman introduced the story of this week's trial:
Prosecutors say a former Dallas police officer missed a number of warning signs when she entered the wrong apartment, shooting and killing her neighbor inside his apartment. Her defense says she was fatigued after a long day on the job.
After Lavandera came aboard for a live report, he began:
Prosecutors say Amber Guyger missed those warning signs because she was so distracted for exchanging sexually explicit text messages with her former lover and patrol partner, that that was one of the reasons that she ended up in Botham Jean's apartment, that she was planning a late-night rendez-vous with the former lover. Amber Guyger's attorney says that's not the case, that this was all a tragic mistake..