- Privileged VCU Student Body President and petit Communist Taylor Maloney tweets regularly about killing cops, VA NPR thus complains that ‘right wing media’ is ‘doxxing’ poor Maloney
- Utter hypocrisy of Communists complaining about not being protected enough by police and authorities while advocating their murder is completely lost on the humorless reporter
- Article lacks significant context that would show how irrational Maloney’s complaints are, such as the actual number of people killed by police each year
OUR RATING: Journalistic Malpractice. Even Salon.com is ashamed.
Normally, when a college student says something stupid and radical, it shouldn’t be news. In the new journalism paradigm, though, even offensive things said by high schoolers seems to be news.  Even when some of these things are predictably found to be later false, a kind of media false flag initiated by the passions of youth, there are still media stories and consequences for the participants.  Few media wags complained when conservative teachers were fired for innocuous tweets, such as the Michigan high school teacher fired when he said “Trump is our President.” 
The modern media landscape has made everything newsworthy in its thirst for content and controversy, and those in positions of authority know that even their tweets come with consequences. Those consequences may not be right or just, but they do exist. No one in the current year expects to tweet radicalism without consequence.
So when a privileged student body President complains that his Communist and kill-the-police tweets are causing people to ‘harass’ him, complaining that it is causing him to be ‘doxxed’ because he put his own name on the conversation, a reporter shouldn’t just parrot back these reactionary statements, he should present readers with context and critical analysis to present the story fairly.
Here, Alan Espinoza completely fails at that, and fundamentally fails his readers.
- Missing Context
- Lying Headline
- Creating False Connections
So, to start, let’s look at the headline:
VCU Student Harassed After Right-Wing Media Reports Anti-Police Views
There are a variety of problems with this, but the fundamental one is that his harassment was not unduly caused by the ‘right wing media’ boogeyman but because of the inflammatory nature of his remarks. This is a lying headline. It would be more accurate to say that VCU Student Body President Advocates Killing Cops, Receives Blowback.
There are many online who express, generally speaking, ‘anti-police’ views. Being opposed to the police is quite different than celebrating their murder, however. Many people only read a headline, so it’s important not to misstate or lie in a headline, and here the blame for generic anti-police views blowback is placed on ‘right wing media.’
But if you read the story, you notice that there’s significant missing context. This VCU student posted these comments on Twitter, and most of his ‘harassment’ has come from Twitter. Is Twitter “right wing media” – certainly not. There was a story about the tweets in the Post Millennial, by journalist Andy Ngo, who has extensively covered Antifa and radicals across the country.  But the alleged harassment came via Twitter, and the explanation for the connection to the story is to blame Ngo and his attempt to ‘dox’ Taylor.
Yet when it suited their purposes, Taylor was promoted by the ACLU of Virginia and has been in quite a few other stories. They are entering the public sphere and, as a consequence, a certain amount of negativity is to be expected. One important context the article does not offer, is whether this kind of negative feedback is normal for Twitter or for public figures, so you really can’t get a sense as to whether Taylor is just whining that not everyone agrees with them and using professional victimology to position themselves as such.
Here’s how the article clarifies the reaction and the source of the reactionary comments:
…says they’ve received hundreds of negative comments on social media criticizing their anti-police comments and communist political views.
So is it newsworthy that an explicit Communist receives criticism online? Again, this is making the reader wonder why this is newsworthy in the first place.
And that’s further evidence of Espinoza burying the lede, which is when the most pertinent information is put later in the news story. The most important part of the story is that Taylor was openly advocating the murder of police and the murder of whites.
Here are some of their key observations:
Notably the reporter, Alan Espinoza, completely omits the anti-white aspects of the tweets. That part of the story goes completely ignored. This is vital missing context. This matches the kind of whitewashing going on in the media in general, where blatant racial double-standards are being applied in order to marginalize whites for a variety of left-wing pretexts. If this student elite had a negative view to a racially-preferred group, that part of the story would likely eclipse the anti-police part of the narrative.
There is also a substantial amount of demonization of journalist Andy Ngo in the article, such as these paragraphs:
One of the authors behind the article is writer Andy Ngo, a controversial right-leaning activist with a history of encouraging his large base to harass left-leaning political opponents. VPM spoke to one activist Ngo has targeted about the experience. They asked us to only use their screen name, Jules, for fear of retribution.
Gastañaga says in Maloney’s case, Ngo has directed the harassment their way because they represent a challenge to the political status quo.
“Emerging leaders who are not straight white men with mainstream political views are scrutinized, targeted and harassed every day with a higher level of intensity,” she said. “It is clear that Taylor was targeted by a well-known and active provocateur who wanted to take away their power.”
Andy Ngo is a gay Asian man  whom this article claims is in the service of preventing the emergence of leaders “who are not straight white men.” This is really just ridiculous on its face, and the fact that the article doesn’t address this, while still making these baseless claims via a quote, is dishonest.
Here’s another interesting tweet from Taylor:
“I hope that man [Derek Chauvin] walks so we can burn this bitch to the ground.”
How would you categorize this statement, and how would you not address it in an NPR article? This is certainly the glorification of violence and the promotion of perceived injustice so as to facilitate rioting and revolution. Espinoza mentions none of it, and thus it is missing context.
But it’s also a fundamental misrepresentation of what this story is, what’s going on, and what it’s about. The narrative framing by the reporter is making the subject to be very sympathetic when they are not. They are making this to be unwarranted harassment by ‘right wing media’ when it is not, and it is ignoring the racial angles and the appeals to overt violence.
It’s notable that reporter Alan Espinoza’s LinkedIn  shows that he was a 2019 undergraduate of VCU, the same school as he’s reporting on, and he received another certificate from VCU in 2020. Meaning that it’s likely he has some personal connection with the subject of the piece. At this point you’re probably not surprised that he failed to disclose that in the article as well.
Sometimes you receive a lot of hatred online not because someone highlighted your comments, but because they were inflammatory in the first place.
Almost everything in this article was wrong, which sounds like par for the course for VCU graduates.
OUR RATING: Journalistic Malpractice. Even Salon.com is ashamed.
1 ] https://nypost.com/2020/04/20/georgia-students-expelled-for-posting-racist-video-on-tiktok/