Journalism, Indoctrination and Denial

Rixon Stewart – January 4, 2012

The Stephen Lawrence killing says as much about the corporate media as it does about race relations. Maybe even more.
The murder of the young black teenager in Eltham, London, nearly 19 years ago was widely reported as “racially” motivated. Pretty well from the outset the media focused on this one aspect of the killing – almost to the exclusion of all else.
Yet other aspects were distinctly at odds with this interpretation, calling into question the subsequent inquiry into the murder investigation and the attendant press coverage.
Of course this was all before the advent of the Internet and had it been online at the time things might have been very different.
For since the emergence of the web, questions have been mounting about media coverage across a broad range of issues. Culminating in the run-up to the Iraq invasion when the public were bombarded with a steady stream of reports speculating on Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
Saddam’s Iraq became almost a byword for WMD and the media’s portrayal of the supposed threat helped justify the invasion. So that many who might have otherwise opposed it were silenced by the need to neutralise the danger Iraq supposedly represented.
Or seemed to represent. For as it turned out Saddam didn’t have any WMD and nor were there any programs to develop them. Saddam’s Weapon’s of Mass Destruction were largely a creation of self-seeking Western politicians aided by a compliant media.
In essence a media generated illusion.
Nonetheless, the damage was done. Thereafter followed years of bloody occupation all dutifully reported by the same corporate media, which had helped pave the way for Iraq’s invasion in the first place.
Lawrence was murdered a decade before while the Internet was still in its infancy. At the time the public was less cynical about the media and without the Internet there were few genuine alternative outlets.
So we heard virtually only one line about Stephen Lawrence’s murder or variations on that line. Almost from the start the media repeated that his murder was primarily racially motivated.
However, a closer look at some less well-publicised facts in the case reveals another picture entirely.
The scene was set on April 22 1993, when Stephen Lawrence, an 18 year old A level student was waiting for a bus in Eltham, S.E. London. A group of 5 or 6 white youths approached Stephen and his friend Duwayne Brooks. The word “nigger” was used; Stephen was stabbed and died a short while later.
Thereafter it was alleged that the original police investigation was bungled because of “institutionalised racism.” Despite two trials and an inquiry into the original police investigation Lawrence’s killers were still free years later and only now after nearly 19 years have they finally been convicted.
We can surmise that Sir William Macpherson, the judge who oversaw the inquiry into the original murder investigation, was a Freemason as the judiciary have more than their fair share of masons; and his report was particularly critical of any suggestion that the killing may not have been racially motivated.
Yet according to D.S. Davison, who was in charge of the original investigation: “These lads had attacked whites before, very similarly with a similar knife. I believe this was thugs. They were described as the Krays. They were thugs who were out to kill. Not particularly a black person but anybody and I believe to this day that that was thugs, not racism, just pure bloody minded thuggery.”
D.S. Davison’s appraisal was substantiated by the fact that one of the killers, Gary Dobson, was already serving a five-year sentence for drug dealing when he was finally convicted of Lawrence’s murder. In other words he was a convicted criminal quite capable of “pure bloody minded thuggery”. 
Two anonymous letters, both of which named the same suspects, further substantiated this assessment. Both letters maintained that these were dangerous men, two of who had been involved in another stabbing the month before Lawrence’s murder. On that occasion the victim had been white. The same hand may well have written the letters but they both emphasised that this was not a BNP (British National Party) related incident.
In other words race was not the primary motive. Rather this was a gang initiation whereby prospective members had to prove themselves by stabbing someone before they could join.
This was reinforced on 23 April, 1993, when a young “skinhead” walked into Plumstead Police Station. According to him the very same people were involved whom… “Call themselves the ‘Krays.’ In fact you can only join their gang if you stab someone. They carry knives and weapons most days.”
So the evidence pointed not to a racially motivated killing but to “pure bloody minded thuggery.” Other officers shared this opinion and as many as half involved in the case thought that this was a true analysis.
However, in the press coverage that followed these facts received scant attention. Instead great emphasis was given to accusations of “institutionalised racism”, while the fact that Lawrence’s killers had attacked whites in the same area only weeks before was pointedly ignored.
The belated conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris has given press speculation about the murder a new lease of life. However, it is also revealing in that one article by award winning journalist and lecturer on journalism, Brian Cathcart, repeats all that we heard repeatedly when the murder was first reported nearly 19-years-ago.
Cathcart quotes detectives involved in the case:
“I believe that the motive for Stephen’s death had nothing to do with colour,” said one detective. Another declared: “Had he been black, white, green, blue or yellow, he would still have been attacked and killed.”
This denial of a racial motive is “Ludicrous”, writes Cathcart. “Denial, denial, denial”, he continues. “A race murder had happened and to compound the horror the police were making a dreadful mess of the investigation…”
Although Cathcart offers nothing to substantiate his claims two telling points emerge. First, not once in the entire article does he mention that Lawrence’s killers had attacked whites in the same area only weeks before.
He doesn’t even allude to it. Instead he simply lambasts investigative officers for being in “denial” about racism.
But perhaps even more telling is the fact that Cathcart now teaches journalism at Kingston University. So now a whole new generation are being taught (or is that indoctrinated?) in the subtle art of disinformation and denial embodied in modern journlism.

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