Recently, news stations and media outlets have been reporting about a so-called phenomenon known as the ‘knockout game’. Apparently, this is a game that has been going around for about a year now. The object of the game is to encounter a random person on the street and knock that person out with one punch. Per reports, this is becoming more and more popular with young, black men in large cities. And, if you were to hear it from Fox News and other conservative news outlets, there is a racial element to this.
For the past week plus, many of the afternoon and evening talk shows on Fox have devoted quite a bit of time to this ‘epidemic’ that is causing fear and violence in our urban areas. Not only are they stoking the fires of racial fear and animosity, they are making sure to place blame on noted black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for not doing anything about this scourge.
On the November 19th, Bernie Goldberg was on The O’Reilly Factor and used it to blame Sharpton and Jackson for not speaking out about these attacks, because to do so would make them look like the failures they are as black leaders.
On this past Sunday’s edition of Fox & Friends Sunday, Clayton Morris and Mike Huckabee also blamed Sharpton for not doing anything about this while the segment itself whipped up imagery of barbaric activity in the inner city.
However, it appears that maybe this whole ‘epidemic’ has been overblown from the start. That this might be more of a media invention than an actual nationwide game of violence. In a New York Times report on Friday, Cara Buckley asked numerous law enforcement officials from around the country about the ‘knockout game.’ The answers she got were more or less along the same line: this is more an urban myth than anything.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly had this to say on Friday:
“We’re trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon. I mean, yes, something like this can happen. But we would like to have people come forward and give us any information they have.”
In Jersey City, where news stations have shown teenagers apparently bragging about the ‘knockout game’, a police spokesman had some very strong words about it. Bob McHugh stated, “If there was ever an urban myth, this is it.” He also stated that a city council member setup a Facebook page for citizens to report any instances of such a crime, and there have been no reports made.
The fact is, real or not, this is the kind of story that Fox News LOVES to report on. It confirms the belief among their old, white audience that there are young black men out there looking to hurt them for absolutely no reason. It reiterates their notion that inner-city blacks are lacking any moral compass and compassion. It feeds into their firmly held beliefs about the inferiority of minorities in this country and why they need to continue to move further and further into the suburbs or rural areas. In the end, these stories make Fox viewers feel better about hating blacks and other minorities.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).