(This is the second part of a multi-part series You can view part 1 here) I know. I said I was going to get to the good stuff, but please give me one more second. Before we dive into the really juicy stuff, I got one other important issue to cover.
So what about Duncan, Oklahoma. Most of us have probably never heard of it before this horrible crime. I know I didn’t, and as always when I don’t know about something I research. Yeah, I’m a nerd! A great site to learn hard data about a city in the United States is City Data. Here is their information on Duncan Oklahoma. There is a ton of data there and I have read through it all. I want to highlight some key statistics though. First will be race: So Duncan is white. Actually Duncan is very white and there are very few blacks there. Duncan is Republican, very Republican almost to the tune of how white it is. Click here to read the rest of part two of this important post
Since this series is on race and party, that’s the main things. But do read through the data. You’ll get a quick vision of a relatively rural, lower income area. This also appears to be Duncan’s first murder since 2008, so it’s relatively safe.
Ok Enough, Where’s the Juice?
Sometime after 8:30 am yesterday morning the right wing blogosphere and media went into a frenzy. First up, one of my favorites to hit on, Weasel Zippers. Weasel Zippers has posted numerous updates since then, but none correcting the wrong image they used. We’ve also got the National Review, the original conservative publication, that posted that picture yesterday. This was just a cut and paste job and there is no timestamp, but the latest it was posted was 6:30pm last night, as that’s the earliest comment. So when the real pictures were going out, NRO was pushing the false ones. Townhall doesn’t post the picture, but instead they post this tweet by Allen West.
“We were bored & decided to kill somebody.” 3 black teens shoot white jogger.Who will POTUS identify w/this time? http://t.co/ovs9Xw23Ye
— Allen West (@AllenWest) August 20, 2013
That was actually posted today. As to be expected, neither Townhall nor Allen West have issued corrections. Now here is a really good one I want to discuss. The “professor” of law, Glenn Reynolds doesn’t post the picture, but he does say this:
I NOTICE THAT AMERICAN MEDIA DON’T SEEM TO BE SHOWING PICTURES OR MENTIONING RACE: Three teens accused of murder of baseball player Chris Lane identified.
That was at 12:46pm yesterday. Now this is kind of a cute lawyer thing. Notice Reynolds doesn’t mention the race himself or even show the picture that had been floating around the blogosphere? That does give him some deniability. But, as a lawyer, Reynolds should realize that these are juveniles, and until they are charged as adults, they still get the anonymity of being juveniles. Now sure the names had come out, but that was it. I can’t find an exact time for everything, but we do know this:
By 1:30 p.m., court had begun, and once court adjourns, more information will be released
Now remember, we are talking about times an hour behind everything I am basing off of, and also from Glenn’s blog. So court begun almost 2 hours after the professor made his post. The next update was at 3:30/4:30 edt (actual time using my RSS feed trick!). Then the final, reporting they have been officially charged at 5:30/6:30 edt. Now sure it takes time to write the articles, so even if they had two hours, that means they weren’t formally charged until about 4:30pm edt, or 4 hours after Glenn’s absurd question. Now remember that whole first part on timing the release of pictures? Well now we can use it. Remember we determined that the actual Sheriff mug shots were released around 6:30pm edt yesterday. So that fits perfectly in the timeframe we are building. It also backs up what I was saying about releasing too much information on juveniles before being formally charged as adults. Now I know Glenn Reynolds is smart and knows this. That’s what is extra troubling. He threw legal ethics out the door in order to promote a partisan/racial point. Malice is much worse than ignorance, so Glenn really should be ashamed. Let’s look at Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. Ok first things first. Notice something on there? That picture of Jones (the white suspect) seems a lot darker than the original released be the sheriff. Well I had to get my geek on again and look closer. Just looking you can see the difference between the two, but I got to be a geek, so I looked at the histogram of each image. If you don’t know what a histogram is, here is the Wikipedia description:
The horizontal axis of the graph represents the tonal variations, while the vertical axis represents the number of pixels in that particular tone. The left side of the horizontal axis represents the black and dark areas, the middle represents medium grey and the right hand side represents light and pure white areas. The vertical axis represents the size of the area that is captured in each one of these zones. Thus, the histogram for a very dark image will have the majority of its data points on the left side and center of the graph. Conversely, the histogram for a very bright image with few dark areas and/or shadows will have most of its data points on the right side and center of the graph.
Now look at the two histograms on my image. The one for the Daily Caller image shows that it is darker. That’s not an optical illusion or anything, but rather pure mathematics. Now there was other manipulations done. See I had to enlarge my copy of the image (the one released by the sheriff) to get it to the size of the Daily Caller. That in turn causes the image to look rather blurry. Now the Daily Caller picture doesn’t have that, so they had to do some sharpening. But sharpening doesn’t make images darker. Sharpening adds contrast and, if anything, will make an image appear brighter. I can only assume that they did darken Jones image to push a racial tone. Now let’s get back to the rest of their article. Part way down you notice the familiar fake picture. Yup, they didn’t even take it off. Now they did post an update. But the author decides to jump into that racist game again. Right below the image we see:
Choose your next words carefully, racists. It’ll be interesting to see how many other American news outlets find this story notable. So far, not many.
No. News outlets didn’t “jump on it” because it didn’t pass the smell test. News organizations do know the law, especially involving juvenile criminal cases, which this was when that picture came out. But go down a bit more: Update: News.com.au, which is where the above images originated, used a picture of a different Michael Jones, apparently. From left to right, here are the mugshots of James Edwards, Chancey Luna, and Michael Jones. And here’s the image they show Ok Jones’ histogram results is the same as my test above. There is a difference though. Here’s the new image they provide superimposed over the original from the Sheriff. Instead of enlarging, they shrunk down this new image. Ok, nothing wrong with enlarging and shrinking images. We all do that. But the skin tone remains the same, regardless of size. They also didn’t have to sharpen on this one. So what’s that mean? Well they had to adjust the image tone. Let’s look at a comparison of all three. Well look at that. Turns out the Daily Caller decided to darken everyone up. I guess darker means scarier to them. Let’s see what they say after that:
This, of course, changes everything. Edwards and Luna are being charged with first-degree murder, whereas Jones is charged with “using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree.” There’s your angle, Rev. Al. The one with the lightest skin got the lightest charge. The one who looks the least like Obama will get the least punishment. Let the racebaiting begin.
Sounds like the author is trying to get the race baiting in there, and given the fact that they are darkening photos just to promote their points, well I would say it has already begun. But let’s see what else the author of this article has to say:
If two black guys shoot a white guy while being driven by another white guy, that proves it wasn’t racially motivated. #liblogic
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) August 21, 2013
Yup – it’s Jim Treacher. I’m going to end this second part here. Tomorrow I will tackle the media’s response, namely Matt Drudge, Fox News and especially Rush Limbaugh. Oh you won’t want to miss that one! I’ll try to get it up as soon as possible!