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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Sarah McCammon, a national correspondent for NPR, drew backlash Tuesday when she posted a tweet suggesting that journalists need bulletproof vests to survive in America.
In the since-deleted tweet posted shortly before noon, McCammon announced that the bulletproof vest she’d ordered had arrived but was a tad too big for her — not that she minded.
“My bulletproof vest that I may need to be a journalist in America arrived and they sent me a Small and I had to adjust it to make it a little smaller and for a moment I was happy that I was too small for my bulletproof vest that I need to do journalism in America,” she wrote.
Her tweet rubbed many the wrong way for several reasons, one of them being that she would make such a claim at a time when cops — not journalists — are being gunned down left and right.
Going on a ride along with police to see how hard their job is or embedding with a military unit? If neither, you wasted your employer’s $$$ for an attn grab.
— KBFWTX (@KBFWTX) May 4, 2021
Indeed, because journalism is as dangerous a profession as being in the police department or military. #snowflake
— Jack Wolz (@brasi_anthony) May 4, 2021
@sarahmccammon you are a joke, and this is what our tax money is paying for at NPR ? A bullet proof vest ? Really , you need one ? Take a night time ride with a Chicago cop and grow up ?
— Steve (@Steve57756394) May 5, 2021
Try wearing one every day of your life as a cop or a soldier.
— Bang Ding Ow 🛬🇺🇸 (@steamjetboomer) May 4, 2021
Making matters worse is the fact that she and her ilk have echoed the false claim that American police officers are killing innocent people in an “onslaught.” This false claim has done nothing to tamp down the anti-cop climate currently permeating America.
Wait until she starts carrying because she participated in the real onslaught of lies forcing police out of cities pic.twitter.com/nOTqF6kYmS
— ric (@aiirric) May 4, 2021
Shame how media have demonized Cops so much and press complains about needing vests. Think Cause and Effect 🤔🤨💭
— LbrtDo (@DoLbrt) May 4, 2021
Imagine being one of the cops you guys dehumanize.
— Fløkí dã Fręn (@johndoe57095986) May 4, 2021
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 119 officers had died in the line of duty as of May 6th. Conversely, only 11 journalists were killed in the United States … between 1992 and 2021, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The latest two murders occurred in 2015 when a deranged former journalist, Vester Lee Flanagan II, a black man who’d been fired for disruptive conduct, sought revenge by killing two of his former white colleagues.
Based on letters he’d written and interviews with people who knew him, The New York Times concluded that he “was a black man who saw racism in every workplace.” In that regard, he wasn’t too different from contemporary “journalists,” including those at NPR.
Back in 2017, a host on the publicly funded “news” outlet’s radio program accused “King Kong” of being “loaded some ugly, racial subtext, ridiculous caricatures of natives, white men protecting a white woman from the savages and a giant, dangerous, black creature from the jungle.”
The host’s guest, Robin Means Coleman, a professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Michigan who specializes in studying King Kong, concurred.
“This is, again, a big, black man – right? – a big, black ape who is absolutely obsessed with whiteness and particularly white women. That has to be cut down,” he said.
Another issue with McCammon’s tweet, according to critics, is that it ignores the reality of performing journalism virtually anywhere else in the world.
I sincerely would like to know: Where in America do you need a vest to be a journalist?
I grew up in Venezuela were both my parents were journalists, so I know a little about threats to journos and honestly this tweet just seems like you’re looking for attention. https://t.co/wWtsMYv19P
— Daniel Acosta Rivas (@DanAcostaR) May 4, 2021
Are you going to be an American war correspondent in Syria? Definitely totally and completely unnecessary anywhere in the USA. Shooting journalist isn’t a thing.
— LB412 (@LB_412) May 4, 2021
Omg get over yourself. Voters have sent me to Afghanistan and Iraq for 20 years and no one gives a shit enough to change it. You pooor pooooor person who’s job might one day maybe be dangerous. The trash men picking up your crap more likely to die on job than you are.
— Stasi Fighter (@robertc20277507) May 4, 2021
And jus think America isn’t even in the list of top 5 most dangerous countries for journalists, or even the list of top 20. Close to half the deaths last year took place in Mexico. America isn’t perfect but ur life is in far more danger in Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, etc
— Antonella212 (Instagram) (@NYorNothing) May 4, 2021
Calm the fuck down, this isn’t Russia. Or are you hoping it will protect you from well-deserved criticism?
— Stones MacJorgan (boop/bop/beep) (@macabaret_17) May 4, 2021
The latter Twitter user may have hit the nail on the head.
According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, a man who’s faced genuine persecution by the authoritarian government of Brazil, American “journalists” have come to believe the “woke” lie that criticism is abuse and violence.
Only if it’s directed at them, that is. When it comes to them doxxing, smearing and criticizing others, that’s perfectly acceptable.
The most extraordinary part of all this is that the only reason anyone is talking about Taylor Lorenz is because she twice fabricated serious accusations about someone, so by equating criticisms of her with “abuse,” she gets to somehow become the victim and her sins are absolved: https://t.co/dpADdTJzli
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2021
But that’s the playbook which media elites use to immunize themselves against criticisms from the riff-raff. Equate criticisms and even harsh insults with violence, and then you get to be the victim – even though you are highly privileged – and no criticisms of you are allowed.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2021
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