There’s only one thing that the media like more than a good car chase: a riot. Whether it is Ferguson or Baltimore, the media is ready and willing to provide 24-hour news coverage.
Why, then, did the media ignore a Halloween riot of over 1,000 people that left a quiet neighborhood in shambles and a number of cars destroyed? Perhaps it is because of who was rioting. In this case, it was a bunch of spoiled, rich white students from the University of California at Berkeley, who were upset that police shut down their Halloween parties early Sunday morning. BerkeleySide.com reports on what happened:
Dispatch then reported “getting multiple calls about the same large group saying they’re destroying cars at this point.” Officers said they would wait until later to deal with property crimes and made it clear they were aiming to keep some distance from the crowd except for emergency situations.
Officers were advised to return to the station to “gear up,” with helmets and other equipment, as large crowds remained in the area. Units from other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, Alameda County sheriff’s department and the University of California Police Department were also in the area to assist.
One of the earliest reports online about large crowds came out on Twitter at 11:37 p.m. Saturday, posted by a UC Berkeley senior: “There’s a riot in berkeley like a real one bc they shut down all our parties.”
An officer reported over the scanner that the crowd was easily in the thousands…Said Atreyue Ryken on Twitter as of about midnight, “Legitimate riots at Channing Circle tonight, cars broken into and jumped on by hundreds if not 1,000.”
So why did the media turn a blind eye to the mayhem? Some might think it was race and class-related, since the rioters were mostly white and wealthy, but that was hardly the real reason. The media ignored the violence because Berkeley is a liberal utopia, and the students there are their “golden children,” future leaders whose left-wing ideology must be elevated and celebrated. They cannot sully that image of the bleeding-heart liberal by reporting that they are really selfish, spoiled kids who will riot over a party.
Had these kids been college students from Texas or, dare I say it, a Christian college, the media would have eaten it up, because it fits their narrative. There is, however, no good way to spin Berkeley kids rioting over their right to party. And so, they looked the other way.