Almost the entire staff of a New York University student newspaper resigned recently after their advisor said they couldn’t use the term “murder” to describe the police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Abby Hofstetter, 21, the managing editor of Washington Square News, quit in protest, followed by 43 other staff members. In a statement, they said the advisor, Prof. Kenna Griffin, an expert on student publications, was insensitive to black students.
According to the statement: “An editor stood up to Dr. Griffin’s demands and refused to edit out the word ‘murder’ from our article about Breonna Taylor’s murder at the hands of Louisville cops. Dr. Griffin demanded the Managing Editor discipline them, as she ‘didn’t want to have a full deal publicly.’”
The situation is ludicrous but it is no wonder at a time when supposedly respectable newspapers blur the line between the editorial page and the opinion section. A case in point is the New York Times’ 1619 Project; overwhelming evidence shows the series falsely asserts that America fought the Revolutionary War to protect slavery. Yet, it won a Pulitzer Prize.
Murder is a Legal Term
What the NYU students apparently fail to grasp is that “murder” is a legal term defined by state statute. Generally, a person is guilty of murder when s/he has been convicted in a court of law for intentionally causing the death of another person. Intent is established through admission or evidence and decided by a jury.
A newspaper could be sued for libel for publishing an article calling someone a murderer who has not met the condition precedent – conviction of the crime in a court of law.
The most sacred principle in America’s criminal jurisprudence is that a person is innocent until proven guilty.Continue reading “NYU Flap Highlights The Absurd State of Today’s Media”