It goes without saying that Los Angeles has its share of crime and crime problems. Then why would the Los Angeles Times devote a whopping 4,709 words, five photos (plus a small map), and valuable front-page space on its Sunday paper to the story of a murder more than halfway across the country in Tennessee?
Maybe the title of the article reveals the answer. The title is "What Drove the Preacher's Wife?" (by Times staffer Peter H. King). Ohhh. The murder was that of a Christian minister in the "Bible Belt" of Tennessee, and it was allegedly committed by the minister's wife. Maybe now we see why the Times has taken an interest. A murderous Christian?! Front page!
On the surface, Peter King's profile would just appear to be an everyday public-interest story. Unfortunately, the Times carries with it a lengthy record of reporting and editorializing that doggedly portray Christians in an unflattering light. Is there a subtle bias behind the Times reporting this story in Tennessee?
Here at NewsBusters, there have been several posts illustrating the anti-Christian tilt at the Los Angeles Times (here, here, and here are just a few examples). In addition, the Times has been cited numerous times for its inordinate and inaccurate reporting of the Church abuse scandal. (The site LA-ClergyCases has documented numerous instances where the Times' reporting has fallen woefully short in accuracy and fairness.)
In addition, the Times' reporting on issues of crime has come under question. Just last month, NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein reported on the Times publishing an op-ed condemning the United States for deporting violent and criminal illegal immigrants back to their home country. Also, LA Times watchdog Patterico has reported on the paper's questionable reporting on illegal immigration and other issues of crime (here, here, here, and here, for example).
What's the message being sent to readers of the Los Angeles Times? While the Times has been cited for inadequately addressing serious issues affecting their own backyard, they have no problem delving into the details of a tragedy involving Christians in a remote area of Tennessee.
Has the Times stepped out of its way - again - to portray Christians in an unflattering light? If its track record is any indication, it appears so.