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Opinion

It's Raining Hit Men

Recently, Dr. Gary Potter of Eastern Kentucky University, a recognized expert in organized crime, chided the news organizations for failing to incorporate many new findings on ethnic crime in America. In short, notes Potter, the American media continue to promote Italian criminals as numero uno. Here are a few examples:

  • In both New York and Chicago, the recent discovery of "mob burial grounds" was treated by reporters as if gold were being re-discovered in California...or, at the very least, as if they'd stumbled upon Al Capone's vault. (Wait, they already did that one).

  • Two-bit Italian crooks involved in corrupt trucking scandals were "alleged" to be "associates of organized crime"--in one case, dating all the way back to one man's long-dead grandfather.

  • A respected Chicago journalist devoted an entire column to the fact that he lives in a house once owned by Al Capone's cousin.

  • And, in perhaps the most bizarre example of all, an Associated Press story on a pharmaceutical drug ring singled out its ringleader, Louis Gallichio of Newark, NJ, as being an "organized crime associate"—even though the actual drug ring was a model of today’s mulit-ethnic America comprised of street-gang members, corrupt doctors and college students.

Incidentally, the cop who busted the drug ring was named Robert Buccino, a fact buried at the end of the story. What all of this does, of course, is whet the public's appetite for yet another season of Tony and the Gang on HBO. And for those silly, sensitive souls who dare to complain about the unfairness of "objective" journalism feeding into the "subjective" bias of Hollywood, why, they can just change the channel. Isn't that what Edward R. Morrow would have done?
-Bill Dal Cerro
 
 

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