Friday, July 25

NYC City Hall Shooting - Without trying to make too much light of the situation, it's fascinating to compare the different angles covered in the reporting of the NYC City Hall shooting.

As John noted, the NY Times story is a bit more restrained, using euphemisms and barely hidden codewords when talking about the gay attacker, Othniel Askew. The story repeatedly mentions the man's attractiveness and allows readers to draw their own conclusions when mentioning that he frequented "Roxy in Chelsea, a raucous dance club." The story later casually lets it drop that Askew had previously assaulted a "domestic partner." (Newsday makes it a little more colorful saying he allegedly chased a naked man down a Chelsea street while wielding a hammer...even though a quote in The Advocate called him "calm"). Further, we hear that "Mr. Askew moved into and began rehabilitating a row house on South Elliott Place in Fort Greene," which makes sense because gentrification is one of the things we homos do best.

Now, the NY Post version of the story is a whole lot trashier. We hear that "cops also found his HIV medications elsewhere in his fastidiously neat Fort Greene apartment." (emphasis mine). It's also here that we see the Times has failed to mention some items foudn in the house, including "Paxil, Zarret and Viagra, as well as gay porn and sadomasochistic material." As John put so well, I wanted to know that, NYT! A little more trashy detail is thrown in, as we're told that Askew "sued a Fire Island gym for $1 millon in 1999, saying he had been injured doing bench presses." Fire Island! Wait, isn't that where The Gays go?

Seems like the line between reporting all the facts and hyping melodrama is getting finer all the time.