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by Peter Moskos

May 5, 2014

That damn liberal media (for real!... sort of)

It hasn't been a bad week for off-duty NYPD officers. There was the drunk cop who shot himself or his partner in the wrist (actually he was on-duty, but whatever). Then there was the cop in the car who f*cking tried to kill the guy in the car next to him. And perhaps a few other incidents... who can say? Whatever (hey, I'm sure you can google any of this).

You take any population of 35,000 mostly young males and you will get many stories of bad and amusingly bad behavior. But that's not my point.

It's this headline from the Times that I find strange: "Former New York Police Officer Charged With Painting Anti-Semitic Graffiti."

"Former New York Police Officer"?

It's crap like this why cops hate "the liberal media."

The story actually isn't so bad. But the headline editor? Shame on you!

It's like if I got arrested for something -- tax charges or pedophilia or whatever (just hypothetically speaking, of course) -- and they were like "former Baltimore City Police Officer arrested!" I've been off the friggin' job since 2001!

Except this is much worse. Because I wasn't kicked out of the police department. Had I wanted to (God willing), I could now have 14+ years on the job (poor me). This guy, best I can tell, was basically fired, perhaps while on probation. Why? Because he's a hate-filled schmuck!

This guy is obviously crazy because not only did he spray paint "Jews suck cock" but he did so right under a camera.

Why can't the headline read, "Crazy Guy Arrested for Anti-Semitic Graffiti." Or, because the cop thing is news, "Crazy guy NYPD fired is, in fact, crazy." Or "NYPD thought this guy is crazy. Turns out the NYPD was right!"

From the same story that calls him police:
Mr. Setiawan, of Bellerose, Queens, was a police officer for two years before resigning in 2007.... The reason he left the department was not immediately clear. In the years since, the police said, Mr. Setiawan has been arrested six times.
He isn't a "former police officer." He is a "fired police officer"!

And don't just blame liberals. The conservative press, the New York Post, made the same mistake. But, as usual (or at least since the Times moved Al Baker, who was a great police reporter, for "being too close to police"), other papers captured a better story. Why is the Queens Courier better with police reporting than the venerable Grey Lady?

It's actually not because of any political or liberal/conservative bias. It's all about the reporters. The Times often hires upper-middle class "nice" people out of journalism school. These are the educated folks, like me, who correctly or not, are perceived as never having worked a blue-collar day in their lives. The hostility of police is very class based. Do you learn that in J-school? I don't know. But I didn't learn that at Princeton or Harvard.

The Queens Courier, on the other hand, is now edited by a former police officer. I suspect their crime coverage is going to be pretty effing good! At least for this story they use "ex" and not "former." You may not get the difference. But I do. Beat that, Grey Lady.

To be honest, by far the best coverage of this story was in the Daily News.

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