The Corner

Honor, and Shame

When you look at all the formulaic sludge that wins the Pulitzer Prize for Most Unread Multipart Series, it is striking that not one of the major newspapers has done an investigative series on the proliferation of “honor killings”, not in Yemen or Waziristan but in the heart of the western world. Instead, as Phyllis Chesler writes:

The mainstream media rarely covers them. More often, local media does, but even local media does so walking-on-eggshells, careful to quote from at least one apologist and one know-nothing. Usually, the (hardcopy) mainstream media covers such events weeks later, only briefly, or as a way to “spin” any possible prejudice against the perpetrators involved. Sometimes they are mentioned, but only in passing. Rarely do follow-ups appear. Usually, a wire service piece is used, and no original reporting is done. Sometimes, the newspaper’s blog might refer to a piece which first appeared in another newspaper which, in turn, has mentioned the subject only in passing.

I’ve noted this phenomenon many times: See, for example, here at NR, “Noor Ignored“, “Watery Graves“, “The Stranglehold of Political Correctness“, and “Headless Body in Legless Story“. But nothing changes. Multiculturalism trumps feminism, and so the media accept a two-tier sisterhood in which Muslim girls are run over, stabbed, strangled, drowned and decapitated for wanting to live like the women they read about in The New York Times and The Washington Post. No matter how novel or arresting the details of a story are, the PC blinkers go on immediately. As Miss Chesler adds:

In 2009, the gruesome beheading of Aasiya Z. Hassan was covered only five days later by the New York Times—and then mainly to explain that Islam had nothing to do with it and that anyone who believes to the contrary is misguided or prejudiced.

The media’s attitude to “honor killings” is not only shameful and dishonors the dead; it’s also part of the reason why America’s newspapers are sliding off the cliff: Their silence on this issue is merely an especially ugly manifestation of how their news instincts have been castrated by political correctness.

[UPDATE: See my response to weirdly point-missing criticism of the above here.]

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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