Tuesday, June 2, 2020

LA is still not burning

I have great respect for the resilience of NYC journalists. If the New York Times were consumed in a great conflagration, I have  no doubt that the survivors would crawl from the wreckage, mix their blood with ashes for ink, and scrawl out on op-ed on how bad things are in Los Angeles.

Here are some tweets I posted Sunday.

[Should have been more clear, but the next part refers mainly to the national situation.]
Later that evening things got more intense, but not in a way that disproved my point.

Here's where the old city/county question reappears. When people talk about NYC , they are referring to a city comprised of various counties. When people talk about LA, they are usually referring to  a county comprised of different cities. The city/county distinction is important because, while the city is very big, the county is huge, with over 10,000,000 residents and land area of over 4,000 square miles.

In this case, almost all of the footage of riots and looting came from the cities of Long Beach and especially Santa Monica. This is clearly a county level story. Therefore it is essential to remember that the scenes that dominated the news were largely limited to two neighborhoods in a place with considerably more residents than NYC.

This is not to downplay the anger here or its causes or the damage it can do to innocent bystanders when it gets out of control, but when the media focuses all its attention on a tiny sliver of a town, the rest of the country gets a false impression, particularly when some people use the misinformation as disinformation.

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