Friday, August 17, 2007

He Was Slain for the Truth, But Bailey's Old Newspaper Isn't Taking Chances

The late Chauncey Bailey’s former employer, the Detroit News, ran a story today covering the reporter's Thursday-night eulogy under the headline, “Slain journalist was ‘after the truth’”.

Only appropriate, considering the circumstances of his being gunned down for investigating the underside of Black Muslims in Oakland, California.

Unfortunately, the Detroit News, where Bailey worked for years, isn’t sufficiently “after the truth” any more to dare mentioning in their news article why Bailey was gunned down, nor what kind of people his murderer was associated with.

This, in spite of admitting the newsworthiness of a slaying that that “sent shock waves through newsrooms across the country. It had been 30 years since an American journalist was slain in this country.”

Instead, News readers only are told this:

Bailey was killed in the line of duty Aug. 2. He was shot in downtown Oakland, Calif., as he strolled to the Oakland Post, where he was editor. The suspect, 19-year-old Devaughndre Broussard, admitted he killed Bailey because Bailey was working on an investigative piece about the bakery where Broussard worked, police have said.

That certainly explains why Bailey became the first American journalist shot down in 30 years. We all know how dangerous it can be snooping around a bakery, after all.

The Detroit News, unworthy of Bailey’s memory, purposely fails to mention that the establishment was the “Your Black Muslim Bakery,” and that rounded up along with the killer were bakery owner and Black Muslim thug, Yusuf Bay IV, son of the bakery’s founder, and proud enforcer of Islamic prohibitions against selling liquor in Oakland’s Muslim-owned beer-and-wine stores, (which he refers to as “cleaning up the streets”).

Nor did the News mention that Broussard told police "that when he killed Chauncey Bailey, he was acting 'as a good soldier.'" ("The Black Muslims Of Oakland").

According to News reporter Cindy Rodriguez's account of Thursday's memorial service:

A life-size photo of Bailey, lips curled into a faint smile, was perched at the altar. At the conclusion of Mass, the four eulogists captured the essence of Bailey's persona.

"He was not a thermometer. He didn't just take the temperature of a community. He was a thermostat," said Joe Madison, former president of the Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and now a radio talk show host in Washington, D.C.

Madison said Bailey knew how to turn up the heat.

And he did.

And the Detroit News obviously knows how to turn it right back down again.

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