Chi Trib page one has big feature w/pic about Hmongs in Twin Cities area – "We are Americans ourselves now. How can Americans hate us?" is quote from a "community leader" in St. Paul, over heartwarming four-column color shot of kindergarteners catching snow on their tongues. "The killing of six hunters stirs fears of a setback," apparently in Hmong-acceptance levels, reads the subhead

So six hunters were shot dead by a Hmong, and the talk is about people hating Hmongs. Where is story about why this guy went postal with a hunting rifle and whether other Hmongs are prepared to do the same?

This is journalistic do-goodism. Front-Pagers of yore were sneaky, unprincipled sensationalists – I know this because I saw Chicago the musical – but at least they defined news as man biting dog and not as an exercise in social work 101.

There was a news story, of course. It ran 11/23, with this at its tail end:

Vang had been arrested once before, on Christmas Eve 2001 in Minneapolis, after brandishing a gun and telling his wife he was going to kill her, said Ron Reier, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department.

He was arrested on a felony complaint of domestic assault, Reier said. After being held for at least 36 hours in that incident, Reier said Vang was released after his wife declined to cooperate with authorities.

You wouldn’t know about that from this 12/4 page one feature.

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