The story of a 5-year-old North Carolina boy who reportedly was killed when a man ran up to him and shot him in the head for no known reason apparently was not compelling enough to merit US mainstream media coverage.
There were some details that might have drawn the attention of the decision makers at CNN, the Washington Post and other mainstream outlets, that have remained conspicuously silent on the story. The boy, Cannon Hinnant, was riding his bike in front of his own house Sunday in North Carolina, and the 25-year-old suspect was a neighbor. He allegedly shot the child at point-blank range as the boy’s 7- and 8-year-old sisters looked on.
The hair-raising details of the incident, however, are not gracing the front pages. While it can be speculated why the story was generally overlooked, the fact is Hinnat was white. The alleged shooter, Darius Sessoms, who was arrested Monday, is black. Critics of mainstream media, such as podcast host Matt Walsh, said they’ve seen a pattern of black-on-white violence being ignored by the press and white-on-black violence being hyped to fit an agenda.
“This is an actual conspiracy,” Walsh said Tuesday on Twitter. “These media companies have to make an editorial decision to blacklist stories like this. It’s not like they haven’t heard of it. This is a considered and intentional decision to ignore the murder of a child, and the reason is that he’s white.”
Walsh added that the shocking nature of the incident belies any suggestions that the story wasn’t newsworthy on a national level. “It is absolutely jaw dropping,” he said.
While the killing of a child would seem to add to the story’s news value, some netizens argued that even murders of black children are largely ignored when the alleged perpetrator is also black.