Monday, January 10, 2005

Latest Stephen Baskerville Article

From - Homicide Takes Toll of Great Newspapers

This is a fairly long article dealing with media treatment of the death rates of expectant mothers and the media bias against fathers.

From the article:

But more seriously, it suggests we are seeing something completely different from what the Post fervently wants us to see. Apparently able to read to people's thoughts, the Post often reiterates that expectant fathers are perpetrating this mayhem to evade the responsibilities of fatherhood. "When husbands or boyfriends attack pregnant partners, it usually has to do with an unwillingness to deal with fatherhood, marriage, child support, or public scandal," we are told. "If she goes away, the problem goes away." But this makes no sense. Most perpetrators are arrested, convicted of murder, and sentenced to decades in prison. As Davis remarks, "The problem does not go away."

What the "expanded definition" indicates is that most are already fathers who are more likely trying to exercise, not evade, the responsibilities of fatherhood. What the Post is clothing in sympathy for pregnant women is much more likely to be violence over custody and children forcibly separated from their fathers. A significant moral difference separates a man who kills to avoid fatherhood from a father who kills because someone has taken away or otherwise interfered with his children. Justified or not, a completely different dynamic is at work.

It is fairly clear that what we are really seeing here is part of a much larger phenomenon of truly serious dimensions that the Post both ignores and distorts: divorce-related violence. Drexel University researchers, seeking a correlation between homicide and unemployment, found instead that "the most powerful predictor of homicide rates in the United States are the divorce rates." Most of this is directly connected with custody of children. "Judges and lawyers nationwide agree," reports the California Law Week, "that family law is the most dangerous area in which to practice." Dakota County Minnesota District Attorney James Backstrom attests that family court produces far more violence than criminal court. "We're most concerned about the people in family court – the child support and divorce cases," he says. "They pose a greater risk than the criminal defendants."

Click on the link above to read the entire article.

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