If you want to understand why people are frustrated with the media, look no further than the Associated Press’ Todd Richmond. Richmond, who still can’t figure out how long Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has been in office, reported on the tragic shooting death of a teenager in Ashland County.
An Ashland County sheriff’s deputy shot 14-year-old Jason Pero just before noon on Wednesday outside his home on the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation, a sprawling wooded area about 300 miles north of Madison. Investigators said deputies were responding to a call about a male subject walking down the street with a knife around 11:40 a.m.
Authorities have released no information about what led to the shooting.
There are not a whole lot of details to the story yet, but almost everyone can agree it’s a tragedy when a 14-year-old is killed by a police officer, regardless of the circumstances.
After including interviews of family members about the shooting in the story, including some speculation about the knife, Richmond decides to throw in details about the story that are completely irrelevant to the shooting.
The Bad River reservation covers 124,655 acres along Lake Superior. The area is largely untouched wilderness, marked by thick forests and swamps. Tribal members consider the environment sacred, particularly Gichi Gami, the Chippewa name for Lake Superior.
The tribe led the fight against Republican legislation that dramatically relaxed Wisconsin’s iron mining regulations for an open-pit mine near the reservation. The mine never materialized. In January, the tribe called for removing 12 miles of an Enbridge oil pipeline from their reservation.
The Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services on the reservation along with tribal police.
What difference does it make to the story if the tribe considers the environment sacred, including Lake Superior? Was the child shot while performing a ceremony to honor the lake? And why mention the proposed mine or the Enbridge oil pipeline when they have nothing to do with the teenager’s death? Why throw those purely gratuitous mentions in there except out of political bias?
Would it have been so hard to write as a conclusion:
The Bad River reservation covers 124,655 acres along Lake Superior. The area is largely untouched wilderness, marked by thick forests and swamps. The Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services on the reservation along with tribal police.
But Richmond couldn’t help sticking in his political agenda in this tragic story, as if the boy’s death would have been less meaningful if his family supported the mine or didn’t care about Lake Superior.