The MSM: Reporting Only What We Feel Is Important

Yale Barbershop Singers Recovering After Ambush: (bolds mine)
NEW YORK (AFP) - Members of a close-harmony group from Yale University are recovering after being ambushed and beaten up while on tour in California.

Members of the a cappella Baker's Dozen were performing at a party in San Francisco at the new year when their rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" apparently sparked taunts and threats from fellow partygoers.

As the group left the house, they were attacked by dozens of assailants, suffering scrapes, black eyes and concussions, said Connecticut's News Channel 8.

"Besides any bruising or scrapes to the face, the main injury I suffered was I broke my jaw in two places," one of the singers, 18-year-old Sharyar Aziz, was quoted as saying.
What the hell would cause people to beat a bunch of students that badly after singing The Star Spangled Banner? Why would singing that song cause a violent reaction? What's going on here?

Another story:
How's this for an only-in-San Francisco story:

Members of the Baker's Dozen, the renowned, all-male a cappella singing group from Yale, are pummeled outside a New Year's Eve party after singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The attackers allegedly include graduates from Sacred Heart Cathedral, one of the city's oldest and best-known private schools.

The attack happens outside the home of two prominent San Francisco police officers -- former mayoral bodyguard Reno Rapagnani, now retired, and his wife, Leanna Dawydiak -- who were both accused and later cleared of leaking internal SFPD personnel documents during the Fajitagate debacle.


As Rapagnani tells it, his 19-year-old daughter was hosting a New Year's Eve party at the family's Richmond District home for the Baker's Dozen, who were in town as part of a West Coast tour.

The 16 singers showed up late to the party wearing preppy sport jackets and ties, and launched into "The Star-Spangled Banner."

A couple of uninvited guests started mocking them, and allegedly the words "faggot" and "homo" were tossed -- and so were a couple of punches.

The loud noise drew relatives from next door, who promptly ordered the house cleared.

The Yale kids, most of whom were staying with a family a block away, began heading home.

But witnesses said one of the uninvited guests -- who happens to be the son of a prominent Pacific Heights family -- pulled out his cell phone and said, "I'm 20 deep. My boys are coming."

According to Rapagnani and others, the Yale kids barely made it around the corner when they were intercepted by a van full of young men.
So, what's going on with this? Did the singers use the homophobic insults, or did the "uninvited guests?" Why the vague descriptions?

But wait, there's more:
SAN FRANCISCO- There's a growing sense of outrage among some in San Francisco over a New Year's Eve fight in which members of a Yale University singing group was beaten and some ended up in the hospital.

As first reported by Dan Noyes of A-B-C affiliate K-G-O T-V, members of Yale's all-male a capella group -- The Baker's Dozen -- were reportedly jumped by a vehicle full of young men after they left a New Year's Eve house party in San Francisco.

One Yale student -- Sharyar Aziz -- had his jaw broken in two places during the fracas. Others in the group were bloodied and bruised as well.

The party was being held at the home of Reno Rapagnani, a retired San Francisco Police Department lawyer. The trouble started at midnight after The Baker's Dozen sang "The Star Spangled Banner."

Witnesses say some of the local men didn't appreciate the attention the Yale students were getting, called them derogatory names and made threats that they apparently followed up on.

Police continue to investigate the fight.
Ah, so it apparently was the "uninvited guests" that started the "taunts." Maybe. And finally, a little more detail:
Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Erika Arias reported that while in San Francisco, the group went to a party thrown in their honor at the home of a retired police officer.

According to police, the group sang "The Star Spangled Banner" shortly after midnight. According to witnesses, a group of local men didn't like the attention the Baker's Dozen was receiving and began taunting them and making threats.

Aziz said a 19-year-old was the most aggressive.

"(He said) 'You're not welcome here.' He called a few members of the group, whether it was fag or homo, very, I would say, juvenile taunting," Aziz said.

As the group left the home, they were attacked. Their injuries ranged from scrapes and black eyes to concussions.

Aziz was rushed back to New York for reconstructive surgery, and his jaw will remain wired shut for eight weeks. Aziz will live the rest of his life with two titanium plates in his face.

"I can't just look back at that incident and be depressed for the next two months. I have to learn and deal with what's been given to me," Aziz said.

"I'm just surprised -- in San Francisco where you hear so much about tolerance," said Yale student Eric Beach. "I mean, I would think people would usually be more worried about something like that happening in New Haven than in San Francisco."

Four news items before this begins to make the slightest bit of sense. And there's quite a bit of important detail that's being left out of these things.

In reading the first two stories, you can understand why I was so puzzled by this. Why did this happen? There are any number of misconceptions that you can take from these items... and a lot of it has to do with the "Only in San Francisco" remark. Taking this at face value, you could read these stories and think, "Oh, a bunch of San Francisco liberals didn't like the fact that these "preppy," well-dressed young men were singing The Star Spangled Banner and beat the shit out of them. Well, that's the civility of the Left for you! Only in San Francisco!"

But by the time you get to the fourth story, it doesn't sound like a bunch of America hating, violent, San Francisco liberals anymore, does it?

Regardless of the sexual orientation of anyone in the group, this was a homophobic attack on a group of young men. Men that sing must be faggots, right? The fact that the attackers used these words is very important to the story (not to mention the fact that it's pretty goddamned important to make it clear who was slinging the insults in the first place), and it's quite telling that this information would be omitted from the story.

As Shakes has written about extensively in the past, (this is the third post in a series, with links to the others at the beginning) homophobic hate crimes are underreported or ignored by the media all the time. Ignoring this detail when reporting this story is incredibly irresponsible, as this is one of, if not the most important details in this attack. These performers weren't attacked because they were singing The Star Spangled Banner. They were attacked because they were men singing. Think about the use of "You're not welcome here." Why would the attacker use that phrase? Judging by the insults they used, it sounds an awful lot like "We don't want any of you singing queers anywhere near us." When I was in high school, a surefire way to have suspicion fall upon you that you may be a lousy queer was to join the show choir. As if men singing wasn't bad enough, they're dancing, too! They must be fags! When Eric Beach says "I would think people would usually be more worried about something like that happening in New Haven than in San Francisco," he's saying San Francisco is the last place you'd expect to be fag bashed.

This is just sloppy reporting, pure and simple. Ignoring the hate crime aspect of this story, while making it sound like your typical "San Franciscans hate America" story is completely infuriating. When I first read this story, and before I knew what the hell was going on, my first thought was, "So how long before the wingnut bloggers jump on this as another "San Francisco liberals hate America" talking point?" Because as far as I knew, that is exactly what happened.

Sharyar Aziz is going to have two titanium plates in his face for the rest of his life because he was attacked as a faggot because he sings in a choir. Is that somehow not worth reporting?

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