Vox uses out-of-context quote to mislead about cop
March 22, 2021
Vox writer Aaron Rupar cherry-picked quotes from a news conference addressing the Atlanta spa shootings, misleading readers about what the police officer said about the shooter, Robert Aaron.
In a video for Vox, Rupar reported that the officer downplayed Aaron’s intentions, saying he just “had a bad day.”
Major outlets such as BuzzFeed News, ABC News, CBS News, and the Washington Post reported on the comments in the same way.
But once the full video of the press conference was released, showing the officer’s comments in their entirety, it was clear the officer had not been speculating on Aaron at all. Instead, the officer was detailing what Aaron had told him after he was taken into custody.
“A police officer excusing Long’s actions as merely the result of him having a ‘bad day’ would indeed be contemptible,” Reason reported. “But that’s not what Baker did. In fact, many of the people so infuriated about the quote were misled by Rupar’s edit of the video.”
New York Times writer Kenneth Vogel took to Twitter to point out Rupar’s mistake.
Some very misleading framing here by @atrupar. pic.twitter.com/5cgc7tNIoZ
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) March 19, 2021
Other Twitter pundits also slammed Rupar.
Rupar misled tens of thousands of people into thinking this was the officer giving his own view of the suspect’s motive. That narrative got picked up by several major outlets. And his defense is that the officer wasn’t directly quoting, just paraphrasing. https://t.co/pKsGrVTccA
— AG (@AGHamilton29) March 20, 2021