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There have been some really awful media responses to last week’s story of a disabled white man who was kidnapped and tortured in Chicago by four African-Americans.

The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers wrote an article complaining that the violent incident could embolden Trump supporters.

The New York Daily News’ senior justice writer Shaun King explained he wouldn’t waste any time speaking on behalf of the kidnapping victim, because white men get justice.

Now we have a Time magazine op-ed arguing the story is bad for several reasons beyond kidnapping and torture, including that it distracts from the plight of abused African-Americans.

“[T]he unrelenting media focus on this random incident, is, to my mind, unbalanced and unwarranted,” PBS’ Tavis Smiley wrote.

“How many fellow citizens who can’t stop their social media commentary about this sick incident have been just as outraged and outspoken about the regular harassment and abuse that black teenagers and other black fellow citizens endure daily at the hands of white cops? It seems to me that our (un)righteous indignation has a blind spot,” Smiley added.

Like Borchers, Smiley is correct to single out social media activists who’ve asserted with no evidence whatsoever that the Black Lives Matter movement is responsible for the kidnapping.

There is nothing to suggest the four suspects had any sort of formal role, connection or involvement in BLM.

But like King, Smiley suggests incorrectly that people who are genuinely concerned about justice are also incapable of focusing on more than one grievous act at a time. It’s possible to raise hell for both the kidnapped white man and the unarmed African-American male gunned down by a police officer. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

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The main thrust of Smiley’s column seems to be: The kidnapping story is troubling, sure, but that there are more important issues in the world, including police brutality, violent video games and lack of funding for mental health care.

The article goes into its final thoughts with lines like this, “Who are the real menaces in this sad situation, the kids who tortured the young victim, or all the rest of us who don’t demand that our leaders push mental health higher up on the American agenda?”

The grown adults who kidnap and torture people are the real menace in that proposed equation. That is definitely the correct answer to his question.

I wrote last week that Borchers’ article was probably the worst media response to the kidnapping story. Later, I said I was wrong and wrote that King’s take was probably the worst. With Smiley’s mess of a column, I’m going to stop trying to rank these articles and just let the reader decide which is the worst.

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