Accuracy in Media

Vice inaccurately strings together several vaguely related ideas to create clickbait that ultimately makes no sense within the article in a new piece headlined, “Police to Brutalize Black People in Climate-Friendly Way with First Electric Prisoner Transport Van.”

The “Cobb County Sheriff’s Office has bought an electric van to transport prisoners,” according to Vice. Maybe newsworthy, perhaps not, but county sheriff is an elected office, so there will be press releases about this sort of thing.

In that same county there have been two – two that are mentioned at least – incidents that we’d all prefer hadn’t happened. Examples of less-than-great policing even if neither of them were, in the end, judged to have been illegal. Neither of them had anything to do with prisoners or their transport.

Add in that some prisoners, in entirely other places, are alleged to be transported in less than safe conditions. Even, deliberately driven unsafely, so as to cause injury as they are thrown around in the vehicle. This has nothing to do with Cobb County. We don’t say, we here at AIM that is, that it’s true, that it’s not, nor even that it’s a good idea whether it’s true or not. Just that it has nothing to do with the place under discussion.

In some places, private companies are used to transport prisoners — clearly nothing at all to do with the Sheriff’s Department, because that’s, by definition, not a private company. Our final little addition: Let’s talk about prisons because they have no relationship with sheriffs – prisons are run by the state or the feds, Sheriff’s Departments run county jails.

Vice ranks at No. 79 for news and media publishers online in the United States. It’s more influential than that though, the magazine has a circulation of 900,000 and the TV channel reaches 60 million homes by cable. This on top of the 31 million visits a month the website gains.

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