LONSBERRY: Why Has No One Reported On Paroled Cop Killer?


 Ten days ago, I reported that cop killer Luis Pinto had been released secretly on parole in Rochester.

               In 1980, he murdered New York City Housing Authority Officer James Dunston, a 34-year-old husband, father and Army veteran who had given 11 years of his life to protecting the residents of an East Harlem housing project.

               Luis Pinto was one of three men holding a family hostage as part of a robbery.

               Officer Dunston, who instantly ran to the assistance of the victims, was hit in the throat at point-blank range by a shotgun.

               And his killer now walks free.

               And I reported that.

               I wrote a column about it, and I reported it on Twitter. I also posted copies of the parole bulletin and a newspaper story from the time recounting the crime, and the link to a memorial website with the names of friends and relatives of the murdered officer.

               And I copied the Rochester TV news operations in on all of the posts.

               I did that because paroled cop killers are news. Especially under this governor, and especially in this town. Andy Cuomo has released more imprisoned cop killers than all other governors in New York history combined, and Rochester was recently the scene of another secret dump of another high-profile cop-killing parolee.

               Further, the murder of a police officer, even decades ago, is news.

               Except in Rochester.

               Which is the point of this column.

               Though I haven’t seen every broadcast or read every post, I don’t believe any Rochester news organization picked up this story. I gave them all the information they needed, and showed them where to find more, and they all took a pass.

               And that’s a story.

               Not about a cop killer, but about the bias of contemporary journalism. In this era of cop-hating and fist-raising, at a time when the last cop-killer paroled has been heralded locally in the press as a “community elder,” lionized with a lengthy and laudatory profile, the evening news decided to stand with the killer instead of the cop.

               The evening news decided to be complicit with the state parole board in its secret foisting of this pariah onto a community to which he has no connection.

               As American journalism has morphed from a reporting to a propagandizing function, it has drifted ever further from the values and perspectives of the majority of its audience. When the first priority of news organizations is reinforcement of progressive orthodoxy, when you are managing people’s opinions instead of informing their minds, ugly stuff happens.

               When you are a comrade before you’re a reporter, objectivity suffers, and so does freedom.

               And that’s where the large majority of America’s news business is today. Not a source of information, but just another “influencer,” an enforcer of progressive sensitivities, and a reinforcer of progressive messages. Basketball players and movie stars and school teachers and news reporters, reading off the same sheet, pushing ideological conformity.

               Pretty good at browbeating you into whatever the covid doctor has to say today. Pretty good at doing PR for marches and protests and denunciations of American history. Pretty good at making everything about race and racial division.

               But not so good at just telling you what’s happening.

               Like the deal with the paroled cop killer.

               If I could find it out, why couldn’t they?

               If my sources knew about it, why didn’t theirs?

               If I could find the relatives and friends, why couldn’t they?

               If I cared, why didn’t they?

               Because they chose not to.

               And that’s unfortunate.

               Because if black lives matter, that’s got to include the lives of black cops – even if they were murdered a long time ago. And if they’re going to be in the news business, they’ve got to report the news – even if it goes counter to the politics of the reporters and their companies.

               Ten days ago, I reported that cop killer Luis Pinto had been released secretly on parole in Rochester.

               And nobody has said another word about it.

               Which is proof of just how fake the news can be.