Why ‘Chandra Levy’ is trending again

By Jack Cashill

When I saw the name “Chandra Levy” trending on Twitter Wednesday, I thought for a moment the media might have talked about how and why the young intern died.

Silly me.

Chandra Levy made the news because, as the Washington Post reported, Democrat sleazeball congressman John Conyers had been using the Chandra Levy gambit to snare his young female prey.

For those of tender years, the 24-year-old Chandra Levy disappeared in Washington in 2001 at the same time she was having an affair with Democrat sleazeball congressman Gary Condit of California.

Courtney Morse, a 20-year-old at the time of her internship with Conyers, told the Post she quit her job after Conyers “drove her home from work one night, wrapped his hand around hers as it rested in her lap, and told her he was interested in a sexual relationship.”

According to Morse, when she rejected Conyers’s come-on, he brought up the Levy investigation.

“He said he had insider information on the case. I don’t know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way,” Morse told the Post. “I got out of the car and ran.”

In its reporting on the Conyers story, the Post maintained its discretion about the Levy case, saying only, “Condit was eventually cleared after authorities charged a suspect with Levy’s murder.”

The events of September 11 blew Condit out of the news, and it would not be until 2009 that the police identified the “suspect” in Levy’s murder. The Washington Post headlined the story, “Warrant is Issued for Suspect in Levy Killing.”

Despite the fact that no story in the summer of 2001 garnered half the ink the Levy disappearance did, the media largely buried the story about her killer’s arrest and conviction.

Guess why.

The Post identified the suspect as Ingmar Guandique, a “Salvadoran man.” In this initial article, the Post reported sympathetically that Guandique entered the United States in 2000 and, since then, “had trouble scraping together a new life in Washington.”

In a noble effort to avoid stereotyping, not one of the 62 headline writers in articles cited in Wikipedia that deal with Guandique mentioned his ethnicity or his immigration status.

Guandique was in our country without documentation. So irrelevant was this detail, however, that none of the 115 news items reviewed by Michelle Malkin at the time identified him as a criminal illegal alien, even in the body copy.

With admirable discretion, the Associated Press referred to Guandique as an “immigrant.” the New York Times called him a “Washington man,” much in the way, one supposes, that Gary Condit was a “Washington man.”

True, some stories mentioned that Guandique wore turtlenecks to court to hide his tattoos, but the media took pains to respect his privacy in regards to what those tattoos signified.

Editors apparently felt that to discuss Guandique’s membership in Mara Salvatrucha might have poisoned the jury pool. Too many gang and prison shows on cable use the prejudicial shorthand “MS-13” to refer to this ethnic association.

If you watch these shows you might even begin to believe that MS-13 is a transnational criminal gang known for savagery beyond the call of duty, much of it directed at their fellow undocumented citizens.

You might even think that there was a legitimate reason for the media to explore Guandique’s ethnicity, his illegal entry into the country, and his membership in a vicious criminal gang with deep roots in the D.C. area.

You might wonder whether the presence of such criminal enterprises on American soil should influence immigration policy. You might even rethink your own stand on illegal immigration and your hatred for its foes.

Fortunately, the major media have spared their audiences the anguish of having to process these thoughts. Easier to dismiss as “haters” those who did.

In a similar vein, the media spared their audiences the anguish of rethinking the “Republican war on women.”

Easier to turn a blind eye on guys like Conyers and Al Franken, not to mention Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton, at least as long as they remained politically useful.

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