Sexuality Sensationalism

29-year old Amir Issa was shot to death by his father, 69-year old Shehada Issa – allegedly for being gay. The incident happened on Tuesday, Mar. 29th in their North Hills home.

This article by Los Angeles Times discusses the crime through the lenses of Sargent Greg Bruce and Issa’s neighbor, Francisco Gonzales. I personally do not like this news piece.

The headline, Neighbors Said Gay Man Shot by Father Had Troubled History is misleading. Nowhere in this piece does it say that the father actually shot his son because of his sexuality.

Furthermore, the elder Issa’s wife, Rabihah Issa, was found dead on the restroom floor. This was only dismissed as under investigation, though Bruce said there was foul play involved. The article wrote it off as no big deal.

It is implied that the father shot his son because he believed his son killed his mother. The news piece focuses on antagonizing the dead son by discussing his rough history.

This family already had a record of police calls. In one instance, Bruce went to the family’s home to handle the son for living in the backyard after his parents tried evicting him.

Rather than focusing on how the son was likely a victim of domestic abuse, as he had written on his Facebook page, the article demoralizes him and almost shines a positive light on his father. When Gonzales, the neighbor, was interviewed, he said the father was a “great guy.”

I cannot keep up with this news piece and do not understand what the point of it is. The reporter could have dug deeper into the mother’s death, followed up with some of the actual friends of the son to see if he was in fact a victim of abuse, and interviewed family members of the father.

Instead, this article was based on the perspective of a neighbor who only knew the father and what he had to say about his son. There is a lack of insightful perspective, and the piece is arbitrarily written. Above all, the sexuality of the son could have been omitted entirely from the piece, as it had nothing to do with the story.

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