Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fear in the media

A jails chaplain was arrested Wednesday after he tried to smuggle three razor blades and a pair of scissors into a lockup, authorities said.

Imam Zul-Qarnain Shahid, 58, of Staten Island, was arrested at the Manhattan Detention Complex on Wednesday on several charges, including four counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, a felony. . . .

The DOI said in a statement that Shahid was arrested while entering the jailhouse, known as the Tombs, when a bag he had brought with him triggered an alarm from the x-ray machine. An officer discovered the contraband inside the bag and Shahid was taken into custody, the DOI said. . .

In 2009, a different chaplain assigned to the same jail resigned after being linked to a lavish, catered bar mitzvah that was organized for the son of an inmate at the lockup. Three other jail officials also were disciplined, including the warden and the head of the city's jail chaplains, over their roles in allowing the bash.

Why does the media identify religious affiliation in some cases (usually involving Jewish rabbis, Catholic priests and Baptist ministers), but not in others? What are they afraid of? And, isn't that fear, in and of itself, a story worth reporting?

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