ON TUESDAY EVENING, a white gunman killed four people at Young’s Asian Massage, a spa in a suburb of Atlanta. He then traveled into the city and killed four more people, also at spas—three at a business called Gold Spa, and one at Aromatherapy Spa. In total, six of the victims were Asian women. The four people killed at Young’s have since been officially identified as Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Paul Andre Michels; the Korea Times Atlanta has named two women killed at Gold Spa as Julie Park and Hyun-jeong Park Grant; the identities of the other two victims have yet to be disclosed. In the aftermath, many Asian Americans deemed the attacks hate crimes, but major news organizations did not follow suit. (Early stories cited a police report of a possible robbery.) CNN’s Chris Cuomo spoke of “potential bias” on the part of the shooter; then, in the absence of further details, pivoted to “what we know is absolute bias”: the unrelated subject of Senator Mitch McConnell. Vivian Ho, a reporter at The Guardian, said on The Takeaway yesterday that she was “pretty displeased” with the first night of coverage. “I understand the need for caution when it comes to breaking news, and I know we can’t say it was hate-related or racially-motivated immediately,” she said. “But we can say definitively that these were Asian-owned businesses.”
Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.