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Strange Fruit: Critical Media Consumption and the Mall St. Matthews Incident

The day after Christmas is always busy at shopping malls. The holiday blockbusters are in the movie theaters, and gift cards are burning holes in pockets.

But this year on Dec. 26, security at the Mall St. Matthews was apparently overwhelmed by the number of teenagers in the mall.

What exactly happened and how many young shoppers were there remain in question. What we know for sure, though, is that local news media seized on the word "riot" in reporting on the incident — despite a lack of injuries, arrests or property damage, and the insistence of many eyewitnesses that no riots occurred.

On this week's show, we talk about the closure of the mall, the media's reaction and the story's racial overtones with WFPL's urban affairs reporter Jacob Ryan, who reported on the incident and the response to it, and attorney Joe Dunman, who wrote an opinion piece about it for Insider Louisville.


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Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.