Greg Risling is a reporter with the Associated Press. In the AP story authored by Greg Risling, he described the car the two slain Chinese students were riding was a 'brand new $60,000'. The '$60,000 BMW' reference has a heavy undertaking in both US and China.
In the US, in the middle of the deepest recession in any people's memory, wealthy kids riding $60,000 from foreign countries, especially China, the largest lender to the US economy and the often demonized communist regime, the victims can expect little sympathy. Perhaps worse, should have feared for their lives in the first place. For example, 27 year old Vincent Chin was beaten to death in 1982 in Detroit by a group of American. Chin, a Chinese, was killed on the street because he was mistaken as a Japanese. At the time, Japanese cars gained market share in the US. The killers walked free from both federal and state courts.
In China, in an era when wealth is the alias for power abuse and corruption, the wealthy class is hated by the general public alike. A victim from a wealthy family will receive no sympathy, but ridiculing and mocking.
The 'brand new $60,000 BMW' in AP's story was indeed a 2003 3 series purchased by the victim with 77,418 miles on it.
Many people familiar with the victims wrote to Greg Risling regarding the erroneous reporting. However, Greg refused to issue a correction. In an email exchange with a Chinese journalism student which is posted online, Greg wrote, AP wouldn't issue a correction until 'the story has fallen out of cycle'.
The AP story with the $60,000 BMW was picked up by numerous print media, radio and TV reports in the US, and in China. After many complaints by friends of the victims, the AP still refused to publish a correction. Even though Greg Risling was forced to admit the wrong reporting after a friend of the victim produced the registration of the case, the AP still refused to publish this information. Greg Risling threatened the Chinese journalism student at Columbia University not to inform the public his admission of mistake 'in any language'.
In a layman's eyes, this explicit manipulation of news to stir public interests is despicable. However, Anyone familiar with American journalism will not have trouble to find resemblance in WTVT-TV, v. Jane Akre.