Earlier this year, local television news stations in my area repeatedly aired stories about a string of violent crimes in a park not far from my home. The stories about Flushing Meadows-Corona Park–probably better known as the site of the 1964 World’s Fair–were broadcast with one particularly troubling image of a man who had been beaten beyond recognition.

As newscasters urged viewers to help identify him, they fueled local citizens’ anxieties with news that there were 21 serious park crimes in the fourth quarter of 2006.

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