Chicago Police officer Michael Mette was recently sentenced to five years in prison for punching out a drunken college student in Dubuque, Iowa two years ago. The judge did not dispute the facts about the incident. The drunk and a friend followed Mette, his brother, and some friends to Mette's brother's house. The drunk started the fight with two or three pushes to Mette's chest, which Mette answered with one solid punch to the jaw of the drunk, knocking him to the ground. Yet the judge thinks Mette should have walked away, even though Mette was being attacked on his own brother's front lawn.
The Chicago Tribune doesn't report it as a news story, but there is an opinion piece by John Kass bluntly headlined "This officer's sentence is hogwash." He tells Mette's side of the story -- again, the judge did not dispute the facts -- and portrays the drunken student as a child of privilege being protected by the court. A Chuck Goudie report on WLS-Channel 7 (Chicago's ABC affiliate) presents a very similar story with the headline "CPD officer sentenced to 5 years in Iowa." The other major television stations apparently did not cover the story (I'm not going to bother checking radio stations).
The Chicago Sun-Times takes a radically different approach. Their news story bears the headline "Cop gets 5 years in beating of student." In fact, staff reporter Norman Parish uses the word beating three times in his short article though it's conspicuously absent from the Tribune and WLS coverage (except in a quote from Mette about getting, not giving, a beating). It's just another police brutality story to Parish, concluding with this sentence: "This latest incident follows a string of allegations of beatings of civilians by off-duty Chicago Police officers."
Now, I don't know any more about this story than what I've read from these three sources, so I can't say who is correct. But the treatments by the Tribune and the Sun-Times are so different that clearly someone is advancing an agenda. Choose your news sources carefully, everyone!