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Ed Driscoll

That Was the Week That Was

April 19th, 2013 - 7:20 pm

As someone tweeted today, “This week is so bad that an Elvis-impersonating conspiracy theorist sent poison to Obama and THAT’S LIKE THE TENTH BIGGEST STORY.” The world’s longest week concludes with a spectacularly bad series of performances by the MSM. Let’s review a few of the lowlights, via James Taranto:

• NPR’s “All Things Considered” aired a segment in which the tax-subsidized network’s counterterrorism reporter, Dina Temple-Ralston, declared: “April is a big month for anti-government, and right wing, individuals. There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. And the FBI right now is comparing this to the Eric Rudolph case.” Rudolph is the fringe right-winger behind the Atlanta Olympics bombing in 1996.

• National Journal’s James Kitfield wrote: “The timing of the attack on ‘Patriot’s Day,” which coincides with the April 15 deadline for filing federal taxes, suggests a possible link with right-wing, antigovernment extremist groups.” Kitfield quoted an expert Philipp Mudd, who claimed “right-wing extremists . . . have been growing in numbers and power in recent years.” (In fairness, Kitfield’s report also explored the possibility of a jihadist attack.)

• A CNN.com article by Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank asserted without evidence that the use of pressure cookers in bomb construction is “a recipe that has been adopted by extreme right-wing individuals in the United States.” (As an aside, does this mean we now have to worry about culinary profiling? That would be good news for Eads Appliance Technology, whose Sous Vide Supreme has only nonviolent applications.)

• MSNBC aired an interview with Harvard’s Jessica Stern, who observed that a recipe for a similar bomb was published in an al Qaeda magazine–and on that basis speculated of a fringe-right connection! “It’s also important to recognize that the recipe was shared and lauded by Stormfront, which is a neo-Nazi website. And the whole idea of leaderless, which comes out of the far right neo-Nazi patriot movement, also spread over to al Qaeda-related groups.”

• The day of the bombing, MSNBC aired an interview with Adam Lankford, a criminal justice scholar, who said of the bombers: “We don’t know whether they’re trying to complain about abortion, about taxes. This did happen on tax day in Boston, the place of the Tea Party. Or are they trying to protest, you know, foreign wars or something?”

In the latest edition of his weekly G-File email, Jonah Goldberg writes, “we now live in a climate where there’s a ghoulish appetite to transform every act of terror and murder into a useful plot point in a political narrative. This is a bipartisan phenomenon, and while I think you could make the case that the Left is worse (in fact, I will in just a minute), it’s silly to deny that we don’t do the same thing:”

Moreover, given where we are as a country, it is unavoidable. This sort of thing is too seductive. The Left desperately wants every terrorist attack to be conducted by Rush Limbaugh’s biggest fan, so it’s impossible not to cheer when the Left is disappointed. And given the outrageous double standards that the Left — and the elite “responsible” media — use to demonize the Right, the urge to throw it back their face is irresistible.

* * * * *

Which brings me to this week’s most popular buffoon, David Sirota. Everyone is making fun of this fairly obscure left-wing gadfly for writing a ridiculous piece titled, “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.” Now, saying ridiculous things is what Sirota does for a living, so I think people are overreacting a little (in fairness, literally tens of people think Sirota is a genius). I’m sure as we speak, he’s trying to figure out how to find solace in the fact that the culprits technically were two Caucasian males.

Sirota’s core complaint is that because of “white privilege” white non-Muslim terrorists are described as “lone wolves” while Muslim terrorists are cast as part of something larger and more sinister. In his own words:

Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as “lone wolf” threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats — the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts.

It’s difficult to improve upon the stupidity of this. In case he’s reading this I will type slowly so he can keep up. The reason why most Muslim or developing-world terrorists are treated as representative of something larger is that, wait for it, they are representative of something larger. And to the extent white non-Muslim terrorists are usually cast as lone wolves, the reason is: That is what they are.

And, as far as I can tell, those white guys that are part of larger conspiracies, ideologies, and religions are pretty much always associated with them. In fact, there’s far more evidence that lone wolves who don’t have such associations are routinely cast by the media — and certainly by people like Sirota — as if they do. Jared Loughner was a deranged isolated individual. That didn’t stop the Left from immediately associating him with the tea parties, Sarah Palin, etc. (By the way, have they found Sarah Palin’s Facebook map of Chechnya yet?) Timothy McVeigh is still treated as a leader of the militia movement, even though he didn’t belong to any militia movement. And President Clinton was perfectly happy to associate mainstream conservatives with McVeigh.

This is an old and truly disgusting game for Democrats. FDR played it relentlessly. Going so far as to claim — in a State of the Union message! — that anyone who wanted to restore the “normalcy” — i.e. peace, prosperity, and liberty — of the 1920s under Republicans was in fact seeking to install the very fascism we were fighting abroad. [Harry Truman, FDR's successor said the same about his GOP opponent in the last days of the '48 campaign -- Ed] Lyndon Johnson and the mainstream media did everything but declare Barry Goldwater a Nazi on national television. Oh wait, they pretty much did that too.

Here We Go Again

In many ways this is a replay of the smug anti-American asininity of the Left during the Cold War. The idea that the Soviet Union was a threat was often treated as a paranoid delusion, while the “real” threat from the domestic American right was a grave danger. Hitler was dead. Germany and Japan were U.S. allies. But Communism, which was killing and enslaving hundreds of millions before our eyes, just wasn’t something to get worked up about — at least not compared with the super-scary John Birch Society.

It’s important to realize that this remains a venerable American cottage industry. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Morris Dees, for example, has gotten rich off exaggerating the threats of the Klan (See this excellent Weekly Standard cover story for more on that). When Liberal Fascism came out, some of the most vituperative attacks came from people deeply, deeply invested in perpetuating the idea that a right-wing fascist takeover is around the corner. They greeted my book the way Luddites would react to the publication of Why the Mechanization of the Textile Industry is a Good Thing.

Or as Investors’ Business Daily summarizes, “Sorry, Media, No White Tea Partiers Were Involved:”

Leftists such as Sirota bemoan “profiling” and “stereotyping” while they engage in a variety all their own. Sirota complained that the likes of Timothy McVeigh are treated as lone wolves while Muslim terrorists are treated as existential threats, that “white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted” for their acts.

Islamofascist terrorists, and the regimes and groups that support them, do constitute an existential threat. There have not been many Swedish terrorists; and what Sirota calls profiling we would call a description of the suspects. We wonder what part of “death to America” Sirota and his colleagues do not understand.

Those who scoured Tea Party rallies for signs of racism had no qualms about blaming Sarah Palin for the shooting of Rep. Gabriel Giffords or Rush Limbaugh for the Oklahoma City bombing. Recall how ABC’s Brian Ross incorrectly suggested there might have been a link between the shooter in the Aurora, Colo., theater killings and the Tea Party. Ross rushed before the cameras after finding a man with the same name listed on the site of the Colorado Tea Party.

Given that much of the above happened on TV, perhaps we should put things into simple visual terms:

Click to enlarge.

Will the Democrat-Media Complex act as shamelessly as they did this week once again? Count on it, writes Kevin D. Williamson at NRO:

The unpleasant fact is that the Left has been for many years attempting to use the acts of terrorists and other criminals to discredit legitimate domestic political opposition. Timothy McVeigh, to take one example, was omnivorous in his nuttery, his political and religious views all over the map, with interests ranging from Area 51 to what he viewed as U.S. war crimes during Operation Desert Storm. But Bill Clinton blamed the allegedly incendiary rhetoric of his own political opponents for McVeigh’s crime, and then on the fifteenth anniversary of the bombing updated his remarks to suggest that Tea Party rhetoric was a likely source of terrorist violence. We all remember Brian Ross’s gleeful attempt to link the Aurora shooter to the Tea Party. The list goes on. The tangible desire of the Left for their political rivals to descend into violence is grotesque and unseemly.

As Williamson writes, “What we ended up with in Boston is familiar: suspects with a fondness for Islamic radicalism and sympathy for worldwide jihad, roots in a jihadist hot spot, etc. None of which is of any use to David Sirota. Or Barack Obama.”

Besides, why would they change? “The Guild protects its own. Every profession is a conspiracy against those outside it,” Ace writes. Just ask Tom Brokaw.

Update: This rather nicely sums up the week that was:

Heh.™

Related: PJM’s Dave Swindle spots “10 Depressing, Morally Confused Reactions to 4/15/13, the Boston Jihad.”

And speaking of misfires by the leftwing overculture, as I mentioned in the previous post, “Robert Redford Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Glue.”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
" I cannot believe that the media are really so disconnected from reality that they expected the terrorists to be from the Tea Party movement."

Believe it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A few unanswered questions about the bombers:
Who did they live with and who paid the rent?
Where did they get their money?
Where they on welfare?
Where they on food stamps?
Did they have Obamaphones?
Who paid for their education?
What mosque did they attend?
How many of their friends reported them to the FBI when their photos were displayed?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This reminds me of a National Lampoon graphic that once stated, (tongue planted firmly in cheek): "Are Jews white people? Technically, yes...but..."

When leftists want to assert US crime figures, the descendants of the very European Spaniards are considered 'white" and in the Zimmerman self-defense case, he was labeled a "white Hispanic".

But, for undocumented Democrat and affirmative action purposes, one drop of blood or "high cheekbones" can get you out of "white privilege" and into Harvard faculty...which apparently is not the height of "privilege" it used to be.

A comedian can say ANYTHING about whites. No statement crosses the line. You can call them any name, no matter how filthy, you can attribute to them any motivation, heap upon them any slander...well, let's not confine this to comedians...the Agenda Media does this daily.

Similarly, the "slime bubble" can be popped over the heads of followers of the Bible...Old or New Testament. But, protects all other religions and followers of the powers of such things as triangles and crystals. Even makes them Governor Moonbeam.

You can be an avowed racist if you are black. In your "out loud" voice. If you are black, you can accuse an entire athletic team of rape and even though completely untrue...88 professors will refuse to apologize to you for heaping on the slander and libel even AFTER it is proven to be untrue...because, well, damn it...it OUGHT to be true!

"White, Bible-followers, who are heterosexual and not leftist Democrats"...are so "privileged" to be the recipients of "free hate".

And, the ONLY way that a white heterosexual male, born into a Bible religion can escape...is to become a traitor to his own country and begin engaging in petit acts of treason. Become a "revolutionary". An admirer of Mao, Che and all strains of Marxism. It is your one ticket out and your get out of jail free card...from the free hate.

It's also the sign of a true coward.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (27)
All Comments   (27)
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"We wonder what part of 'death to America' Sirota and his colleagues do not understand."

The part that Sirota and the left doesn't understand is that in the eyes of Islamic terrorists, Sirota and the left ARE part of America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
THURSDAY NIGHT WAS UNBELIEVABLE RADIO

Joh Batchelor broke the connection between MIT and the Boston terror attack on radio by following it on Twitter.
After listening to him Thurs night, I then tried to follow-up the MIT police murder on WGBH radio, but
being Boston, it had a show on of typical lefty global-warming crap. No real-time news. I then tried to find the MIT story on TV stations, but it wasn't there -- until 5 or 10 minutes later. Congratulations, John, on breaking the story and doing it oh, so gently. The comments about a random, atypical event and the reference to the Okla City bombing were very insightful.

WHERE WERE THE BLOODHOUNDS?

The police had blood. They had unexploded IEDs tossed at them. They had the car(s) the Boston jihadis were in.
Bottom line: this 'manhunt' should've been concluded a lot faster. Also, why weren't helicopters equipped with heat-sensing devices, which were used to 'see' the bomber in the boat, not used the night before?

I believe the glorification of the "manhunt" -- the shutdown of an entire major city -- will only encourage other jihadis, now on the fence, to want to become the center of attention through their own terrorist acts.


THE FBI AGENTS WHO 'INVESTIGATED' TAMERLAN SHOULD BE FIRED.
SO SHOULD THEIR SUPERVISOR. AND SO SHOULD THEIR SUPERVISOR'S SUPERVISOR.

Debka.com has the story right: Tamerlan was a double agent and Saudi Arabia is involved. I'm very tired of stupid FBI/CIA agents who think they can control Muslim jihadis for their own spy programs. This stupidity goes back to the end of WWII with the CIA 'recruiting' the Muslim Brotherhood/Nazis in Egypt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What I do not understand is why ABC, NBC, and CBS devoted so much air time to this story. The death toll was small--three people from the bombing. The amount of information that was available was also small, so that there was very little actual news to report. As a result the coverage, when it was not speculating without any facts, was repetitive. Furthermore, the story did not fit a preferred press narrative. The Obama administration failed to protect the country from terrorism. The bombers were Muslims, a group the media wants to protect. The crime was not perpetrated with guns but with home-made bombs, so it did not fit the gun-control narrative. The accused bombers are immigrants, which cuts against the narrative that the media wants to tell on immigration. So I do not see why this story got the air time that it got. I cannot believe that the media are really so disconnected from reality that they expected the terrorists to be from the Tea Party movement.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" I cannot believe that the media are really so disconnected from reality that they expected the terrorists to be from the Tea Party movement."

Believe it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personal beliefs have nothing to do with accepting reality. So whether you believe it or not, the fascist media is on record.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm already seeing the phrase "white muslim" show up in articles about the bombers. Really, how absurd is it that Zimmerman was labelled a white hispanic (people of Latin descent can be any color.)

Friday night, the talking heads of the MSM were already harping about when could lawyers get to the wounded suspect, to tell him to shut up and not talk to authorities. There are going to be lawyers climbing over their grandmothers to get to be on the defense for this case. If this character survives, his trial is going to take years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Arabs are Caucasian, for heaven's sake.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Jonah Goldberg writes, “we now live in a climate where there’s a ghoulish appetite to transform every act of terror and murder into a useful plot point in a political narrative. This is a bipartisan phenomenon..."

Jump in a lake, Goldberg. The "phenomenon" -- i.e., the raging intensity, regularity and Stalinist viciousness -- is decidely NOT bipartisan. That's what makes it phenomenal. I'm so sick of high-brow "conservatives" concerned about their standing in the pundit club resorting to the moral equivalence crap. This is why we're losing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Watching all the "white TEA Partier" speculation by the oh-so-unbiased media, and seeing them get hit with the reality of the culprits being Muslims... Man, oh, man!

It was like watching a bad actor tell you excitedly before his audition that he's getting the lead role and then seeing his face when the cast list is posted and he's got the part of "villager #5." You hope, "Well maybe this time it will wake him up," but no, it never does.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's because they know that sooner or later there will be someone they can blame on us, and make no mistake, they WILL blame all of us. My fourth thought and fourth fear that day was "Oh, lord, what happens if it IS someone they can tie to us? What will our own countrymen to us?"

See, everything they've warned us against - all the bigotry and Islamophobia, all the hate crimes and discrimination - those are the very things they'll feel no compunctions at all for leveling against us, and WE are not protected and we never will be.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whoever controls the microphone controls the dialogue. It's an adage as old as the hills. Right now, the left controls most of the important media outlets in this country. When I was a kid back in the 1950s, it was the right that did. I recall people who held values that were nothing more than liberal living in fear that they would be labled "commies" when in fact the vast majority were not. Obviously the left has enough in their audience to keep them in control. Otherwise their ratings would decrease and the sponsors would stop advertising on their programs. What we need to do is to convey our message intelligently but with conviction that will illustrate the fecklessness of the views demonstrated by those described in this article.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" When I was a kid back in the 1950s, it was the right that did. I recall people who held values that were nothing more than liberal living in fear that they would be labled "commies" when in fact the vast majority were not."

There wasn't nearly as much of that as the left makes out. If you could be made to live in fear for being nothing more than liberal, how did the Democrats, led by liberals like HHH and Adlai Stevenson hold on to the Congress all through those bad old '50s and early '60s with all that right-wing repression? The reason some people lived in fear of being labelled "commies" was because they WERE COMMIES, and many of them still are or have been replaced by their spawn. US radio and then television has been leftist since the '20s at the National network/New York level. One thing there was in the '50s and into the '60s was a lot more media voices; local stations were independent, local papers were, in fact, local. There was little National television news until well into the '60s, when Huntley-Brinkley debuted as only a 15 minute show. The Gramscian "long march" through the institutions was far enough along by the '60s that everyone coming out of the J-Schools was at best leftist, and many far more left than that. When I first became involved in labor relations in the '70s most of the unions were Meany-model anti-communists, maybe a bit corrupt, but interested in politics only to the extent they could make money and protect their contracts. By my last decade, the '00s, I and my staff needed to know more about Marx and Mao, and, especially, Alinsky, than about actually labor relations practice; it had just become politics by other means and some of the communists actually knew they were communists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not about ratings or advertising. Those channels are all compulsory to cable bundles. If you have cable, you are paying for those channels and keeping them alive whether you watch them or not. Why do you think it's democrats who black every attempt to block legislation that would allow cable companies to create a la carte channel packages? It's because channels like CNN and MSNBC wouldn't survive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Glad I live in a country where I can opt out of abc, (ms)nbc, cnn & co.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Driscoll has written a funny article, but I see that the comments have veered off into the question of race. For at least a century, American educationists like Franz Boas have been trying to convince us that there is no such thing as race. In some countries with less robust traditions of free speech, discussion of race has been made criminal, the modern-day equivalent of blasphemy laws. Like India's laws against caste, they have not made much difference. Race is. Belloc insisted that religion, not race, was at the heart of things. Interesting debate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree with him, race is subjective. When I was in high school, we were told there were three races. You belonged to one of them. By itself that has to be baloney, because bi-racial people exist.

If there is a such thing as race, Caucasians are the minority. There are over a billion people in China and India alone. Both of those groups at our school are identified as "Asian" as far as race goes. The "Asian" group didn't exist when I was in high school. Are Asian Indians Caucasian? They aren't being classified as that. What race are hispanics? There was no such category when I was in high school. Are they Caucasian? Their DNA origin is China (American Indians) and Europe (Spanish). Yet they started recently classifying them as black hispanic and white hispanic. No mention of their Chinese origin. It's a bunch of nonsense.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I spent more than 40 years in print journalism. My cherished profession has been debased by TV journalism, and now by the large print media. The television talking heads' performance was typical. The saddest part of the coverage is the fact we will now have to listen to them brag about what a wonderful job they did!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I watched Fox News all week. I'm a crime and punishment type so I'm not interested in endless speculation on why political opponents had to be responsible or how big bad white Americans caused this by oppressing the darling victim group of the moment. There are people who want to kill Americans and take away our freedom, no amount of PC musings is going to get them to like us.

I am sad the CNN has gone completely left, they were terrific 20 years ago.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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