Typical of the commentary was this New York Times piece, and this article in Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper, both of which blamed President Nicolas Sarkozy for stoking anti-immigrant sentiment in a bid to draw voters from the right-wing National Front
Even nominally conservative-leaning papers appeared eager to embrace the “French Breivik” theme, with Britain’s Telegraph breathlessly reporting that the Toulouse shooter “may” have filmed the killings using a camera recommended by the Norwegian. And of course the BBC, which jumped on every emerging rumor, however weak, supported the “far-right” thesis.
Large sections of the media got this one spectacularly wrong, but don’t expect them to acknowledge that fact. Instead, look for them to move move seamlessly from the “far-right extremist” theme to asking what could have provoked Merah (post-traumatic shock brought on from his experiences in Afghanistan perhaps?).
When Westerners kill, it’s the West’s fault. And when Muslims kill, it’s the West’s fault. It’s Liberal Journalism 101.
Update: The police have walked back the story of Merah’s arrest. French police are laying siege to an apartment in which the prime suspect in the killings of three Jewish children, the father of two of the children and three French soldiers is holed up. Police reportedly tried to enter the building but pulled back when shots were fired.