March 20, 2021

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH ANDREW SULLIVAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY: When The Narrative Replaces The News — How the media grotesquely distorted the Atlanta massacres.

We have yet to find any credible evidence of anti-Asian hatred or bigotry in this man’s history. Maybe we will. We can’t rule it out. But we do know that his roommates say they once asked him if he picked the spas for sex because the women were Asian. And they say he denied it, saying he thought those spas were just the safest way to have quick sex. That needs to be checked out more. But the only piece of evidence about possible anti-Asian bias points away, not toward it.

And yet. Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an antiAsian white supremacist hate crimeSixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the “real” motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.

Mass killers, if they are motivated by bigotry or hate, tend to let the world know:

The suspected attacker in Pittsburgh allegedly said he wanted to “kill Jews” while rampaging inside a synagogue. Police said the man charged with killing people at an El Paso Walmart told them that he was targeting “Mexicans” that day. And the man who massacred Black parishioners inside a Charleston church detailed his racist motivations at length.

This mass murderer in Atlanta actually denied any such motive, and, to repeat myself, there is no evidence for it — and that has been true from the very start. And yet, a friend forwarded me the note swiftly sent to students and faculty at Harvard, which sums up the instant view of our elite:

Many of us woke up yesterday to the horrific news of the vicious and deadly attack in Atlanta, the latest in a wave of increasing violence targeting the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community … This violence has a history. From Chinese Exclusion to the nativist rhetoric amplified during the pandemic, anti-Asian hostility has deep roots in American culture.

And on and on. It was almost as if they had a pre-existing script to read, whatever the facts of the case!

Speaking of which: The Media Got It Wrong: Police Captain Didn’t Say the Atlanta Spa Killer Was Having a ‘Bad Day.’

A moment from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office press conference on Wednesday quickly went viral: Jay Baker, a spokesperson for the police department handling the investigation into the horrific Atlanta spa murders, said that suspect Robert Aaron Long was having a bad day.

“He was pretty much fed up, kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” said Baker.

The comment struck many people as overly sympathetic toward Long, as if Baker was making excuses for someone who stands accused of killing eight Asian-American women in cold blood. A 20-second video clip of Baker’s statement was shared on Twitter by Vox journalist Aaron Rupar and swiftly went viral, earning widespread condemnation. Many saw it as evidence that cops are desperate to discount the culpability of white male criminals. For instance, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor and inventor of the term “intersectionality,” described Baker’s comments as “bone-chilling,” and castigated him for refusing to acknowledge “the misogynistic dimensions of anti-Asian racism.”

A police officer excusing Long’s actions as merely the result of him having a “bad day” would indeed be contemptible. But that’s not what Baker did. In fact, many of the people so infuriated about the quote were misled by Rupar’s edit of the video.

Well, this is the network that frequently brings on Dan Rather to a show called “Reliable Sources.”

UPDATE:

(Updated and bumped.)-

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