Let’s be kind and simply say that news coverage of the carnage at Fort Hood wasn’t journalism’s finest moment.
It seems that lamestream journalists had a great deal of trouble uttering the word “terror” or “terrorist” or “Muslim” – even though the gunman is a Muslim terrorist. You’d think that his many jihadist statements might have been a clue. Or the fact he repeatedly wrote to an imam in Yemen who was recruiting for al-Qaeda. But the clincher, you’d think, was when the gunman shouted the Islamic war cry, Allahu Akbar, “God is Great,” right before he opened fire.
Hey, but those are just facts and everyone knows that lots of reporters won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. And the good story they were putting out – without any evidence to back it up – was that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan probably was suffering from PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, even though he had never been in combat in his life.
One poll of network evening newscasts found that 85 percent of their stories (in a five day period after the shooting) did not mention the word “terror.” And only 29 percent of the evening news reports mentioned that Maj. Hasan was a Muslim.
I think this allergic reaction to reality has something to do with the human tendency – in this particular case, the human liberal tendency – to try to shape facts to conform with one’s own idealistic views of the world. In other words, liberal journalists didn’t want the gunman to be a Muslim terrorist so they didn’t portray him as a Muslim terrorist. Pretty simple, huh?
But not all of the coverage and commentary, of course, was lame; some of it wasn’t that good. Which brings us to the real reason for this column: My top 5 examples of lamestream media gone off the rails.
5. Time magazine cover: Terrified … or Terrorist?
This raises another question: ARE YOU KIDDING?
4, Evan Thomas, editor at large of Newsweek: “I cringe that he’s a Muslim. I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he’s probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going….”
So the real danger, in Evan Thomas’s little pretend world, are right-wingers – not Muslim terrorists? And the shooter is “probably just a nut case”? What about that Allahu Akbar, God is Great thing, Evan? You think that might make him more than “just a nut case”?
3. Joe Klein, Time magazine: “There are today several odious attempts by Jewish extremists … to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs….”
But, Joe, the massacre was perpetrated by Nidal Hasan as a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs! Blaming the Jews, though, is a good one. It always works.
2. Bob Schieffer, CBS News: “And you know, Islam doesn’t have a majority – or the Christian religion has its full … helping of nuts too.”
Call it the moral equivalency argument. But let’s acknowledge that Bob makes a good point. We should all look out for those crazy Christian suicide bombers who are in the news every other day for blowing something or other up and slaughtering as many innocents as they can. Those Christian terrorists pose a real threat to the American people.
1. Chris “I feel a thrill running up my leg” Mathews of MSNBC:
Apparently he tried to contact al-Qaeda. … That’s not a crime to call al-Qaeda, is it?”
Maybe not, Chris, but you are.
That’s my list and I’m sticking to it. I welcome any entries you might have.