Media: 'This is no time to speculate' - so, of course, they do
How many times did we hear reporters on the cable nets caution everyone about speculating regarding the perpetrators of the deadly attacks yesterday at the Boston Marathon?
About as often as they proceeded to give their listeners the idea that it was "right wing extremists" who were behind the bombing.
John Hawkins has a few examples:
After national tragedies, liberals almost inevitably come out of the woodwork looking for ways to blame the whole thing on conservatives. Sadly, the Boston Marathon bombing has been no exception to that rule. Even though at present, there is absolutely nothing that ties the Boston Marathon bombing to conservatives, there are still Left-Wingers still trying to blame these attacks on the Right.
CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen suggested more than once that a, "right-wing extremist group" could be behind the attacks.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews falsely claimed that, "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right."
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted, "Explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment."
Hawkins links a couple of Michael Moore tweets, "Tax day. Patriots Day." And the cryptic "2 + 2=..."
But the booby prize goes to Charles Pierce of Esquire:
Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.
Mr. Pierce is an ignoramus. McVeigh chose the date April 19th not for its connection to Lexington and Concord but because it was the 2nd anniversary of the day that the feds stormed the Koresh compound in Waco killing 76 people. One would think if you were going to write about politics for such a distinguished publication as Vanity Fair (at least it's "distinguished" in the minds of liberal elites), that a rudimentary knowledge of history would be a requirement.
Pierce is an outlier, a bufoonish caricature of a liberal pundit. But there are other examples of this idiotic speculation about the "right wing" being behind the bombing that, if placed in proper context wouldn't be objectionable, but are invariably preceded by warnings not to "jump to conclusions" or rely on "speculation."
Going in the opposite direction, we have the far left Alternet warning us not to jump to conclusions that Muslims are behind the attack:
Almost immediately predictable hysterical right-wing voices jumped into the debate -- and surprisingly were featured on liberal Salon.com -- including the anti-Muslim media hound Pam Geller, who immediately blamed a Jihadi for the bombing. Right wing blogger Jennifer Rubin sarcastically called it a "local crime story" in reference to the totally inaccurate right wing trope that the liberal media didn't cover Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist on trial in Philadelphia for murder and malpractice. Salon also featured conspiracist Alex Jones, who went totally in the other direction called the Boston explosion a government conspiracy.
Even if it is confirmed that the horrendous attack on the people of Boston and their heralded Marathon, was committed by a person or persons of Muslim descent, it should not cast aspersions and drum up fear and hatred on the millions of peaceful and law abiding muslims living in America. After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the same Islamophobic accusations were made. The bomber was a white American, a man who hated the federal government and took up an armed struggle on his own: Timothy McVeigh.
But as the LA Times reported then, such media finger pointing leads to real violence against innocent people who are racially profiled--judged guilty by the color of their skin or clothes that they wear. Americans are supposed to better than this in the 21st century, but some of the media organizations with big megaphones are not.
Of course we shouldn't blame all Muslins if Arab terrorists are behind the bombing. Would that Alternet make the same plea if right wingers are discovered to be behind the attack.
Because you and I both know the first thing Alternet and their sister publications will do is blame all conservatives and Republicans for the Boston bombing.
It takes a monumental effort to separate logic from reality and caution against blaming an entire religion for the actions of one or a few, while gleefully charging that an entire political philosophy and political party is at fault for those same actions.
I suspect we'll find out soon enough who the government thinks is responsible. Meanwhile, you in the MSM, liberals in the blogosphere and on social media - just chill.