What did I tell you?
Two heinous acts of violence occurred earlier this week on American soil: (A) The first was the killing of a soldier and the wounding of another outside an army recruiting station in Arkansas by one Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. By the name it is clear this man is Muslim.
(B) The second incident was the shooting of an abortion doctor inside a church by a fundamentalist Christian anti-abortion extremist [UPDATE: I am corrected by a Free Republic reader that gunman Scott Roeder is not a Christian fundamentalist, but affiliated with the notoriously racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity cult].
Can you guess (1) which shooting got more press from the mainstream media, (2) which shooting got immediate public condemnation from President Obama, and (3) which story mentioned the perpetrator’s religion more frequently and prominently.
The answers are (1) B, (2) B, and (3) B.
So, how did you do?
How nicely this dovetails with what I and others wrote regarding last month’s incident involving the thwarted synagogue bomb plot by Muslims, in which the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets either downplayed or suppressed the religious affiliation of the perpetrators. I even suggested on my post that if the target were an abortion clinic and the bomb plotter a fundamentalist Christian, you can bet the MSM would be on that like white on rice. That prompted one reader to search Google in an attempt to prove me wrong.
Well, lo and behold, here we have the killing of an abortion doctor by a deranged fundamentalist vigilante (of which I do not approve or condone, by the way) couple in the same week with a fatal shooting by a Muslim, and all of my accusations against the MSM get vindicated again!
First, Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic—not quite a right-wing publication!—wrote yesterday:
The eight a.m. NPR news update today included word of the fatal shooting of one soldier and the wounding of another outside an army recruiting station in Arkansas. The news reader, Nora Raum, outlined the incident and stated that the shooting appeared to have “religious motivations.” She did not name the suspect, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, or tell NPR listeners what those religious motivations might be. In other words, it could have been a radical Unitarian who gunned down the soldiers, or possibly a violent Presbyterian.
Why the shyness? Why not tell people what is actually happening in the world? We saw this a couple of weeks ago, when the press only gingerly acknowledged that the malevolent though incompetent suspects in the synagogue bombing-conspiracy case in New York were converts to Islam. How is the public served by this kind of silence? The extremist Christian beliefs of George Tiller’s alleged murderer are certainly relevant to that case, and no one in my profession is hesitant to discuss them. Why the hesitancy to talk about the motivations of the man who allegedly killed Pvt. William Long?
I think even Goldberg knows the answer to his own question. He just wants his lefty compadres to admit it out loud.
Next, President Obama, no doubt exhausted from spending an upwards of a million taxpayer dollars (you heard me) this weekend gallivanting around New York City, managed to make a statement condemning the murder of abortionist George Tiller by a crazed Christian fundamentalist. But Michelle Malkin notices something curiously missing when Obama was announcing his choice for new Army Secretary:
Not a word about the jihadi attack on the two Army recruiters in Arkansas. No condemnation of the heinous attack and senseless violence. No condolences for the families of the targeted men or praise for the military recruiters who have been under increasing attack on U.S. soil. No statements from the DOJ or Pentagon, either.
Malkin’s latest article out this morning addresses this blatant double standard by both the media and the president:
… Tiller’s suspected murderer, Scott Roeder, is white, Christian, anti-government and anti-abortion. The gunman in the military recruitment center attack, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, is black, a Muslim convert, anti-military and anti-American.
Both crimes are despicable, cowardly acts of domestic terrorism. But the disparate treatment of the two brutal cases by both the White House and the media is striking.
President Obama issued a statement condemning “heinous acts of violence” within hours of Tiller’s death. The Justice Department issued its own statement and sent federal marshals to protect abortion clinics. News anchors and headline writers abandoned all qualms about labeling the gunman a terrorist. An almost gleeful excess of mainstream commentary poured forth on the climate of hate and fear created by conservative talk radio, blogs and Fox News in reporting Tiller’s activities.
By contrast, Obama was silent about the military recruiter attacks that left 24-year-old Pvt. William Long dead and 18-year-old Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula gravely wounded. On Tuesday afternoon — more than 24 hours after the attack on the military recruitment center in Little Rock, Ark. — Obama held a press conference to announce his pick for Army secretary. It would have been exactly the right moment to express condolences for the families of the targeted Army recruiters and to condemn heinous acts of violence against our troops.
But Obama said nothing. The Justice Department was mum. And so were the legions of finger-pointing pundits happily convicting the pro-life movement and every right-leaning writer on the planet of contributing to the murder of Tiller. Obama’s omission, it should be noted, comes just a few weeks after he failed to mention the Bronx jihadi plot to bomb synagogues and a National Guard airbase during his speech on homeland security.
Why the silence? Politically and religiously motivated violence, it seems, is only worth lamenting when it demonizes opponents. Which also helps explain why the phrase “lone shooter” is ubiquitous in media coverage of jihadi shooters gone wild — think convicted “Jeep Jihadist” Mohammed Taheri-Azar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill or Israel-bashing gunman Naveed Haq, who targeted a Seattle Jewish charity or Los Angeles International Airport shooter Hesham Hedayet, who opened fire at the El Al Israeli airline ticket counter — but not in cases involving rare acts of anti-abortion violence. […]
You won’t hear about the escalating war on military recruitment centers on the op-ed pages of The New York Times — from vandalism to obstruction to Molotov cocktail attacks on campus stations across the country; to the shutdown of a Pittsburgh military recruitment office by zealots holding signs that read “Recruiters are Child Predators”; to the prolonged harassment campaign against the Marine recruiting center in Berkeley, where Code Pink protesters called America soldiers assassins; to the bomb blast at the Times Square recruiting center last March.
And you’ll certainly hear little about the most recent left-wing calls to violence by a Playboy magazine writer who published a vulgar list of conservative female writers and commentators he said he’d like to rape (the obscene slang word he used is not printable). The list was hyped by the magazine’s publicity team and light-heartedly promoted by mainstream publications such as Politico.com (founded by Washington Post reporters).
Is it too much to ask the media cartographers in charge of mapping the “climate of hate” to do their jobs with both eyes open?
Again, a question to which the author knows the answer.
And as the icing on the cake, on her blog Malkin hat-tipped Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research, who posted the following at NewsBusters:
At the time of this writing [June 1], there are nearly 7,000 references to “George Tiller” in Google News.
There are under 500 for “William Long.”
George Tiller, of course, was the Kansas abortion doctor murdered Sunday morning by a man who allegedly had political and religious motives.
William Long was the 23-year-old military recruiter murdered Monday morning by a man who allegedly had political and religious motives.
Are there 14 times more stories about George Tiller in Google News right now because Tiller’s murder occurred approximately 24 hours before Long’s?
Will there be approximately 7,000 references to William Long in Google News 24 hours from now?
I’m not holding my breath.
Postscript dated 6/2/09, 11:37 PM Eastern: As I add this postscript, it’s approximately 24 hours after I posted the post above, and thus now time to see how many references to “William Long” will appear on Google News. If the number of news articles referencing William Long approximates 7,000, I will have been unfair. Checking now... the answer is... there are 949 references to “William Long” on Google News. A search for “George Tiller” finds 8,561.
Are we noticing a pattern here, people???