In Wake of Boston Terror Attacks The Nation’s Vanden Heuvel Hopes America Doesn’t Overreact Like 9/11

It seems as though The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel should take her own advice in saying that tragic events like the terrorist attack in Boston on April 15 should not be politicized.  Appearing on MSNBC’s Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 16, Ms. vanden Heuvel managed to contradict herself within mere seconds.

Speaking with liberal host Alex Wagner and TheGrio.com’s Joy-Ann Reid, the left-wing commentator appeared to at first make a reasoned call for patience in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, insisting that:

I think you know we know we don't want to engage in baseless speculation. What we know we need to do is grieve. We need to pay respect to the heroic first responders, to the kindness of Boston, to the community, and to the community that we've seen come together in the aftermath of whether it was 9/11, or Newtown or in Boston.  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

Ms. Wagner introduced the panel with a similar tone, reflecting the united stance Americans took following the attack:

One thing that's striking to me in these moments of duress and tragedy is how the country unites together, whether it's sending the photographs in, whether its rushing to the aid of those wounded in the smoke and the fire. And as the president said, it shows us who we are as Americans.

Unfortunately, Ms. vanden Heuvel couldn’t follow Ms. Wagner or her own advice and immediately went into a rant against America:

And my hope is that the community spirit, the resilience of the American people, which the president spoke so well to is what comes out of this. And not the overreaction to fear, which I think we have seen for sure in the wake of 9/11 when this country overreacted and allowed un-American things and the shredding of principles that make this country great.

She didn’t stop there, going so far as to connecting Guantanamo Bay with the attacks in Boston:

Allowed the indefinite detention of people or allowed the warrantless wire-tapping or allowed as a report on the front pages of newspapers today, the news goes on amidst the tragedy of indisputable evidence by a bipartisan commission that America tortured. That is not an American value. So I think community, resilience, kindness, those are the great qualities that can make this country strong again.

Wagner seemed unwilling to challenge vanden Heuvel’s comments, instead choosing to practically dismiss them:

And certainly that we will be asking ourselves a lot of questions as we figure out who the suspects are, as law enforcement officials figure out who is a leading suspect, what the motivation might have been.

Vanden Heuvel never exactly explained what Guantanamo Bay has to do with the terrorist attack in Boston and no one on the MSNBC panel challenged her ridiculous claims like Thomas Roberts did when former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) sought to politicize the bombing.  Instead, she chose to use her appearance on Tuesday to lecture the audience about politicizing this tragedy while making sure she goes to extreme measures to make ridiculous political comments herself. 

 

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Now w/ Alex Wagner

April 16, 2013

12:07 p.m. EDT

ALEX WAGNER: Pete Williams, hang with us, we'll have more questions for you within the hour. Thank you for your time for the moment. I want to open it up to the panel in New York. Katrina [Vanden Heuvel], we talk about just in the short time that I've been at this desk, with this show, there have been a number of disastrous incidents in terms of violence, massacres, bombings. Boston though isn't, they're all sort of different in their way. It forces upon us this sort ever collective fear, but also, a sense of community. Which of course would be the silver lining here. And we're going to talk to some first-hand eye witnesses later in the hour. But one thing that's striking to me in these moments of duress and tragedy is how the country unites together, whether it's sending the photographs in, whether it’s rushing to the aid of those wounded in the smoke and the fire. And as the president said, it shows us who we are as Americans.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: It does. I think you know we know we don't want to engage in baseless speculation. What we know we need to do is grieve. We need to pay respect to the heroic first responders, to the kindness of Boston, to the community, and to the community that we've seen come together in the aftermath of whether it was 9/11, or Newtown. Or in Boston. The whole issue of whether to call it terrorism it seems to me what's so important is just who did it, how it was done. Why. And not the name at this point. But it is clear that terrorism terrorists want to terrorize us. Want us to concede to fear. And my hope is that the community spirit, the resilience of the American people, which the president spoke so well to is what comes out of this. And not the overreaction to fear, which I think we have seen for sure in the wake of 9/11 when this country overreacted and allowed un-American things and the shredding of principles that make this country great. Allowed the indefinite detention of people or allowed the warrantless wire-tapping or allowed as a report on the front pages of newspapers today, the news goes on amidst the tragedy of indisputable evidence by a bipartisan commission that America tortured. That is not an American value. So I think community, resilience, kindness, those are the great qualities that can make this country strong again.

WAGNER: And certainly that we will be asking ourselves a lot of questions as we figure out who the suspects are, as law enforcement officials figure out who is a leading suspect, what the motivation might have been.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.