The New York Times resolutely refused to see a pattern of jihad on the part of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in its sympathetic front-page Tuesday profile of his prison conditions. Yet on Wednesday the Times ran an op-ed that used an anti-Semitic killer in Kansas to represent the hidden domestic terror threat of military veterans.
For a moment, imagine yourself back in 2006, at the height of liberal aggression about the “imperial hubris” of George W. Bush in the War on Terror. The left's contempt for this man was rampant. Liberals savaged him for turning the world against this country. Keith Olbermann announced “the beginning of the end of America.”
Now imagine, in that milieu, if during the Bush administration we'd witnessed a mass shooting by an Islamist at Fort Hood. Or a terrorist bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Or a deadly terrorist attack on a consulate in Libya. Would liberals have granted President Bush a pass for any of these? Or would he and his policies have been blamed?
Bergen claimed that “white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.” He cited a New America study which counted 34 people killed by right-wing extremist acts and just 23 people killed by Al Qaeda-linked terrorism, after 9/11. Why start there? Wouldn’t the 2,977 people killed that day by jihadists skew those findings somewhat?
On April 15, 2013, one year ago, two Muslim extremists planted bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others. This tragic event was sadly exploited by some in the media who quickly speculated that "extreme right" and "anti-government" individuals could be responsible for the mayhem.[See below for a round-up, including video, of the worst examples of journalistic malpractice.]
The morning after the attack, Good Morning America's Pierre Thomas narrated a segment with an on-screen graphic wondering, "Could this be homegrown terror?" Thomas noted that April 15th was only four days before the anniversaries of the bloody end of the Branch Davidian standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing. Regarding the date the attack occurred, GMA guest Mark Potok linked, "The real Patriots Day is April 19th. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States." [MP3 audio here.]
Adrianne Haslet-Davis is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who insists that she not be called a "victim" ("I am not defined by what happened in my life. I am a survivor, defined by how I live my life").
The Boston Herald writes that "Haslet-Davis became a symbol of Boston Strong when she made good on her vow to dance again in a front-page Herald story last year. This past month she performed a rumba on a bionic leg designed by an MIT brainiac who is himself a double amputee. The performance was at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Vancouver." On Friday, NBC News, which three weeks ago posted a story on Haslet-Davis's first post-bombing performance, deliberately and by its own admission broke a promise it had made to her as a condition for her appearance in a taped panel discussion in advance of the network's next Meet the Press program.
MSNBC host Alex Wagner appeared to tie Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to ObamaCare opposition and libertarianism on Wednesday’s Now, with liberal guests Jared Bernstein and Mark Potok taking part in the anti-conservative argument. Wagner suggested that ObamaCare “extremism would seem to be of a piece with this radicalized rhetoric” that influenced the terrorist Tsarnaev.
Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, argued that one “could draw a line” connecting the terrorist attacks in Boston to “vehement opposition” to the president’s health care law. And Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, added:
The title of her column is "What motivates a lawyer to defend a Tsarnaev, a Castro or a Zimmerman?" -- as if defending an alleged terrorist killer of three and maimer of hundreds, a imprisoner of multiple women and killer of pre-born babies (who yesterday pleaded guilty to the former and will escape the death penalty), and a man who killed an assailant only because he thought he would die if he didn't are all virtually equally problematic. Excerpts follow the jump.
On Thursday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes again demonstrated just how far left his views are when he admitted that he has had difficulty understanding the widespread criticism of Rolling Stone magazine over its provocative cover photo of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. To his credit, Hayes brought aboard someone with an opposing opinion from his own in the form of The List's Rachel Sklar, herself normally left-leaning, to discuss the issue.
After declaring that his initial reaction was, "I don't understand why people are so upset," he later conceded that a reflexive impulse to disagree with conservatives like Michelle Malkin may have tainted his judgment as he complained about those who "want to bully us into not talking about what the motivations" of the terror suspect were. Hayes:
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News on the widely panned cover of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a sound bite was included of New York Times media columnist David Carr defending the offensive display: "I think that Rolling Stone committed an act of journalism in both publishing this photo and publishing the story that they did." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Throughout the segment, NBC correspondent John Yang described the near-universal condemnation of the cover, but led up to Carr's commentary by declaring: "Rolling Stone has a history of serious journalism, like the story that led to the resignation of U.S. Afghanistan commander, General Stanley McChrystal. In 1970, Charles Manson appeared on Rolling Stone's cover, and other news magazines have had controversial covers, including Hitler and Osama Bin Laden on the front of Time."
Scott Pelley deserves grudging credit for recognizing something obvious at a Friday luncheon in New York. Readers tempted to go beyond that point would be advised to visit the archive of Pelley-related posts at NewsBusters on his brand of so-called journalism, a few of which will be identified later in this post.
At said luncheon, Pelley received the 20th annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University. In his acceptance speech (full YouTube; excerpt here; HT Weekly Standard), Pelley spoke of journalistic failures during the past few months. He wants to believe that the past few months have been extraordinarily bad to a supposedly unprecedented extent.
A New York Times story posted online Sunday evening and appearing at Column 1 on Page 1 in today's print edition included a picture of 1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh -- hardly a jihadist, at least not directly -- alongside that of three real jihadists: alleged Ft. Hood mass murderer Nidal Hasan, foiled Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Another curiosity is the difference between the official headline of Scott Shane's report ("A Homemade Style of Terror: Jihadists Push New Tactics") and the browser window title ("Terrorists Find Online Education for Attacks"). That's interesting, because the presence of the "online education" and the following paragraphs in Shane's report effectively punch a gaping hole in the official meme, most strongly propagated by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and President Barack Obama, that Tsarnaev and his now-dead brother Tamerlan "acted alone":
President Barack Obama will take to the podium in the White House press briefing room at 10:30 a.m. Eastern for a press conference. The occasion: today is the 100th day of his second term in office. We at NewsBusters will be watching and I'll be live-blogging the questions from reporters. Pardon my inaccuracies as I'll be transcribing on the fly.
In the comments section, leave some question that YOU would ask if you were in the room. Which questions should be asked but likely won't?
It used to be that whenever an important news story broke, cable television viewers would quickly turn to CNN for must-see coverage of what was happening. However, according to a poll conducted regarding the five-day coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, that is definitely no longer the case.
The survey, which was conducted by the liberal Huffington Post website and the international marketing agency YouGov, determined that former titan CNN came in as far less trustworthy than Fox News over which was the most believable cable news channel.
Say, did you happen to see that commercial for Elizabeth Warrren in the guise of an interview on "The Rachel Maddow Show"?
Those six minutes of scintillating chit-chat would have cost Warren big time if she and MSNBC went by the book, seeing how in-kind contributions to politicians don't get more obvious. (Video after page break)
Barack Obama absolutely slayed at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Saturday evening.
Early in his address to attendees, he took on CNN saying, “I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Piers Morgan absurdly claimed on Thursday that "senators and congressmen" want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev "tortured" and the "interrogation lasting for months." The only prominent call for torture came from one New York state senator who had argued his case on Morgan's show on Monday.
"So when you hear these senators and congressmen leaping up and down saying we want to have him tortured and we want to have the interrogation lasting for months, you're straying into Guantanamo Bay territory for somebody who is an American citizen," Morgan said of Tsarnaev. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
If NBC executives refuse to condemn the extreme rhetoric spewing from the mouths of their MSNBC hosts, at least Fox News will. Speaking on April 25, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly chastised Comcast for allowing NBC News to hire someone like Alex Wagner to host her own daytime show on MSNBC.
Appearing on April 24, Alex Wagner disgustingly commented that, “I think that Krauthammer and O’Reilly going after the president and saying he’s not being tough enough on Muslims smells a little bit like a precursor to is the president actually secretly a Muslim.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- claimed that President Bush "ignored all the warnings about al-Qaeda wanting to attack the homeland" before 9/11 as he mocked Republicans for praising Bush's record of preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil after the 9/11 attacks. As he alluded to Republicans criticizing President Clinton for not handling al-Qaeda more aggressively during his presidency, Wolffe asserted:
Ultra-liberal MSNBC host Alex Wagner may have hit a new low on the Wednesday edition of her program, Now. Discussing the response to the Boston bombing, Wagner absurdly hinted that Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer's criticism of Barack Obama are "a precursor" to saying that "the president [is] actually secretly a Muslim."
Speaking directly to Politico’s Maggie Haberman, who as of today appears to be suffering from Fort Hood amnesia, Wagner railed against Fox News and conservatives who call for more active surveillance of potential terrorists. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The Boston Herald has broken the story -- a scoop even the Boston Globe has acknowledged -- that "Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism."
A responsible national establishment press would treat this as an important story, because, as the Herald's Chris Cassidy noted in the understatement of the day, it "raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money." Several paragraphs from the Herald story, followed by a look at how Todd Wallack and Beth Healy at the Globe handled their story on the family's finances, follow the jump.
Yeah, good thing. Come to think of it, when could that have even happened, Mr. Pierce?
One of the more bizarre observations in media after the capture of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhav Tsarnaev came courtesy of Charles Pierce, Esquire magazine political blogger. (Video clip after page break)
Last week, MSNBC's Chris Matthews was seen shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings wondering whether they had anything to do with "Tax Day" (which it wasn't in Massachusetts; it was Patriots' Day, a state holiday, and the tax filing deadline there was not until the next day) and asserting that "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right."
Now Matthews appears not to be interested in finding out what motivated the Tsarnaev brothers, accused of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombings, to do what they allegedly did, as the following passage from an April 22 "Hardball" discussion with an incredulous FBI profiler found at RealClearPolitics tells us (bolds are mine):
Sure, he was a terrorist who killed four people, injured hundreds and shut down a city in terror for an entire day last week, but Tamerlan Tsarneav's brain -- studied for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) related to his amateur boxing career -- could be useful for science! Or at least, that’s what Travis Waldron of Think Progress offers as a silver lining to the Boston Marathon tragedy. It just adds to the humanization process that some in the media, like the Washington Post, have conducted with these two terrorists.
Someone does need an examination of the brain, but it isn’t Tamerlan. Waldron mentions that this science fair project could be seen as a diversion, but noted how the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs Jovan Belcher proves that it could be something of significance (emphasis mine):
Post-publication note from Chuck: At the time I wrote the column below, news had not broken about the massive and devastating explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Of course, all of my condolences and commendations about the victims and crisis care community in Boston I extend with profound correlations to my own heartbroken neighbors in Texas. One television news report estimated that 700 first responders were deployed immediately into action there. Let no one say the selfless and sacrificial American spirit isn't alive and well!
As with others across the nation, my wife, Gena, and I are so proud of the first responders and host of rescuers, medical personnel, law enforcement personnel, firemen, military members, crisis counselors and good Samaritans who immediately were called into action and undoubtedly saved lives, limbs and souls because of their heroic efforts. Truly, America's best shine brightest during our country's most difficult and darkest moments.
The Washington Post tried to turn the camera lens around on the violent Tsarnaev brothers. Their arrogant liberal assumption: the real question is what this says about us backwards Americans, not about the bombers. The headline in huge type was “Who do we think they are? The answer says a lot about who we are.”
What we are, apparently, is a sad gathering of “Islamophobes,” because the story is a collection of quotes from Muslim activists and authors who tweeted “please don’t be a Muslim” and feared that Muslim assailants would spur Americans to practice “discrimination or retaliation or shame.” Even after the Tsarnaevs were found, the Post reported “Brown Muslims” were relieved:
The last time there was a terrorist attack on America, we got the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Each entity has spent billions to keep us safe, but neither could stop two brothers, Tamerlan, a permanent resident, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a newly minted U.S. citizen, who lived in America and, reportedly, became radicalized jihadists, from killing and maiming innocent people at the Boston Marathon last week.
According to Dana Priest and William M. Arkin of The Washington Post, "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. ... An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. ... In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings -- about 17 million square feet of space."
On Friday, Matt Sheffield and Bob Owens and other conservative bloggers spread the news that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sent pro-Obama tweets out on Election Night, retweeting one that said "Barack you my dawg" and hailing how “america is impervious to the f--kery #justforthisoneday.”
Speaking of impervious, Politico reporter Josh Gerstein reported on Monday that "The Boston Marathon bombing suspects’ geopolitical leanings are still largely a mystery, and so is their American political outlook, after a review of records in this city where they lived for the last several years."