Air Force Airman Shot By Anti-war Protestor on July 4, Media Mum

It’s approaching two weeks since an Air Force Airman was shot by an anti-war protestor in Willingboro, New Jersey.

Yet, apart from an Associated Press article which conveniently ignored the apparent motives of the assailant, a New York Post op-ed by Michelle Malkin, and a mention by Glenn Beck on CNN's Headline News, not one major mainstream media outlet has reported the horrific event in print or on the air.

Not one.

To set this up, the Associated Press reported the day after the shooting (h/t NB reader CSM Robert E. Wilson, currently serving in Iraq):

An airman from McGuire Air Force Base was in critical condition after being shot by another man who then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide, officials said.

According to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, Matthew J. Marren, 22, of Pennsauken, drove to the Willingboro home that the airman, Jonathan Schrieken, 22, was renting at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Marren got out of his vehicle and shot Schrieken, who was outside the house, one time in the chest, using a small-caliber firearm. Marren then turned the gun on himself.

Schrieken was transported to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he was in critical condition Thursday, said Angel Lopez from the McGuire public affairs office. She said Marren was not affiliated with the military.

Schrieken is a loadmaster with the 6th Airlift Squadron based at McGuire, officials said.

As noted by Patrick Poole at the American Thinker July 9, the AP “never mentioned Marren's motive for shooting Schrieken.”

On July 6, PhillyBurbs.com reported the incident, and the piece got picked up at MSNBC.com:

The Pennsauken man who shot and wounded a member of the U.S. Air Force before killing himself left suicide notes that indicated he was “angry at the government and wanted to make a statement” on Independence Day, one of the man’s relatives said yesterday.

[…]

Marren’s aunt, Terina Henderson of Trion, Ga., said she spoke to Marren’s mother yesterday who told her Marren left two notes, one in his home and one in his car, indicating he was upset with the government.

She said she did not know the exact wording in the notes, but said Marren was “mad at the government and wanted to make a statement … that’s why he did what he did on the Fourth of July.”

So, AP ran a piece on this July 5, with PhillyBurbs.com and MSNBC.com the following day connecting an anti-war element to the shooting. Yet, no major print or television press outlet deigned to report the matter.

Three days later, on July 8, Charles Johnson reported at Little Green Footballs that he received a message from a reader that included the following about this subject:

My son’s best friend, Jon, who’s in the Air Force stationed in New Jersey at Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base was shot by a crazed anti-military white guy on Independence Day and he remains in critical condition. He had been on leave here in Ohio and got back to his home off base and was unpacking stuff from his car when this 22 year old guy walked up to him and asked him if he lived in the house. When Jon said yes, the guy said “not any more” and shot him point blank in the chest. He tried to shoot him again, but his gun jammed. Jonathan made it into the house. The guy then shot himself.

Still no major print or television media focus.

Finally, on July 11, the New York Post published the following op-ed by Michelle Malkin which (emphasis added):

Now, imagine the scenario flipped: What if a soldier had attempted to murder a peace activist over the holidays in order to “make a statement”? The Times would be holding front-page vigil, and Katie Couric’s brow would be furrowed for a week. The yakkity yaks on The View would be clucking their tongues about the culture of violence bred by the military — and who knows what Rosie O’Donnell would be dressing her poor child in to exploit the story on her website.

Funny how the Root Causes crowd becomes so incurious about the root causes of crime when the suspects are anti-military nutballs and antiwar protesters. To the extent leftists pay any attention at all to this attempted murder, you can expect it to be downplayed as an isolated incident.

Never mind the pro-fragging comments made by troop-bashing academic fraudsters like Ward Churchill; the iconic banners that proclaim “We support our troops when they shoot their own officers” and “Don’t impeach Bush . . . execute him”; the countless acts of vandalism against military recruitment offices nationwide since 9/11; and the burning of soldiers in effigy by hate-filled peaceniks.

The next day, Glenn Beck said the following on his CNN Headline News program:

There`s a devastating story involving a 22-year-old senior airman with the 6th Airlift Squadron by the name of Jonathan Schrieken. On July 4th, he had gone outside of his house. He was shot in cold blood by Matthew Marren in the chest. Marren then turned the gun on himself and saved the taxpayers, quite frankly, a lot of money. His suicide notes reportedly said that he was angry at the government, and he desired to make a statement on the Fourth of July.

Well, an anti-government maniac makes a statement that almost kills a military man on the most patriotic day of the year and you haven`t heard the story? How is it even possible? Outside of some local media and Michelle Malkin, who wrote it in her column, the story has almost been invisible. Let me ask you this question: Would that have been the case if a crazed soldier had killed a peace activist to make a statement? I doubt it. We`d still be talking about it today.

Yes, Glenn, we would. Yet, it appears that of all the reporters in the major media, only you and Michelle thought Airman Schrieken deserved the courtesy of having his story told.

How utterly graceful.

For those interested, AT’s Patrick Poole included the following update to his post:

Readers wishing to send Airman Schieken a get-well card and thank him for his service to our country can reach him at: 

Jonathan Schrieken
Room 720 by the door

Cooper University Hospital

1 Cooper Plaza

Camden NJ 08103

Godspeed, Airman.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.