One day before the one-year anniversary of Floyd Lee Corkins's failed terror attack on the Family Research Council -- he was inspired by a "hate map" by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- MSNBC brought on SPLC's Mark Potok to mislead viewers about the nature of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, insisting that the Tsarnaev brothers were not motivated by radical Islamic ideology so much as by right-leaning conspiracy theorist websites that investigators found in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's search history.
"This isn't the first time MSNBC has done this," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity during Hannity's August 15 "Media Mash" segment. Indeed, it was Hardball host Chris Matthews who on the day of the attack theorized that it was a homegrown right-wing terrorist responsible for the bombing because it occurred on Tax Day, Bozell noted. What's more, the Media Research Center founder added [for the full segment, watch the embedded video below the page break]:
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.
The dwindling number of people still reading Rolling Stone know that just as MTV no longer is a music station, this is not just a music magazine. Nevertheless, the magazine’s covers are almost always rock and pop stars, and sometimes movie and TV actors. In recent months, that list has included glamorizing shots of Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and Justin Bieber (who’s now “Hot, Ready, Legal”).
But nearly every issue also carries political commentary from fiercely frothing leftist writers like Matt Taibbi. When the editors decided to put Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover, they knew they were courting controversy. They must have known they were chasing notoriety by insulting people who lost relatives or their own limbs in Dzhokhar’s terrorist attack.
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:
Updated below: Wemple doubles down | Are you genuinely offended and angered by Rolling Stone magazine putting a glamour-style photograph of Boston bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of its August 1 edition, plugging its corresponding cover story, "The Bomber," by promising readers a look at "How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster"?
You are? Well, you're certainly not alone, but Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple thinks you're just another cog in "our country's tedious outrage machine." From his July 17 blog post filed shortly before 11 a.m. and headlined, "To Rolling Stone detractors: Please":
Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of setting the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, attended the University of Massachusetts. Maybe they hated our nation before college, but if you want lessons on hating America, college attendance might be a good start. Let's look at it.
"We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it." That's taught to University of Hawaii students by Professor Haunani-Kay Trask. Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton University and the U.N. Human Rights Council's Palestine monitor, explained the Boston bombings by saying, "The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world." Professor Falk has also stated that President George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the twin towers.
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?
This past week, one Kossack alleged that conservatives' preferred response to the Boston Marathon bombing wasn't for law enforcement to track down the culprits and bring them to justice, but rather for mobs of their fellow right-wingers to engage in lethal violence against Muslim Americans.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
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.]
Besides the paper's usual off-putting tone suggesting the terrorist brothers were just normal kids (..."Holden Caulfield-like adolescent alienation....Sometimes, Dzhokhar sounds downright sentimental"), Kakutani, whose liberal views are clear from her book reviews, managed to discuss Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Twitter postings without mentioning his pro-Obama and 9-11 Truther tweets.
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):
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:
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."
On Friday night, during MSNBC's live coverage of the police standoff with bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, host Chris Hayes seemed to still be worried about the issue of "Mirandizing" the terror suspect, as he took time to ask NBC's Pete Williams whether the authorities would be "proceeding according to the textbook" in giving him "due process."
A few days earlier on Tuesday's All In show, Hayes had fretted that any terror suspects might not be read Miranda rights as he called it a "disgrace" that Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins had recommended not doing so if any suspects turned out to be noncitizens.
A bit past 8:30 p.m. on Friday, as Pete Williams filled in viewers on the standoff, Hayes brought up Miranda rights as he posed:
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie and legal analyst Lisa Bloom worried about Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev not yet being read his Miranda rights after being taken into custody on Friday, with Guthrie arguing: "...officials are citing what's known as the public safety exception....As time passes, does the justification for that exception grow weaker? Are they on, I guess, less strong ground?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bloom proclaimed: "Well, it sure does, because as you know, Miranda rights are a bedrock constitutional principle....The public safety exception is a very narrow exception, there has to be an imminent threat to the public. As the clock keeps ticking, hours and days pass, it certainly seems less imminent."
Joe Scarborough has dropped the f-word on live TV. But does he dare drop the I-word: Islam?
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough to his credit rejected the maudlin pseudo-introspection of those [including panelist Richard Haass] who would somehow blame America's failure to integrate the Tsarnaev brothers into society for their decision to bomb the Boston Marathon. Scarborough didn't hesitate to call the Tsarnaevs "beasts." Instead of blaming society, Scarborough blamed the brothers' "evil" and "radicalism." But Scarborough stopped short of naming the radicalism for what it is: radical Islam. View the video after the jump.
In a column published Friday, Megan Garber, a staff writer at “The Atlantic” proffers some sage advice to members of the media: Stop pinning labels on people whose names end up in the headlines because of dastardly deeds. The title of piece — “The Boston Bombers Were Muslim: So?” — is meant as an admonition. And so are the opening paragraphs, which catalog all the things “we think we” know about the brothers Tsarnaev (Tamerlan was a “gifted athlete” and “very religious,” Dzhokar is “very quiet” and career-oriented).
Although some of the descriptors she cites are well-documented (for example, “Dzhokar received a scholarship from the City of Cambridge”), she dismisses all in the third paragraph as “provisional facts,” adding:
The brief AP report's third paragraph then has Menino saying, again in AP's words, that "another person was taken into custody" after "a pipe bomb was found in another location." This apparent inconsistency seems to be an attempt by the mayor to minimize the degree of homegrown "sleeper cell" concerns, especially in light of reports containing a cascade of contradicting details which follow the jump.
You think Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev's roots in Chechnya—which has produced radical Islamist terrorists responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks of modern times—might have something to do with the brothers having carried out the Boston Marathon bombing? Don't be foolish.
Nope. Where the Tsarnaevs came from had "nothing to do" with the bombings. These were just two guys who were either depraved, crazy or both. At least, so said Baher Azmy on today's Up With Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. Azmy is head of the "Center for Constitutional Rights", founded by radical lawyer William Kunstler. View the video after the jump.
"There's a strong consensus he was pretty normal." That's how Slate's Emily Bazelon described surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who seems to have been discovered by the police. You cannot make this stuff up. The Slate writer interviewed two family friends, who attended Tsarnaev's high school who said of him:
"He was really nice,” Sam Greenberg [Bazelon’s family friend], now a junior at Harvard, told me over the phone. Sam played junior varsity soccer with Tsarnaev for a year and also hung out with him occasionally in the athletic area after school. “He was pretty quiet. Didn’t have a ton to say but was very normal, seemed like a nice kid.”
While discussing the ongoing manhunt for the second suspect behind the bombing of the Boston Marathon, Chris Wallace -- the host of Fox News Sunday -- linked the Monday terrorist attack with the debate on gun rights currently going on across the country.
Pointing to the fact that most of the region is in a tight lockdown due to the search for 26-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Wallace asked how many people in the area “do you think, might like a gun to be able to protect themselves and defend their homes?”
The New York Times has been mostly steady and factual in its coverage of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. But the paper is taking criticism Friday for its benign headline over its online story on two terrorist suspects from Chechnya, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed in a shootout early Friday morning, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, still on the loose Friday afternoon.
Several posts on what several news organizations have confirmed as the Twitter profile of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev indicate that that the 19-year-old Chechnyan immigrant was a supporter of Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.
If that is indeed the case, it does not mean that Obama has any sort of connection with or responsibility for the bombing suspect or his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. It does, however, completely reverse the fantasy that many American liberals were openly hoping for: that the bombing suspects might be revealed as Timothy McVeigh 2.0, someone whose very name they could use to smear and deride anyone who stands against their belief system. In other words, one of those “dog whistles” we keep hearing so much about.