Over the course of the last few months, Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, has been cherry-picking the Pledge of Allegiance in an attempt to portray prominent Republicans as bigoted islamophobes.
Earlier this year, Ellison responded to the Peter King hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims by saying that conservatives believe in liberty, but are against the “and justice for all.” In an appearance on MSNBC two weeks ago, he advised Herman Cain to “review that Pledge of Allegiance”, particularly the part proclaiming “liberty and justice for all.” And more recently, Ellison gave an interview to C-SPAN, in which he ran off a list of supposed differences between himself and Michele Bachmann. That list included a declaration that he, and apparently only he, “believe(s) in liberty and justice for all.”
One line however, does not an entire pledge make.
We know why Ellison is invoking this specific phrase from the pledge – liberty and justice for all. It is an attempt to push the progressive agenda of placating radical Muslims. But it is also important to counter such slander, by examining the motivations behind those that Ellison hopes to marginalize as islamophobic.
One would expect an editor of Time Magazine to argue with more logical force than a college freshman. But alas, in his effort to dismiss a looming congressional investigation into homegrown Jihadist terrorism, Romesh Ratnesar, Time's contributing editor-at-large, demonstrated a profound inability to lay out a coherent argument.
Among the article's highlights: the Fort Hood massacre wasn't actually terrorism and is therefore irrelevant to any discussion of Jihadist violence; most American Muslims are opposed to Jihadism and therefore the few who do endorse the ideology are not really a threat; and because recent terrorist attacks have failed, there is not a serious threat of future attacks.
The colossal double standard revealed in the past 24 hours at CNN is a microcosm of the larger media reaction to the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords yesterday. In short, the reporters jumping at the chance to use the shooting to score points against conservatives would in all likelihood be demanding patience and temperance if the potential for political cheap shots weren't available.
The Washington Examiner's Byron York recalled CNN's reaction to the Fort Hood shooting in a post Sunday. The cable channel "became a forum for repeated warnings that the subject should be discussed with particular care."
Those are the two most prevalent words uttered or typed on this tragically historic day.
For many, September 11, 2001, was a day that will forever be seared into the minds of those who were witness. On that day, the nation was awoken by a harsh reality that some people want nothing more than to destroy our freedom, our way of life. It was a day that 19 hijackers, four airplanes, two towers, and one deranged ideology brought the threat of terrorism to the forefront in our country.
But a mere nine years after 9/11, has the leadership of this nation, both administrative and media related, already forgotten?
Yesterday, on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, the President of the United States of America had the tone deaf audacity to ignore the concept of time and place, choosing to defend the building of the Ground Zero victory mosque. In his news conference, President Obama said that the proposed New York City mosque has run up against the "extraordinary sensitivities around 9/11." In other words, he hears the sensitivities, he simply does not care.
Upon further research and examination into the Army's complete findings on the Fort Hood shootings, in a February 22 report, the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender conceded that politically-incorrect conservatives were right all along - just not in those words of course.
Immediately after Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 U.S. soldiers November 5, major news networks and publication bent over backwards to omit Hasan's Islamic identity or to excuse the killing of 13 soldiers as a result of stress or psychosis.
Report after report, interview after interview, and press conference after press conference, reporters, politicians, and government officials warned against jumping to conclusions - in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Charlie Daniels, the legendary country and rock musician, is NB's newest blogger.
Considering the condition of most of the media in this country, I can't say I'm surprised at their reaction to the murder of 13 and wounding of 30 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.
They are trying to blame Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan's terrorist act on the stress of being in the Army and harassment by other soldiers because of his religion. In other words, trying to blame it on anything besides what it is. The fact is that he is a radical Muslim who hates the United States of America and wants to destroy it.
Hasan had never been to war anywhere, so that dog won't hunt. He was a major, and if he was under such heavy persecution why didn't he simply resign his commission?
People are going to say that the Army knew about his disapproval of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his radical Muslim beliefs, so why didn't they simply put him out of the Army?
The answer to that is simple; it's the accursed policies of political correctness. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Army had gotten rid of an officer because he was a Muslim? It would have been the biggest news story in the country. The justice department under Eric Holder would have ruined the careers of anybody who would have been a part of it.
Bill Cathcart, Clearing Away the PC Clutter Bill Cathcart, Vice President and General Manager for CBS affiliate WTOC in Savannah, Georgia, took to the airwaves on November 9th with a blistering video editorial excoriating the hold political correctness (PC) has on our society (video and transcript below the fold).
It is certainly refreshing to hear and see a news executive say these sorts of things, given the prostraters to PC that so thoroughly inhabit his profession.
Cathcart began by speaking of the horrific Fort Hood, Texas murders by Islamist extremist Nidal Malik Hasan, and pointing out how it was political correctness (PC) that cowed everyone from talking to anyone about this obviously dangerous man.
Cathcart rightly points out that this oppressive PC regime dominates not just the Army, but the nation. "We've become so ridiculous with our political correctness. So afraid of offending, despite the truth. So overly tolerant and self-effacing, pandering and apologizing to be liked. Putting up with absurd challenges to our Constitution, laws, traditions and freedoms, that we've become a nation of enablers for those with evil intent."
Leading the charge on this are, of course, Cathcart's media cohorts. There are no greater PC enablers and enforcers than the men and women who allegedly deliver us the news.
The Culture & Media Institute’s report on network coverage of Major Nidal Hasan and the Ft. Hood murders continues to gain media attention. On Nov. 14, Fox’s “News Watch” program led off with CMI’s findings.
“The Culture & Media Institute noticed something about the news coverage,” said host John Scott said of the Ft. Hood shooting. “Until President Obama spoke on Tuesday at a memorial service for the victims of the Ft. Hood attacks, 29 percent of evening news reports mentioned that Major Nical Malik Hasan was a Muslim. 93 percent of the stories ignored any terror connection. But after the president hinted at what ABC called ‘Islamic extremist views,” all three networks mentioned terrorism.”
In case you missed the media coverage of the Fort Hood shooting for the last several days, let's sum up the main theme: Nidal Malik Hasan is not a terrorist.
CNN continued that theme early Thursday morning with an interview from a profiler who claims that Hasan is nothing more than a lonely, wifeless, psychopath in the midst of a midlife crisis.
Criminologist Pat Brown states that:
"He was simply a lone guy who had issues, problems, psychopathic behaviors that escalated to the point where he wanted to get back at society, and he took it out on his workmates like most of them do."
What does Brown base that assessment on? During a correspondence with her (outlined in full at the end of this post), CNN's profiler of choice had very little to say about the radical Muslim ideology in the Hasan case. You'll be amazed at what follows:
On Nov. 12, Bill O’Reilly led off “The O’Reilly Factor” by framing his “Talking Points” segment around a report from the Culture & Media Institute on the biased network coverage of the Ft. Hood Massacre.
“A new study, by the Culture and Media Institute, a conservative group, says the following: 85 percent of network evening news stories on Ft. Hood did not mention the word ‘terror,’ O’Reilly said. “In fact, in 48 reports, ABC, CBS and NBC referenced terrorism just seven times. Only 29 percent of the evening news reports even mentioned Major Hasan was a Muslim. Unbelievable. Of those mentions, 50 percent defended Islam. And before the president’s speech at Ft. Hood, 93 percent of the network evening news stories ignored any discussion about a terror connection. But after the president said that extremist views were involved, all three networks began to report a possible connection.”
Time magazine appears to be throwing caution to the political correctness wind by placing a picture on the cover of its soon to to be released November 23 issue with the word "Terrorist" written across the face of alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan.
Straddling the fence slightly, the magazine chose to put a question mark after the word.
Even so, given media's discomfort portraying Hasan as anything more than an overwrought, over-worked soldier petrified of heading to Afghanistan, Time's "The Fort Hood Killer: Terrified ... or Terrorist?" was so uncharacteristicly un-PC you could almost call it a Mac.
Just count the references to Islamic extremism in the first paragraph alone:
Networks Decide Attack Wasn't Terror: 85 percent of the broadcast stories didn't mention the word "terror." ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news referenced terrorism connections to the Fort Hood attack just seven times in 48 reports.
ABC, CBS, NBC Follow White House Line: Before Obama's Nov. 10 speech, 93 percent of the stories had ignored any terror connection. But after Obama hinted at what ABC called "Islamic extremist views," all three networks mentioned terrorism.
Alleged Attacker's Muslim Faith Not Important Either: Slightly more than one-fourth (29 percent) of evening news reports mentioned that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a Muslim. Of those, half (7 out of 14) defended the religion or included experts to do so.
Last week, Fort Hood, Texas was the site of the worst mass shooting in history on a U.S. military base. At 2:34 p.m. local time on Nov. 5, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - one of the military's own - reportedly attacked fellow soldiers, yelling, "Allah Akbar." He then allegedly fired more than 100 rounds into Fort Hood's crowded processing center, killing 13 and wounding 29. This heinous act stunned the nation and captivated the news media.
Dobbs, on his Nov. 10 radio program, didn't reserve judgment and criticized President Barack Obama for telling people to do so in a speech following the tragic event. Dobbs played a clip from the speech Obama gave last week in which he warned, "We don't know all the answers yet and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts."
"Isn't that remarkable, telling the American people not to jump to any conclusions?" Dobbs said. "Not to speculate, not to be curious about what is happening to our men and women, who should be the center of all of our attention and concern and care. Let's compare that statement by our president to what he said at the end of a press conference about health care shortly after the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, his good friend."
CNN misquoted a soldier at Fort Hood who was wounded in last week's shooting to suggest that the soldier's recollection that Major Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before firing was in doubt. Many in the media have been doing their best to downplay evidence suggesting Hasan was acting in accordance with radical Muslim beliefs.
"I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled 'Allahu Akbar' in Arabic and he opened fire," Pvt. Joseph Foster recalled yesterday on CNN's "American Morning" (Video below the fold - h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit).
Of all the things that might give you comfort in the wake of Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous rampage, where would you rate the news that the military's commitment to "diversity" endures? Down there, dare I guess? Ah, but you're probably not part of the MSM elite.
Chrystia Freeland is. And on today's Morning Joe, the Financial Times editor did indeed announce that she was "comforted" by that very fact of the military's unflagging devotion to diversity.
Joe Scarborough countered Chrystia with a tough question. And--sacré bleu!--Mike Barnicle, not normally an NB fave, made some very blunt and on-target observations . . .
As is seemingly tradition, the media is once again playing that classic game known as ‘How Can We Blame Bush?' It's the party favorite where liberals take the biggest headline of the day, and immediately link Bush to the cause in one fell swoop, eliminating all facets of rationale.
Now, syndicated columnist Gwynne Dyer has introduced his own version, something that is only surprising in the length of time it took for this kind of diatribe to crack the pages of the media: ‘Fort Hood = Bush's fault'.
In his latest column, Dyer makes the tired argument that it is the War on Terror which breeds Muslim resentment, and by extension, is an obvious explanation for the actions of Major Nidal Malik Hasan. It was President Bush who popularized the War on Terror phrase, delivering a speech shortly after the attacks of September 11th which would outline his future plans.
As Dyer states (emphasis mine):
The one explanation that is excluded is that America's wars in Muslim lands overseas are radicalizing Muslims at home.
Dyer's revisionist history also explains that the War on Terror itself was not in response to escalating attacks by jihadists - rather, it was part panic, part ignorance, and a heaping portion of racism.
On his Nov. 9 broadcast of "Hardball," in an interview with Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Matthews compared the incident of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan at Ft. Hood to Sirhan Sirhan's 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
"You know, I have a hard time with this because people like Sirhan Sirhan, who is still serving time for killing Bobby Kennedy, didn't like what Bobby Kennedy had said on television," Matthews said. "Bobby Kennedy had made political statements saying we're going to sell arms, fighter planes directly to Israel, not under the table. We're going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Those are the things that triggered his killing spree. He killed one person - Bobby Kennedy, horrifically. But did he become a different religious person because he committed the crime? And when did this happen?" [Audio: Part I here (925 KB), Part II here (1.18 MB)]
Andrea Elliott’s front page article in the November 9 New York Times played up the thousands of Muslims in the U.S. military and how their “service...is more necessary and more complicated than ever before,” but gave the false impression that a Medal of Honor recipient named near the end of her piece was a Muslim himself, when he was actually Catholic.
Elliott spent much of her article, “Complications Grow for Muslims Serving in the U.S. Military” (which appeared above the fold on the front page of the print edition of the Times), detailing the concerns of “many Muslim soldiers and their commanders...[who] fear that the relationship between the military and its Muslim service members will only grow more difficult” after Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood on November 5. She later noted that “[w]hatever his possible motives, the emerging portrait of Major Hasan’s life in the military casts light on some of the struggles and frustrations felt by other Muslims in the services.”
Near the end of the article, Elliott changed the subject ever so slightly that it might have gone unnoticed. The reporter quoted Captain Erich Rahman, an Iraq war veteran and Bronze Star winner: “Too many Americans overlook the heroic efforts of Arab-Americans in uniform, said Capt. Eric Rahman...He cited the example of Lieutenant Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy Seal who was awarded the Medal of Honor after pulling a team member to safety during firefight in 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq. Lieutenant Monsoor died saving another American, yet he will never be remembered like Major Hasan, said Captain Rahman. Regardless, he said, Muslim- and Arab-Americans are crucial to the military’s success in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
At the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer offered commentary on the cause of the mass shooting at Fort Hood: “That doctor [Major Nidal Hasan] should not have been at Fort Hood. I don’t care how hard-up the Army is for mental health professionals....sadly, this shows the Army still does not take protecting soldiers’ mental health as seriously as it does training them to shoot.”
Schieffer went on to argue: “And then there is the other part that often happens in government. Don’t deal with the problem, shuffle it off to somewhere else. When he had problems at Walter Reed hospital, the doctor was just packed off to Fort Hood.” In similar fashion, Schieffer “shuffled off” the responsibility of an overly politically correct media that continually denounces profiling of criminal suspects or terrorists.
Earlier in the broadcast, Schieffer asked Congressman Ike Skelton: “Do you think this is a sign that the military is simply overextended?”
ABC's Brian Ross reported Monday that suspected Fort Hood shooter Nidal Halik Hasan tried to contact people connected to the terrorist group al Qaeda.
Even worse, U.S. intelligence officials were aware of this months ago, and "it's not knownwhether the military was ever told by the CIA or others that one of its majors was making efforts to communicate with figures under electronic surveillance."
Given media's discomfort with discussing Hasan's Muslim ties, as well as their desire to never point fingers at the Obama administration, it's going to be very interesting to watch how Ross's exclusive report on "Good Morning America" Monday will be covered in the coming days (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
Check out the headline from on the front page of the hard-copy New York City edition of today's New York Times:
After Years of Growing Tension, 7 Minutes of Bloodshed
The article reports that Nidal Malik Hasan began feeling disgruntled with the Army as far back as 2004.
Let's see, there are 525,948 minutes in a year. If Hasan's been feeling "tension" for about five years, that makes about 2,629,740 tension-filled minutes. And during that entire period, he only engaged in a homicidal rampage for seven minutes. I mean, come on, he was only a murderer for some tiny, tiny fraction of 1% of the time!
On CNN Saturday Morning News today, anchor Betty Nguyen interviewed a psychiatrist about Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 and wounded 30 others in a shooting spree Thursday in Fort Hood, Texas. She began by delving into possible reason for Hasan's actions:
NGUYEN: Dr. Paul Ragan, a psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder joins me now from Nashville. Dr. Ragan, let me ask you this. Are the Ft. Hood shootings the action of someone who might have suffered from PTSD?
DR. PAUL RAGAN, SPECIALIZES IN POST-TRAUMATIC SYNDROME: I think actually that's fairly unlikely. Dr. Hasan just finished a two-year fellowship at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress and he had only been an independent Army psychiatrist for about four months. That is at an operational base. So for him to have been suffering from PTSD I think is highly unlikely.
When in doubt, cite the need for more government funding of health care. You won't find an argument on MSNBC.
Among the guests offering their perspectives about the Fort Hood massacre on Rachel Maddow's show last night was Salon.com national correspondent Mark Benjamin, who tried to downplay growing evidence that suspected assailant Nidal Malik Hasan was motivated by a jihadist's hatred of America --
BENJAMIN: There are people that believe that this is a person that was suffering some sort of secondary post-traumatic stress from treating soldiers and there are people that believe he was somehow influenced by Muslim extremism. I think it could be a combination of both. I certainly have met mental health care providers in the military who after sitting all day long and listening to some really disturbing tales, you know, when they're treating these soldiers coming back from Iraq, and in combination with the fact that they're overwhelmed, overworked, don't have the resources to do their jobs, become extremely stressed and frazzled. And there's no reason to not think that this could, this could ultimately lead to that kind of a conclusion.
As reports of the Fort Hood shooting began to pour in yesterday, numerous news outlets neglected to mention that the shooter is a Muslim. Either the potential import of this fact was completely lost on these journalists, or they omitted the shooter's Muslim affiliations out of a concern for political correctness.
CBS and NBC both omitted the shooter's faith in their East Coast feeds last night, as reported by Brent Baker. The Los Angeles Times left key facts out of its report, published at 9:46 EST (which has since been edited), even though other other media outlets had reported them. Among these was that shooter Nidal Malik Hasan was Muslim, and that he had previously expressed on an Internet forum affinity for suicide bombers.
The Associated Press reported at 8:15 EST that Hasan had "come to the attention" of Army officials at least six months ago for these Internet posts.
All three morning shows on Friday identified the man who killed 12 at an Army base in Texas as a Muslim. However, Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer repeated a concern from Thursday’s World News: "...We heard Martha Raddatz say last night that the wife of a soldier said ‘I wish his name had been Smith,’ so no one would have a reflexive question about [a religious motive]."
In comparison, on Thursday’s CBS Evening News and NBC’s Nightly News both programs failed to reveal the religious faith of Hasan. GMA, as well as CBS’s Early Show and NBC’s Today, did not shy away from politically incorrect details, such as the surveillance footage of Major Nidal Malik Hasan in full Muslim garb in the hours before the shooting. Correspondent Brian Ross dug up information and informed, "In this internet posting earlier this year, Nadal Hasan compared suicide bombers to G.I.’s who saved their colleagues by throwing themselves on a grenade."
The Early Show’s David Martin explained, "He is an American citizen said to be of Jordanian decent and a life-long Muslim." He then added, "However, there’s a retired colonel who served with Hasan, has been quoted as saying that he heard Hasan react with glee to a news report that several American soldiers had been killed by a suicide bomber."
Neither the CBS Evening News nor NBC Nightly News, in their East coast feeds Thursday night, noted the Muslim religious beliefs of the mass killer at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, but ABC anchor Charles Gibson wasn't cowed by political correctness as he teased World News, “Fort Hood tragedy: An Army officer, a Muslim convert, is the suspect in a shooting spree...” Introducing his first story, Gibson referred to how Major Nidal Malik Hasan “an army officer, a Muslim, opened fire with handguns...” (With a range of frequency, during late afternoon/early evening coverage, CNN, FNC and MSNBC all identified Hasan as a Muslim.)
Cryptically, ABC's senior foreign affairs correspondent, Martha Raddatz, concluded a story on reaction at Fort Hood: “As for the suspect, Nadal Hasan, as one officer's wife told me, 'I wish his name was Smith.'” So, a concern this will lead to groundless fear of Muslims?
The CBS Evening News avoided any mention of Islam or Muslim faith as Katie Couric provided this benign description: “Today, according to the Army, a soldier opened fire....He's identified tonight as Army Major Nadal Malik Hasan, a licensed psychiatrist and drug and rehab specialist from Bethesda, Maryland.” NBC anchor Brian Williams: “The soldier, identified as the initial gunman here, is an Army psychiatrist, Nadal Malik Hasan. He's an officer, a Major, and he was apparently armed with two handguns.” NBC's Pete Williams insisted, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth noticed, “everything about his background is rock solid, and nothing extraordinary stands out about his background.”