The shooting of a security guard at the D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council, a social conservative group, by a volunteer for a local gay community center, failed to raise the New York Times's usual politically motivated concerns about harmful and hateful rhetoric it's shown in the past.
Most notoriously, the Times repeatedly, falsely, and maliciously suggested that Tucson gunman Jared Loughner, who killed six people and seriously wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, had been motivated to kill by conservatism in general and Sarah Palin in particular, even before any information about Loughner was available.
By contrast, Times reporter Theo Emery's brief 330-word article "Policy Group In Washington Is Shooting Site" left the shooter's motivations vague.
A gunman trying to enter the downtown offices of a conservative policy organization on Wednesday morning shot and wounded a security guard before he was wrestled to the ground and arrested, a city police officer said.
The shooting took place in the lobby of the Family Research Council, which advocates socially conservative and Christian causes.
The F.B.I. identified the gunman as Floyd L. Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., and said that he was being held overnight on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. A law enforcement official said Mr. Corkins made comments indicating his opposition to the council’s goals during the confrontation.
The Family Research Council is known for wading into fights over social values. Mr. Corkins had been a volunteer at the D.C. Center, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center in Washington, said David Mariner, the center’s executive director.
Mr. Mariner was a signatory to a letter that gay and lesbian rights groups released after the shooting and that stated, “We utterly reject and condemn such violence.” By late Wednesday, more than 40 organizations had signed on.
In contrast, the Washington Post not only put the local story on Thursday's front page, but its 1,100-word story emphasized the killer's anti-conservative political views in the lead. The Post also included the telling detail (confirmed Thursday morning by the FBI) that the suspect carried a Chick-fil-A bag, further underlining the possibly political motivation of the shooter:
An armed intruder, spouting opposition to social conservatism, walked into the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council on Wednesday and shot a security guard before the wounded guard and others wrestled him to the floor and subdued him until police arrived, authorities said....Two law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the gunman entered the lobby carrying a satchel, with a bag from a Chick-fil-A restaurant inside. The Atlanta-based fast-food chain has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks after its president spoke out against same-sex marriage. The Family Research Council also opposes such unions."