What if Jared Loughner had been a Muslim?
Shamefully and sadly, the media would have covered his horrific assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) and slaying and maiming of innocent Arizonans in a more responsible manner. They would have called for restraint and not violated the journalistic tenet of not assuming anything, a tenet they purportedly (and often facetiously sanctimoniously) claim to hold dear.
But because Loughner was not a member of one of the mainstream media’s protected classes, they used Loughner’s heinous act to go on liberal crusades against conservatives and Tea Partiers, to promote gun control, amnesty, and rail against those who may oppose ethnic study programs that erroneously teach students that the Southwestern part of the United States is a part of Mexico.
The New York Times led the brigade in setting the agenda for the other liberal lemmings in the mainstream media to follow.
Immediately after this senseless tragedy, The New York Times opined that “it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.”
The Times then opined that this took place in a climate in which anti-immigrant sentiment was rampant and “where Latino studies programs that advocate ethnic solidarity [often a code word for balkanizing America] have actually been made illegal.”
And of course, The Times used the opportunity to imply that more gun control was needed. And the mainstream media carried on the drumbeat throughout the week.
Yet, here are the facts about Loughner. Based on the actual evidence that has come to light, he was a registered independent who did not vote in 2010. As of three years ago, he was allegedly a leftist. And no evidence has come to light as of this printing that he had any political motives that compelled him to carry out this horrific act.
It is worth comparing the media’s insinuations of Loughner’s motives with their calls for restraint regarding Islamic terrorists that struck or attempted to strike the United States, notably the Fort Hood terrorist, Nadal Hasan, and the failed Times Square terrorist, Faisal Shahzad.
When Hasan murdered 12 soldiers and injured another 31 at Fort Hood, the media went out of their way to urge caution, using their precious questions to frame how they wanted to frame the debate.
On CNN’s Sunday television program “State Of The Union” that aired after the Fort Hood murders, General George Casey, the Army’s Chief of Staff, urged viewers that “we have to be careful because we can’t jump to conclusions now based on little snippets of information that come out.”
Casey continued, saying, he was “concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that. It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.”
President Obama, in his remarks addressing the shootings, cavalierly gave a “shout out (albeit it to a Congressional Medal of Honor winner)” and politicked for health care reform before finally addressing the act of domestic terrorism and stating, “we don’t know all of the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all of the facts.”
These calls of caution were issued even after there was evidence that Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist, shouted “Allahu Akbar” before going on his shooting rampage in addition to having a history of rants online that would implicate him with radical Islam.
And when Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square terrorist, and his attempts at mass carnage in New York sputtered, who can forget New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg telling Katie Couric that if he had to guess, “this would be exactly that. Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”
And there was MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer, who went on a radio show and aired her biases by saying, “I mean the thing is is that and I get frustrated and there was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country because there are a lot of people who want to use this terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.”
On CNN, echoing the sentiment of many in the mainstream press, Jim Acosta tried to make viewers sympathize with Shahzad and his having been foreclose on, stating that “one could imagine that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family.”
Those who want the media to report facts are not in luck. If a heinous act is committed by a Muslim, the media engages in a full court apologia of Islam. If a barbaric act is committed by anyone else, the media does its best to shoehorn facts and non-facts into their preconceived narrative that such an event had to occur because of something conservatives did.
Let’s call it what it is. This is storytelling. This is screenwriting. But it is not objective reporting.