Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Was the "News" Media So Reticent to Call Fort Hood Shooting a "Terrorist" Attack?

Was it to shield Obama or because they preferred to use the incident to bash the military? Or both?

Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter made no secret of his radical Islamic views. He passed out business cards with the acronomyn SOA indicating he was a "soldier of Allah." Hasan gave a bizzare PowerPoint presentation in which he quoted the Koran (slide 43): "I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Mohammed is the Messenger."

In secret, Hasan was in contact with Al Queda and and a string of radical Islamists.

As Hasan began to fire on the unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood he shouted the Jihadi war cry: "Allahu Akbar."

So why has it been so difficult for the "news" media to call this a terrorist act?

PC News: Networks Downplay Terrorism, Muslim Connection in Ft. Hood Attack
All three networks mention 'terror' only after Obama hints at ideology during funeral ceremony.
By Carolyn Plocher and Dan Gainor
Culture and Media Institute
November 11, 2009

  • 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.
Two possible explanations:

First, the recognition of this atrocity as a terrorist attack means that Obama has to take personal responsibility for the failings of his Administration to "connect the dots" to prevent this attack. The same folks who insisted Bush should have done something prior to the September 11th attacks will have a hard time defending the Obama Administration when it's clear there were red lights flashing indicating that Hasan was a problem. It happened on Obama's watch. If they can say it's not a terrorist attack they can escape responsibility for failing to prevent it.

There is also a political dimension to the denial. Evan Thomas, the Editor of Newsweek gave away the game as he reacted to the news that Hasan was a Muslim:

"I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it just inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case but, with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going."
So, already the attack has become politicized by the left. But they didn't stop there.

Second, there seemed to be an instant reaction to the attack to blame the military. All those wars and deployments were bound to make a soldier snap. But of course that explanation is hard to support given that Hasan had never been deployed overseas. The best the left can do is to blame Bush for a war which they claim radicalizes Muslims (despite the fact that Muslims were radicalized long before Bush came to office).

Now that the Muslim and terrorist connection is established beyond a shadow of a doubt the "news" media goes to it's last resort: there are "Christian nuts" too. Maybe so, but last time I checked they haven't flown planes into buildings, beheaded Muslims with dull knives or shot up an Army base. And there certainly has been no "Muslim backlash" despite the number of worried columns with that theme have appeared in the New York Times.

Political Correctness Shielding the Next Terrorist?

With the left and their media acolytes so willing to support the politically correct culture of denial that led to the Hasan atrocity one wonders how many other shooters or bombers or whatever are hiding in plain sight? And wouldn't it be nice that those on the left who would accuse us of wanting to put all Muslims in internment camps cared a bit more for the safety of the citizens who might be the next target?

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