Leftist Commentators Blame Media For Reporting Truth About Merah
Is there a double standard perpetrated
by Western media in its coverage of violent killing sprees depending on
the race, ethnicity, or religion of the perpetrator? Harvey Morris of
the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, asserts just this in his recent op-ed about the recent killing spree by a young Muslim terrorist, Mohammed Merah, in France.
Morris, echoing the thesis of Salon.com's far-left Glenn Greenwald,
contrasts the "Western media's" coverage of Merah's killing spree to
the coverage of American Sgt. Bales, recently charged in killing 16
innocent woman and children in Afghanistan. Both Morris and Greenwald
indict Western media for its supposed hypocrisy in assuming that a
Muslim charged with committing violent acts is a radical jihadi
terrorist, while assuming that an American soldier must be rooted in
some sort of mental problem or emotional dysfunction.
Morris closes his article by quoting Greenwald:
is, quite obviously, a desperate need to believe that when an American
engages in acts of violence of this type, there must be some underlying
mental or emotional cause that makes it sensible, something other than
an act of pure hatred or evil. When a Muslim engages in acts of violence
against Americans, there is an equally desperate need to believe the
opposite: that this is yet another manifestation of inscrutable hatred
and evil, and any discussion of any other causes must be prohibited and
The problem is, this analysis is just plain wrong.
Look back to the New York Times coverage of another violent killing spree, this one by Major Nidal Hasan, the American Muslim Army psychiatrist. Here the New York Times,
which also happens to be "Western media," not only afforded the same
courtesy to Hasan, a Muslim, as has been asserted to have been afforded
to Sgt. Bales, but also went out of its way to do so in light of
overwhelming evidence that Hasan had been previously radicalized.
What both Morris and Greenwald have
wholly brushed aside are the factual underpinnings for concluding that
Merah was acting as a jihadi terrorist. Merah proclaimed himself to be a
jihadi and a member of Al Qaeda and screamed "Allahu Akbar" when he
attacked paratroopers in Montauban on March 15, 2012.
If we already know that Merah and others
who killed or tried to kill innocent people have become radicalized and
received terrorist training, isn't this what a fact-based journalist ought to concentrate on?
If Greenwald and Morris are seeking to
condemn Western media for bias, they ought to turn the mirror on
themselves and their alacrity to make sweeping justifications without
following the first rule of vetting their story: fact-gathering.
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