Don’t jump to conclusions
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Extreme liberal media bias evident in recent stories
By now, most of you reading this have already gone back to school, work and are looking up parodies of Ke$ha on YouTube.
The tragedy of the Tucson shooting in which six people were murdered and another 13 wounded is already so, like, 10 years ago.
In the wake of the Tucson shooting, leftist pundits and politicians quickly jumped to attack conservatives, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, attempting to blame their rhetoric for the shooting. However, all attempts on the part of pundits have miserably failed and all but those on the most far left have quietly backed away from those attacks. Yet, for me, as this tragedy unfolded on Jan. 8 and in the days following, I intensely studied the reaction of the traditional media.
More importantly, I studied how and what the media reported about the incident. If you guessed that the old media went after conservatives including Palin, then you’re right. Congratulations, you’ve won a fantastic trip in a dark alleyway with me!
Take, for instance, the coverage of the Tucson shooting by CNN.
Let’s set up the narrative first, shall we?
On the morning of Jan. 8, a white, 22-year-old male named Jared Loughner opened fire at a political event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., killing a Republican-appointed federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and four others. He also wounded 13 others including Giffords. Apart from that, little was known about the suspect or his motives for shooting Giffords and others.
What was initially uncovered about Loughner was his penchant for posting incoherent ramblings on YouTube and his MySpace page. From this story the media had just one fact: A sitting Democratic congresswoman was shot. Based on that one fact, the media narrative became something akin to this: Was the shooter part of the Tea Party?
Did the shooter draw inspiration from Palin and her map of targeted political districts? Did the shooter listen to conservative talk radio or watch Fox News? To the media those were not just questions that they asked fellow leftists to feel even more gratified, but those questions were what the media actually portrayed as fact.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked these very same questions to congressional reporter Jessica Yellin: “But the question is, is there any evidence that the suspected shooter in this particular case was a Palin fan, read Palin’s website, was a member on Facebook, watched her Tweets, or anything like that?”
“None at all,” Yellin responded. “And there is no evidence that this was even inspired by rage over health care, broadly. So there is no overt connection between Sarah Palin, health care and the [shooting].”
So despite there being no “overt connection,” it didn’t stop the media from conjecturing about motives related to conservative rhetoric. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I want to contrast the coverage of the Tucson shooting with two other stories involving shooting — one is famous and the other you probably missed.
On Nov. 5, 2009, an unidentified gunman opened fire at a soldier readiness center at Ft. Hood, killing 13 and wounding 42 more.Once the gunman was shot and apprehended by post security, it was revealed that the shooter was Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Eyewitnesses from the readiness center where the shooting occurred all reported that before opening fire, Hasan shouted, “Allahu Akbar!”
Days after the shooting, it was revealed that Hasan routinely visited radical Islamic websites. At a speech during a conference, Hasan was quoted as saying, “Behead the infidel.” He wrote sympathetic articles and essays about suicide bombers, referring to them as “martyrs.” It was also revealed that leading up to the shooting, Hasan had exchanged more than 20 emails with the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — whose website encouraged Muslims to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.
How did CNN treat this story?
The night of the shooting, retired General Wesley Clark said on CNN, “The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions.”
“We cannot jump to conclusions,” said CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. “We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever.”
When Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich, suggested that the shooting was an act of terror, CNN’s John Roberts said this, “Now, President [Barack] Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions … by saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?”
Even Obama, in an incoherent speech immediately after the incident, urged everyone to not jump to conclusions.
Another shooting incident occurred on Feb. 12, 2010, when biology professor Amy Bishop killed three of her colleagues and wounded another three at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Bishop’s past included the murder of her 18-year-old brother in 1986 and the sending of two pipe-bombs to Paul Rosenberg at the Harvard Medical School. In addition to her violent past, Bishop was also a hardcore leftist who voted for Obama in 2008.
The media’s reaction? Crickets.
So just a quick recap of three stories and how the media treated each.
When it came to the shooting of a Democratic congresswoman, the media narrative was that a Tea Party-crazed, Palin-loving, Beck follower shot her because of Giffords’ health care vote.
When it came to Islamic terrorist Hasan shouting “Allahu Akbar” before killing 13 soldiers and wounding 42 more, the media tells us “not to jump to conclusions” and that shooting had absolutely nothing to do with Islam. When it came to leftist professor Bishop gunning down six of her colleagues, the media kept a tight lid on the story.
From this, you can see that what actually happens and what the media chooses to report are two completely different things. Perhaps the new tagline for places like CNN should be, “Who are you going to believe — me or your lying eyes?”