-By Warner Todd Huston
The New York Times is never one to let a good tragedy go to waste when it can turn that sad incident into a bludgeon with which to bash American conservatives, even if the incident doesn’t have a thing to do with conservatives, D.C. politics, or even the U.S.A., for that matter. And so, not to disappoint, the Gray Lady incongruously used the terrorist incident in Norway to attack conservatives in America.
Anders Behring Breivik, the killer in Norway, released a manifesto of sorts explaining his actions and in that document he quoted several American bloggers and national security activists such as Islam terror expert Robert Spencer. This, the Times decided, was enough to blame American conservatives for the incident.
Of course, the Times was practically silent about the influence of radical Islam on Major Nidal Hassan who killed 13 U.S. soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009. The Times also did its best to ignore radical Islam in its reports about the Fort Dix six that planned a major terror attack in New Jersey. More recently the Times neglected to mention the radical Islam influence of the pair of homegrown terrorist wannabes arrested in Seattle in June. This is a pattern seen at The New York Times, too. Whenever radical Islam is at the root of a terror attack, the Times routinely fails to note the fact.
Not only did The Times saddle American conservatives with the murderous incident in Norway, but Times writer Scott Shane also brought up the left’s favorite shibboleth — the 1994 Oklahoma City bombing — and equated it to conservatives.
More broadly, the mass killings in Norway, with their echo of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by an antigovernment militant, have focused new attention around the world on the subculture of anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists and renewed a debate over the focus of counterterrorism efforts.
First of all, the incident in Noway has no connection whatever with the 1994 bombing in Oklahoma except in the most vague of ways. Unlike Norway’s Breivik, Timothy McVeigh had no complaints about the influence of radical Islam on the national government when he destroyed the Muir Federal building in Oklahoma City. But more importantly, neither today’s American conservative movement — nor yesterday’s for that matter — have any connection whatever to McVeigh’s act of domestic terror. Yet, here we have the Times linking McVeigh directly to both the incident in Norway and today’s American conservatives.
Shane’s next paragraph almost seems to be parody.
In the United States, critics have asserted that the intense spotlight on the threat from Islamic militants has unfairly vilified Muslim Americans while dangerously playing down the threat of attacks from other domestic radicals. The author of a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism withdrawn by the department after criticism from conservatives repeated on Sunday his claim that the department had tilted too heavily toward the threat from Islamic militants.
Catch the irony of this statement. While Shane is lamenting that “Islamic militants” are being used to smear all of Islam, and apparently he feels this is a bad thing, he, himself is using the incident in Norway to smear all American conservatives! Talk about obtuseness. Talk about hypocrisy.
Shane wasn’t done smearing conservatives, either. He dipped back into the skewed Homeland Security domestic terror report from 2009 that was so far off base that even the left-wing Obama administration had to retract it. Despite the utter lack of proof, Shane relied on that flawed report to warn readers that a Norway-like incident could happen any minute, perpetrated here by American conservatives.
You might recall that the absurd 2009 Homeland Security report claimed that returning U.S. soldiers were likely to become domestic terrorists upon returning home. Obviously we’ve never seen any proof of such an outrageous claim.
In any case, the irony of the Times’ report is that Scott Shane scolds people for using the many thousands of incidents of Islamic terror as a basis to warn about radical Islam yet himself uses the only two terror attacks even remotely connected, no matter how tangentially, to the right as an excuse to warn that conservatives are somehow more dangerous than radical Islamists.
Scott Shane and The New York Times indulged in some amazing hypocrisy with this skewed piece.