Norway has now joined the long and growing list of countries to experience terror. As more news and facts emerge about this horrendous act, why are there double standards in reporting?
Anyone who reads or watches the news knows that journalism isn’t what it once was. From the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from MSNBC to Fox they all lean one way or another. All have an agenda and all follow it to the letter.
Although some people say I am a journalist, I am not. I write Op-Eds (Opinion Editorials). I have an agenda. Even though I use only facts when writing, anyone who has read anything of mine knows where I stand.
Depending who you ask or where you studied journalism, one of the first rules is to keep your bias out of the story. So what happened?
Somewhere during my lifetime it seems that all journalists or to be more specific, reporters, all took sides. The way they state things or in many cases, don’t state them is a pure and blatant attempt to sway the reader.
Case in point, within hours of the tragedy in Norway before the authorities had even finished searching the island of Utoya and the death toll was still rising rapidly, the liberal or left wing media was happy to report that the only suspect , Anders Behring Breivik was “a right-wing fundamentalist Christian”.
Interesting since I have read reports, from al-Jazeera no less, that he was a Jew hating neo-Nazi and a member of a neo-Nazi online forum, to the supposed fact that he was an Islamophobic, far-right Zionist and lover of Israel according to the Jerusalem Post.
Talk about your “Sybil” complex, if half of what is being reported is true this guy is the poster child of multiple personalities. Or, then again, perhaps he is just nuts?
But to get back to my point, let’s look at the last time a Muslim committed a crime here in the U.S. that actually made the news.
Saleh Ali Alramakh, a 21 year old Saudi caused a flight to be diverted to land in Cleveland. The Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, native was accused of causing a major disturbance prior to take off and twice more once in the air as well as assault on a flight attendant on United flight 944 from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, on July 8.
When first reported, there was no mention of Alramakh’s name, his citizenship or the fact that he was a Muslim. This occurred on several news wires long after others were reporting his name, but why?
It seems we see this time and time again when the suspect is a Muslim, for some reason that is conveniently kept out of the story. I could fill a page with examples, but if you are reading this article I am sure you can think of several, so I won’t bother to waste the space or time.
We can go back to 2009 and Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, and see this as well. After the news had no choice but to report the shooters name, the reporters were writing articles on what the possible motive could have been.
Reuters reported two days after the attack in an article titled “Motive probed in Fort Hood shooting rampage”, President Obama stated when questioned about possible links to Islamic terror,
“We don't know all the answers yet and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.”
Of course not all the news agencies were yet reporting that Hassan had yelled “Allahu Akbar” while gunning down 43 people leaving 14 dead either. I say 14 due to 21-year-old Pvt. Francheska Velez who was pregnant at the time of her murder.
When the story first broke, it didn’t matter that Nidal Hassan was a Muslim. It didn’t matter that he was constantly stating things like,
“Muslims are being persecuted by the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
It didn’t matter that a class mate of his stated he asked him pointedly, “Nidal, do you consider Shari'a law to transcend the Constitution of the United States?” And he said, “Yes.”
"We asked him if homicidal bombers were rewarded for their acts with 72 virgins in heaven and he responded, 'I've done the research — yes.”
It didn’t matter that he handed out business cards with S.O.A. (Soldier Of Allah) printed on it.
No, it didn’t matter. Much like Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, even 2 days after his attempt when he was found and arrested, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. stated that,
“it was too early to designate the failed bombing as an attempted terrorist incident.”
The Washington Post reported after his arrest,
An overseas angle does not necessarily mean that the incident was planned or financed by al-Qaeda or another organized group, investigators said. "Think smaller," said one senior law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Even long after the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing, news outlets were still reporting this attempted terror attack had nothing to do with the fact that Shahzad was a Muslim or had recently been to Pakistan to train with the Taliban.
He was just a poor, down on his luck normal American who was at the end of his rope. The Huffington Post reported it this way,
Not long ago, Faisal Shahzad had a pretty enviable life: He became an American citizen after emigrating from Pakistan, where he came from a wealthy family. He earned an MBA. He had a well-educated wife and two kids and owned a house in a middle-class Connecticut suburb.
In the past couple of years, though, his life seemed to unravel: He left a job at a global marketing firm he'd held for three years, lost his home to foreclosure and moved into an apartment in an impoverished neighborhood in Bridgeport.
Remember the Hutaree Christian Militia? ABC reported it as follows on March 10, 2010,
The anti-government militia allegedly plotted to kill law enforcement officers with improvised explosive devices and projectiles before being foiled by FBI raids that started Sunday in three states that netted nine members of an extremist group, federal authorities said today.
Going after a group like the Hutaree can be dangerous, ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said.
"This crowd tends to be heavily armed and they are all conspiracy theorists that the government is trying to take over," he said. "And so you have to be very careful and cautious when starting arresting people like this because you can walk right into an ambush."
Unless you really search it out, you probably never saw what was reported by Channel 10 WILX in Lansing Michighan on May 3.
Nine members of a Michigan militia will be released from jail pending trial after a federal judge on Monday harshly criticized the government's claim they had conspired to overthrow the U.S. government.
The decision is a significant defeat for federal authorities, who spoke in tough and triumphant terms after arresting members of a southern Michigan group called the Hutaree in March and charging them with conspiracy to commit sedition and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.
She said the nine defendants in custody can be released until trial under strict conditions, including electronic monitoring. They won't actually be freed until they return to court for paperwork and other processing Tuesday.
So, this “dangerous” Militia group that made the headlines nationwide for days as “Right wing Christian terrorists”. But, when released after the Judge stated, “the rambling, scornful recorded conversations offered as evidence didn't prove the group poses an imminent threat,” this only makes the local news?
I don’t think we can call those that write the mainstream news “journalists” or even “reporters” anymore. I think maybe they should be called “exploiters”.
Don’t get me wrong, it is possible after all that this nut in Norway, Anders Breivik is a right wing fanatic, they do exist. But I can still count on one hand the number of right wing terror attacks since 9/11, whereas to count the terror attacks in the name of Islam or Allah I would need 17,494 fingers.