Yellow Journalism Is Alive: Thanks To Oslo

As I watched the events unfold yesterday in Oslo, the first thing that occurred to me was that no one had claimed responsibility for the bombing and shootings.  Does anyone really think, not believe, think that Al Qaeda, Muslims, would commit an act so heinous and not take full credit for the act?  It was obvious that they had not does this.  Obvious that is to me and probably many of you, but not to the New York Times, Washington Post and the BBC.

These well-known, print the truth only, media and journalism giants immediately said or suggested that it was Muslims responsible for the outrage in Oslo.  The Washington Post’s column still appears with no correction or update.  It implies that Muslims were guilty.

Only it wasn’t true.  It turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn’t from an international Muslim organization at all, but was a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and love for Muslim hating blogs such as Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugged, Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and Daniel Pipes.   It seems now that the New York Times in some small way has realized that their eagerness in selling newspapers has backfired.  Still, they are trying hard to assign fault, even ultimate fault on Muslim radicals.

Terrorist specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled our Islamic terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking Al Qaeda’s brutality and multiple attacks.

If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda, said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism research at the New American Foundation in Washington.

Then there was this stunning passage from the NYT:

Initial  reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks.  American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

In other words, now that we know the alleged perpetrator is not Muslim, we know by definition that Terrorist are not responsible; conversely, when we thought Muslims were responsible, that meant – also by definition – that it was an act of Terrorism.

Are the only terrorists in the world Muslim?  If so, what do we call a right-wing nationalist capable of planting major bombs and killing scores of people for the sake of the greater glory of his cause?  Timothy McVey was a terrorist, the KKK was a terrorist, Skinheads are terrorists, the mafia is are terrorists.  None of which are Muslims.  Still, most or all or terrorists groups.

This yellow story maps and sets forth precisely how the “Muslim-did-it” myth was manufactured and then disseminated yesterday to the worldwide media, which repeated it without verifying that it was true. This article names names; it points to the incestuous,k self-regarding network of self-proclaimed U.S. Terrorism and foreign policy “experts” – what the article accurately describes as “almost always white men” who so often shape these media stories and are uncritically presented as experts, even thous they are drowning in bias, prejudice, nationalism, ignorance, stupidity, racism, and shallow or no credentials.

This is what the press, media always does.  In their eagerness to be first with the story, they leave out the truth.  They do not research or investigate to be sure that what they are going to print or say has any basis in fact.

Right-wing terrorism?  We in America can associate with that.  We’ve got Rep. Peter King, who is determined to rid of us all Muslims, Sarah Palin and her guns and God.  Good patriots all.

But they are terrorists too.

The New York Times should be ashamed.  What does it say in the corner?  “All the news that’s fit to print?”  Even if you make it up.

Thanks to Salon.com for part of this story.

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