Sunday, April 21, 2013

Narrative Shaping

In the days between the detonation of the bombs at The Boston Marathon and the identification of the suspects the news agencies engaged in speculation that exposed the worst in journalism; and confirming the bias of which they are accused.

In subtle, and not so subtle ways, they were hoping for another Timothy McVeigh.  A Unibomber would not do.  And certainly not a foreigner.  A Mormon would be fine, but no Muslims.

Media outlets have become guardians of the narrative at all costs.  And if the truth doesn’t fit they will trim it here and there until it does. even hoped out loud that they were right-wing whites because they could be convicted without creating animosity toward and suspicion of global terrorist organization.  How nice of them.
Here are some of the comments and theories of the media, preserved:

NPR correspondent Dina Temple-Raston:
"The thinking, as we have been reporting, is that this is a domestic, extremist attack and officials are leaning that way largely because of the timing of the attack. April is a big month for anti-government and right-wing individuals. There's the Columbine anniversary, there's Hitler's birthday, there's the Oklahoma City bombing, the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco."

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen:
“I'm reminded of Oklahoma City, which was a bombing, which was initially treated as a gas explosion. First reports are often erroneous.
“Once the device -- if it is a device -- is found; what kind of explosives were used. So for instance, if it was hydrogen peroxide, this is a signature of al Qaeda. If it was more conventional explosives, which are much harder to get hold of now -- that might be some other kind of right-wing extremist. … We've also seen, for instance, right-wing groups  trying to attack the Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010.”

MSNBC's Chris Matthews:
"…as a category, normally, domestic terrorists tend to be on the far right."

Luke Russert of NBC News:
“I was at Fenway Park with my dad during Waco which was on Patriots Day in 1993.  Speculating on possible link.(Twitter post)

Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times:
“…explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director.  Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking the appointment.”  (another Tweet)

David Axelrod (Obama’s former PR chief):
 "I'm sure what was going through the president's mind is -- we really don't know who did this -- it was tax day"

“A senior U.S. counterterrorism investigator told CNN that pressure cooker bombs have also been a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States who he said tend to revel in building homemade bombs.”

Esquire’s Charles P. Piers:
“I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”

Huffington Post’s Nida Kahn:
“We don't know anything yet of course, but it is tax day & my first thought was all these anti-gov groups, but who knows.”

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