We have some access to the NYT on the ship, so I caught the headline it gave to its report yesterday about Anders Behring Breivik, the man who carried out the slaughter in Oslo. Right there, in the lede, the NYT id’d him as a “Christian fundamentalist”. This was interesting on several levels.
First, when a mass murder is committed by a Muslim, as so many mass murders are nowadays, rather than leading by saying “an Islamic fundamentalist” committed the murders, the Times always professes itself completely bewildered by the killer’s affiliations. Only in the ultimate paragraphs does the Times acknowledge some affiliation with Islam.
Second, if a Muslim murders, the Times swings into it’s “religion of peace” shtick, again loudly exclaiming it’s inability to connect any known variation of Islam with a terrorist act.
Third, if the Times is forced to concede an Islamic connection, we’re always assured that everyone who knew the guy, from his kindergarten teacher on up, always realized he was deranged. Again, it had nothing to do with Islam.
Fourth, if possible, the Times will include shocked reactions from co-religionists or from academic “experts” on Islam.
My only question is whether those readers who worship at the Times’ altar are actually taken in by these tactics, or if the whole lot of them operate on a nudge, nudge, wink, wink basis.
Then again, this whole thing could be a “man bites dog” thing. We’re used to Islamic massacres, while the murderous wackos who profess to worship the Christian God are genuine news. But that still doesn’t explain the Times’ coverage. . . .
DQ here. I think it is half “man bites dog.” It really is news when a “Christian fundamentalist” starts to blow things up for religious reasons, and it should be widely reported. On the other hand, I do think the NYT, the AP & other news sources do go out of their way to downplay the religious motivations behind Islamic terrorist acts in a way that they do not do for the rare Christian terroist act.