Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. I have been crazy busy at work and at home and was barely able to watch/listen to/read that much about the tragic terror attack in Oslo. But one of the things I did initially hear is that it must be the result of a Jihadi movement. Now that I have time to sit down and actually look through the coverage, it appears that the Right Wing media and blogosphere went nuts covering the story, that was until they found out it was a far-right Christian with anti-Muslim views, Anders Behring Breivik, that had perpetrated the deadly attack. In other words, he has the same political philosophy of fear, hate, Islamophobia and xenophobia that they do.
Think Progress has compiled all the great quotes from the neocons blaming Islamic terrorists for the attack- Jen Rubin, Cliff May, Thomas Josceyln etc. It’s worth a read but the most obnoxious by far is, as usual, the post by Jen Rubin at the WaPo:
…A massive explosion rocked a government district in Norway’s capital Friday, killing seven people and injuring many more, and a shooter at a political convention on an island north of Oslo appeared to have inflicted more casualties, in incidents police are treating as connected, a police spokesman said.
Thomas Joscelyn explains at the Weekly Standard Web site:
Just one year ago, authorities in Oslo broke up an al Qaeda-directed bomb plot that originated in northern Pakistan. Good intelligence, including intercepted emails between an al Qaeda planner and the Oslo cell, prevented the plotters from assembling and launching their bomb. . . .
Oslo was not as fortunate today. . . .
We don’t know if al Qaeda was directly responsible for today’s events, but in all likelihood the attack was launched by part of the jihadist hydra. Prominent jihadists have already claimed online that the attack is payback for Norway’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
Moreover, there is a specific jihadist connection here: “Just nine days ago, Norwegian authorities filed charges against Mullah Krekar, an infamous al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist who, with help from Osama bin Laden, founded Ansar al Islam – a branch of al Qaeda in northern Iraq – in late 2001.”
This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.
While it’s true that there was an initial report that some extremist group had claimed responsibility, that was very quickly retracted by the Norwegian police. If this were just some random righty blogger, it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but it’s the Washington Post, and at the very least, you would think Rubin would update the blog to alert her readers to the error. But no, she hasn’t done that.
Now that a White guy is in custody, the wall to wall coverage of the attack has stopped and miraculously, all the neocons have gone silent! Gee, I wonder why? In fact, as I peruse the righty blogs and some of the neocons on Twitter, they don’t even seem to consider this terrorism now but rather just the work of a troubled lone wolf. In fact, Pamela Geller of the hate site Atlas Shrugs is busy thinking up a new conspiracy because she just can’t stand the thought of having to blame a White guy. So she’s busy writing about how “The Left” has managed to convince the world that Anders Behring Breivik is a right-wing Christian when in fact, he’s not.
I’ve written many times on this blog and on other blogs how this nation is becoming consumed by fear and obsessed with scapegoating. It’s become mainstream to talk about Muslims and Islam in the same way we used to talk about Jews and African Americans back in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.
UPDATE: After going back and re-reading Jen Rubin’s blog post over at the WaPo and noticing that it has now been over 24 hrs since it went up and she has yet to update it, correct it or issue a retraction, I just wrote the ombudsman. Interestingly, she DID have time to write 2 new posts about the debt crisis.
Here’s my letter to the ombudsman:
To whom it may concern-
I am writing about Jen Rubin’s blog post from Friday 7/22/2011 where she made ridiculous, stereotypical assertions about the identity of the person or persons responsible for the bombing/terrorist attack in Norway. This would not be such an issue were it not for the fact that a) Rubin has a history of playing fast and loose with facts b) she never corrects or updates her posts when she has been proven to be wrong and c) her post about Islamic Jihadists being responsible for the bombing is in line with her Islamophobic, fear-mongering in general.
I certainly think that having both conservative and liberal bloggers is not a problem for journalist/media like the WaPo or NYT but when those bloggers are held to no standards, that IS a problem. It doesn’t matter that they are expressing opinions or what their particular ideology is, to not demand a level of respectability and honesty ruins the whole Washington Post brand. Jen Rubin’s brand of commentary is particularly insidious because it so often depends on sweeping stereotypes about groups of people and at times borders on racist and xenophobic. Would it be fair to assume that because the usual targets of Rubin’s vitriol are Muslim, the Washington Post feels it is not necessary to set the record straight when factual errors are made? If her targets were instead Jewish, Catholic or African Americans, wouldn’t it be a given that her constant stereotyping and scapegoating would not be tolerated?
It might be tempting to defend Rubin by saying that at the time she put up her post about the attack, not all of the facts were available. However, that is all the more reason why Rubin should not have jumped to conclusions based almost entirely on her own political worldview. In addition, the NYT had writers that also didn’t have all the facts, but they were able to write about the attack without assigning blame to a particular group of people.
It has now been 24 hours since Rubin posted her factually-incorrect, politically expedient post on the Norway bombing and while she has found the time to post two or three new stories today, she has NOT found the time to update the Norway post and offer a correction, nor has she found the time to write a new post about the bombing that discusses the actual facts of the case. This is simply unacceptable.