Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Now I am confused. I have certainly been as angry and vocal as anyone at the NY Times and others for omitting to mention that the terrorists were Muslims.
But reading Mark Steyn saying the same thing gave me a frisson of doubt. I have all along assumed that the Times and the other media were all a bunch of liberal apologists. Seen from that point of view, they are indeed worthless slime. I have assumed all along, as Mark Steyn does, that the omission is out of sympathy for the imaginary "moderate" Muslims.
But I suddenly had a vague memory of a debate in the 1960's about hijackers taking airliners to Cuba. The argument was whether the press should mention the hijackings at all since the purpose of the hijackings was to get publicity. But the newspapers argued that they couldn't pretend it hadn't happened or wasn't newsworthy. So the understanding was that they would report the event but not mention the hijacker's cause. So they would report the hijacking but not mention that the hijackers were Leninists.
I remember how the Times fought long and hard against publishing a statement by the Unabomber. They didn't want to encourage people to commit murders to get their opinions published in the Times by setting the precedent. But the Unabomber had said he would keep killing people until they consented. So they did finally cave in.
Of course it is intrinsically hopeless. Was there ever any doubt why the hijackers went to Cuba? Or why monsters kill everybody they can get within sight of in Mumbai?
In short, I have assumed that the Times and other media's omission to mention that the murderers were jihadis was to avoid tarring all Muslims as jihadis (as though jihad were not one of the Seven Pillars of the Faith for all Muslims, and war against the infidels endlessly commanded in the Koran.). But maybe the purpose of the omission is to diminish the publicity value of their terrorism.
Maybe I was mistaken about the Times' motives. Maybe they have both motives. I am no longer sure.