After Boston Bombings, Rightbloggers Denounce Muslims, Abortion, Gun Control, Hippie Bumper Stickers
The nightmarish events in Boston last week engendered a huge load of coverage, some of it inspired, some of it infamously bad. Most of the bad stuff was bad because the people putting it out were either trying to scoop the world and wound up reporting untruths, or didn't care what the truth was in the first place.
Rightbloggers were bad in something like their usual way. Truth wasn't so much the issue with them as context, which they tried to manage so that the grim event might be perceived as congruent with their worldview -- which is that liberals are stupid, people who are different should be avoided and possibly deported, and Obama hates America.
The bombing made especially clear one signal feature of rightblogger behavior: their simultaneous reliance upon, and loathing of, the mainstream media.
Normally reflexively distrustful of anything the MSM says, as soon as the bombs went off rightbloggers posted every scrap the networks dished out -- indeed, posted it as fast as they could (often with video clips from the nets) to grab some of that good major-event aggregation traffic -- and, whenever the repurposed news was later debunked, they complained that the MSM was irresponsible -- e.g. Instapundit:
REPORT: Boston Bombing Suspect Arrested. UPDATE: NBC now saying no. Stay tuned. ANOTHER UPDATE: CNN walks back. Confusion reigns. MORE: A major media malfunction. And yet journalists put down bloggers?DaTechGuy was also hard on the press but, when the action came to nearby Watertown, disdained to walk a few blocks to cover the manhunt and show the MSM liars how it's done, explaining, "I would simply be another member of the press either standing in a parking lot trying to look important or in the way of the cops actually doing their job," and anyway, "the strength of new media is to be where the MSM is not or add a perspective they MSM doesn't have..." DaTechGuy then told us that "liberalism and the parallel secular culture" were purposely trying to destroy America, which is a perspective, we guess, though that's not the first word that came to our mind.
The brethren did show more discernment, though, when opportunities for self-pity arose. Before the suspects were ID'd, TV news show gabblers speculated on every conceivable possible source of the violence; rightbloggers only heard the bits about homegrown militias and tea partiers, though, and announced that the Lame Stream Media had slandered them with "eliminationist narratives."
When dark-skinned people got called "persons of interest" on the air, however, the eliminationism was on the other foot. Michelle Malkin sprang into action early with "the suspects have been named via police scanner (unconfirmed): Mike Mulugeta and missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi." Malkin's alternate-universe Twitter outlet Twitchy circulated a picture of Tripathi wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, alomg with trenchant commentary ("Sunil Tripathi doesn't seem like the type to kill innocents. He's wearing a freaking Che Guevara shirt!").
Good thing one of Malkin's suggestible fans didn't get ahold of Tripathi before the real suspects were found (though his family hopes someone does -- he's still missing). Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi was not so lucky; he was the Saudi guy who got jumped at the scene of the crime basically because he looked Saudi we mean suspicious.
After Alharbi was let off the hook, bizarre rumors that he was getting deported as part of some sort of Obama-Muslim cover-up circulated in rightblogs ranging from Protein Wisdom ("there are whistleblower reports of an unscheduled 'walk-by' meeting that took place lase evening the White House") to Israpundit ("Saudi Connection to Boston Bombing Being Whitewashed"). This clusterfuck continued even after it was made clear that the guy wasn't getting deported; some conspiracy theorists decided this simply meant "the government has had second thoughts on deporting Ali Alharbi."
When at last we all found out the probable perps were a couple of white Chechens by way of Kyrgyzstan, rightbloggers' interest didn't flag -- because the Tsarnaev brothers were also Muslims. While they didn't look exactly like the guys at Gitmo, they still had Islam going on, which excited in rightbloggers fond memories of the days when the War on Terror made them feel brave and seem popular.
This excited some epic rants. For example: When Michael Moore made a series of unremarkable Twitter comments on Tsarnaev press coverage ("For past 4 days hundreds of 'terror experts,' 'terror analysts' and pundits never said anything about Russia or Chechnya. They know nothing"), Dave Swindle of PJ Media reacted thus: "It's very important for Moore to try and undermine the credentials of anyone who can affirm that Sharia is a real threat. In Moore's world Global Warming is more dangerous and cigarettes and car accidents cause more deaths per year than Islamists." (Uh... they don't?) When Ana Marie Cox, referring to widely-circulated remarks by the suspect's Uncle Ruslan Tsarni, wrote, "Branding terrorists as LOSERS, not villains, not monsters, not martyrs, not foreigners, not religious fanatics ---> a win," here was Swindle's interpretation: "Yes, it would be a win for progressives if they could legitimately make the case that corporations and the bigoted, theocratic, 'Religious Right' are the most evil forces threatening America and the human race." Swindle also thinks Kirsten Powers is a liberal.
When the New York Times told readers that Chechens were homegrown radicals and unlikely to be part of a global jihad, Michael Kennedy of Chicago Boyz denied it. After all, "the suicide bomb is a common weapon for jihadists" -- notwithstanding that the Tsarnaevs walked away from the Boston bombing. Kennedy also assailed "the PC tendencies of the FBI lately," giving no citations to support this characterization.
Kennedy's big issue was the Kenyan Pretender himself. "The Obama administration has been determined to ignore the problem of the domestic Islamic terrorist, like Major Hasan who shot up Fort Hood," for reasons left unmentioned but probably treason.
It's hard to imagine what Obama should do here -- maybe bring back the color-coded Homeland Security chart? Or tell citizens to be more apprehensive of Muslims, even the white ones? Rightbloggers didn't bother, as they spitballed ways to stick Boston to the President.
The Washington Post covered Obama's Friday night remarks thus: "Obama cautioned against a rush to judgment about the motivations of the suspects and 'certainly not about entire groups of people.... That's why we have investigations, that‚Äôs why we relentlessly gather the facts, that's why we have courts...'" Here's how Neil Munro of the Daily Caller covered it: "Americans should not decide their opinions about the Boston terror attacks until the government decides its own opinion, President Barack Obama told the nation late Friday night."
Some rightbloggers got into the old-fashioned warblogger schtick of attacking liberals from the city that had just been attacked by terrorists. Bookworm Room said the bombing was "highly ironic" because "Boston is the bluest of the blue," and compared the city to a "liberal mugged by reality." Later Bookworm sneered that "Bostonians and their liberal ilk around America" might "rationalize this away as two crazy, murderous people who just coincidentally happen to have been Muslims..." We wonder if Bookworm plans to take this message direct to the people of Boston in a public reading; it's something we would pay to see.