Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stephen Colbert on Media Retractions of Jihadist Meme re: Norway Shootings: Cooler Heads Covering Their Asses

Stephen Colbert was right on target Monday with his scathing send-up of the shameful, irresponsible way in which the American mainstream media immediately blamed the Norwegian terror attacks on Muslims (this segment begins at about the 3:40 mark on the program to which I've just linked). 

And then, of course, the media had to eat their false reports when it turned out that "a blond, blue-eyed, Norwegian-born, anti-Muslim Crusader" was responsible for the attacks.  Or as Colbert puts the point, cooler heads had to cover their asses when the truth came out following the initial lying reports. 

Two cases in point he cites: Washington Post reporter Jennifer Rubin blogged soon after the news of the bombings and shootings hit the news: "Moreover, there is a specific jihadist connection here," and stated, "This is a sobering reminder for those who think it's too expensive to wage a war against jihadists."

And then along came the news that Breivik was a Norwegian who appealed to a Christendom model of religious conflict to justify provocative violent acts that, he believed, would usher in a Christian-vs.-Muslim struggle with the goal of expelling Islam from Europe.  

And so how did Rubin retract her grossly false initial statements?  She did so by writing that her initial jihadist meme "did not bear up."  But as she made this admission, she told us not to let what happened in Norway cause us to forget that there are many more jihadists than blond Norwegians out to get us!

And the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal?  What was its initial take?  In an editorial noting that its "first deadline reports" called the attacks the "work of a jihadist group," WSJ then admits that later reports appear to indicate that the attacks were done by "an ethnic Norwegian with no previously known ties to Islamic groups."  But just as quickly as it gives with one hand, the editorial takes away with the other by designating Breivik an Al-Quaeda "copycat," and writes, 

If this does prove to be the work of Islamists, it will be noted that neither Norway's opposition to the war in Iraq nor its considerable financial and political support for the Palestinians spared it from attack.

A conclusion that Colbert characterizes as follows: "And if that hypothetical day should come, that's an imaginary lesson they will not soon pretend to forget."

Given the steady diet of outright lies and disinformation of this sort with which our mainstream media constantly bombard us in the U.S., it is any wonder that many Americans are totally confused about what's going on in the world at large, and are sitting ducks for the simplistic binary view of the world peddled to us constantly by fundamentalist groups to whom the media give a constant huge pass?

Because the economic masters the media serve want us ignorant, confused, and unable to understand that the real danger about which we should be concerned more than anyone else is the way in which the rich have grown far richer than ever before in our history, and that almost everything which happens in our society now is determined by a tiny percentage of citizens who have the lion's share of the nation's wealth.

I hope you'll listen to the whole clip by Colbert.  It's brilliant.  And don't miss the segment that precedes this one, which deals with the hysteria of the religious and political right about the start of marriage equality in New York.

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