Boston bombers and 'liberal' cringe

Judging by some British reporting of the Boston terrorist attack, the British liberal media establishment seems to wish it could blame anyone but those involved

Little sympathy for America in Britain's liberal media establisment
Vincent Cooper
On 29 April 2013 09:42

Obviously, neither the Jews nor the American far right were responsible for the Boston marathon bombings, as some Middle-Eastern media outlets have hilariously claimed. In the West, blaming the Jews can be a sign of paranoia, but coming from the Middle-East, it’s usually a cynical tactic to appeal to those same Western paranoid types.   

Judging by some British reporting of the Boston terrorist attack, one might get the impression that the British liberal media establishment wished it could blame anyone but those involved – Chechen jihadists.

On the BBC Radio 4 programme, The World This Weekend, the BBC actually surpassed itself in liberal bias in its reporting of the Boston bombings. Listening to that news programme, which in Britain should be an ideology-free experience, was like attending a political awareness course organised by the Guardian and the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Indeed, the programme gave a platform to the IHRC. But why would the BBC give voice to such an organisation? After all, the IHRC is highly controversial. The journalist Melanie Phillips stated in the Spectator that the IHRC was: ‘the most conspicuous promoter of Khomeine jihadism in the UK.’

Similarly, journalist Douglas Murray also stated that the IHRC is a Khomeinist organisation that campaigns for imprisoned extremists such as the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, currently serving a life sentence in the US for his part in the first blowing-up of the World Trade Centre in 1993.

If the purpose of news reporting is to be objective, why would the BBC filter a report on the Boston jihadist bombing through the opinions of an organisation that some see as itself a promoter of jihad? (The Wikipedia site on the IHRC is worth a read.)

Listening to the World This Weekend report on the Boston bombings, the overall impression one got was not that innocent people had been blown to bits by calculating terrorists, but that the perpetrators were unfortunate victims of indoctrination in a bad but perhaps understandable cause.

The programme, it seemed, attempted to relativise and contextualise the Boston bombings by placing them in the wider context of the war on terror. What about the West’s use of drones to kill Muslims? Let’s talk about that, shall we?

The programme also included several interviews with what appeared to be students from Boston. Not one unconditionally condemned the bombings. “I have had moments of feeling very sorry for that kid in the boat” and “I know many Muslims, they are lovely people, so I can’t say that’s the reason.”

All true and wonderful liberal sentiments. But what has any of it got to do with planting a bomb beside women and children? Could the BBC not go into a Boston bar, for example, and ask the average guy what his opinion is of the bombers? At least it might have been more representative than the views of liberal students.

By the time The World This Weekend was finished with Boston, the bombings had been so contextualised that one forgot that innocent people had been murdered by calculating jihadists.

And it wasn’t just the BBC.

The Observer carried an article on the bombings with the heading ‘Why does America lose its head over “terror” but ignore its daily gun deaths?’ Notice the inverted commas around the word “terror”.

Such reporting is both ignorant and extremely offensive. America does not ignore gun deaths. And the bereaved of those murdered in the bombings and those who lost limbs must wonder what sort of society we have created in the West when mainstream liberal newspapers, the supposed moral conscience of the West, can make cheap political points about their suffering.

Locating the Boston bombings in the context of America’s wider crime was a common feature of much liberal reporting. Anything but face up to the uncomfortable fact of yet another act of jihadist terrorism. Why all the fuss about planting a bomb beside women and children when we have all that other crime? Americans kill each other, don’t they?

And what about those Israelis? Just look at what they do to the Palestinians. What about those drones? And what about how offensive American pluralism is to allow those two Chechen brothers to live in the US?  

You right-wing types may want to call planting a bomb beside innocent women and children “terror”, but the Observer/Guardian, they have their famous moral superiority to consider. 

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