Saturday, December 29, 2007

Keep Moving Folks, No Terrorism Here

The Corrente blog is one of my favorites. I read them every day, and highly recommend them. Today they made a point that I have brought up several times here, but I think their approach to it is perfect:
Why is it that when the paramilitary wing of the Christianist movement bombs a clinic or shoots a doctor, it's never covered as an act of terror? Check out this Times story and note the curious lack of agency:
A rash [how spontaneous!] of attacks on abortion and family planning clinics has struck [passive voice!] Albuquerque this month, the first such violence there in nearly a decade.

Two attacks occurred [just happened?] early Tuesday at two buildings belonging to Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, according to Albuquerque police and fire officials. An arson fire [not arsonists?] damaged a surgery center the organization uses for abortions, and the windows of a Planned Parenthood family planning clinic 12 blocks away were [passive voice!] smashed, the officials said.

See, if there's no subject for the sentence, then there are no terrorists, and if there are no terrorists, there can be no terror. Right?
The attacks came just weeks after the Albuquerque clinic run by a nationally known abortion provider, Dr. Curtis Boyd, was destroyed by arsonists [What kind of arsonist?] on Dec. 6.

I mean, sure, forcing women to start using coathangers in back alleys again is a deeply, deeply moral act, so there's absolutely no question that Christianist paramilitaries behind it all are truly heroic figures in the kulturkampf, but can't we get just a smidgeon of balance in the coverage from The World's Greatest Newspaper (not)?

Oh, here's the euphemism du jour:
A study issued last year by the Feminist Majority Foundation, which monitors attacks on abortion clinics, concluded that the most serious anti-abortion violence had declined since 1994, when federal legislation gave greater protection to providers and patients. According to the report, 18 percent of clinics experienced severe violence in 2005, compared with 52 percent in 1994.

Still, the report said, many clinics are still targets of extreme violence.

Oh, OK. "Extreme violence" by Christianist paramilitaries isn't "terror."

Except that by statute, it is.

Hey Bill! Can you take this up with the copy desk? Thanks.

(Source: Christianist bombings and shootings are never, ever "terror")

The propagandists have painted a picture of a "terrorist." He wears a turban, he has a beard ... But in fact, the majority of terrorist attacks in our country, by far, are carried out by what lambert at CorrenteWire is calling Christianists, Christians who believe they are so absolutely right that anyone who feels differently from them, and strangers in the vicinity, deserve to die random violent deaths. I can understand the ordinary person matching-to-stereotypes on something like this, but this blog is pointing out the complicity of the media. Do they not recognize rightwing terrorism as terrorism?

There are two questions here. The first has to do with the public's response to terrorism, which has defined our society for the past six years. We think we are reacting to the actual threat of random deadly force, but here we see there is little public interest in actual terrorism when it fails to meet the advertised stereotype. Maybe it's just too hard to keep track of two slightly different things with the same name, I don't know, I hate to think that people are that dull-witted but I'm too old to be surprised by it. The second thing has to do with the complicity of the press. What do they gain by protecting rightwing terrorists? Why do they do this?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FBI reports acts of domestic terrorism but the press doesn't use the term.

Why you ask? Follow the money!

December 30, 2007 10:42 AM  

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