There were three interesting data points on media double standards in the last two weeks. First, there was the trial of Nkosi -Thandiwe, who shot three women in Georgia. “I was trying to spread the message of making white people mend [their ways for colonialism],” he told the court. He further said that he developed his racialist, -anticolonial beliefs while studying anthropology at the University of West Georgia.
Second, Floyd Corkins II pleaded guilty in federal court to three felonies relating to his shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Center in Washington, D.C. Corkins told the court that he got FRC’s address from a map of “hate groups” on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) website and that he planned to kill “as many people as possible” and “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces” as a statement about the two organizations’ opposition to gay marriage.
Third, a former LAPD cop killed three people last week, leaving behind a lengthy manifesto supporting gun control efforts, as well as heaping praise on the Obamas, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and a host of liberal and mainstream media figures, with special attention paid to CNN’s obnoxious Piers Morgan.
There’s a saying in journalism that three is a trend, and yet The Scrapbook has not seen any media handwringing over how left-wing ideology incites violence. And to be honest, there’s no solid reason to connect the political beliefs of these three disturbed individuals to their crimes, except to note that we’d be drowning in televised indignation had these three killers displayed even a hint of right-of-center views.
Recall that following the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords, the media rushed to blame Sarah Palin for her rhetoric because she had once produced a map of Democratic congressional seats that were being “targeted.” Not only that, the SPLC itself rushed in front of every camera it could find to say that Giffords’s shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was obviously a right-wing fanatic—never mind that his incomprehensible writings invoked Marx and lucid dreaming more than any discernible right-wing sentiment. (There was zero evidence that Loughner had even seen, much less been inspired by, Palin’s map.)
In the case of Corkins, he actually told the court that he selected his target from the SPLC’s “hate” map. It’s a stretch to say the SPLC can be blamed for the killings. However, it’s not a stretch to say that the SPLC is deeply irresponsible in calling a mainstream organization such as the Family Research Council a “hate group” alongside the Westboro Baptist Church and Aryan Nation.
In the meantime, the media remain committed to the notion that only conservative rhetoric drives political violence. Columnist Michelle Malkin recently compiled an appalling eight examples since 2009, in which politicians and media personalities rushed to blame the Tea Party or conservative talk radio for violent acts despite a total absence of evidence. Notable examples include New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s irresponsible Tea Party speculation about the foiled 2010 Times Square bomb plot that turned out to be Islamic terrorism, and two different cases in which Democratic political offices were bombed and the culprits turned out to be disgruntled progressive activists.
The Scrapbook is tempted to say that we are mad as hell about this double standard and not going to take it any more. But we wouldn’t want our decidedly hypocritical and daft media colleagues to read too much into it.