Thursday, July 14, 2005

CNN's coverage one week after the London terror attacks

I'm watching CNN right now as they cover the memorial services one week after the London terror attacks. It's positively Kafka-esque watching Jim Clancy as he interviews various social workers, psychologists and representatives of the British Muslim community as they struggle with the question of how four, apparently middle-class British citizens of Pakistani origin could have conspired to kill so many of their fellow Britons.

Most risible was watching the head of the British Muslim Council as he whined about how Muslims feel separated and alienated from the rest of British society. Gee, that couldn't be because Muslims choose to separate themselves from the rest of society by encouraging a separate identity, language and education, could it? He became even more flummoxed when he tried to explain why sending your impressionable young son to a madrassah in Pakistan is still an okay thing to do. Sure, just ask John Walker Lindh's parents how he turned out.

I feel like I am in the old SNL skit about the murder of Buckwheat. In it reporters interview friends, neighbors, schoolteachers and relatives of the killer. To a man, they describe a well-mannered, helpful, respectful young man. Yet when asked if they thought he could have killed Buckwheat, they invariably reply, "Ohhh, yes. It was all he talked about" There's even a shot of a high school yearbook page in which the killer-to-be had been named "Most Likely To Kill Buckwheat".

Hey, Jim, want to know how it's possible these fine, upstanding young men could have killed 50 people?


We as a society have a problem with enemy identification and it is forcing us to fight this war with one hand tied behind our backs.

Perhaps more retch-inducing is the stories of trauma of the survivors. First of all, you want to know about trauma? Try getting blown up! That's trauma. And if CNN were really that interested in survivors' stories they've been missing a big scoop for the last 20 years not interviewing Israelis.

And, this being CNN, we couldn't have a story about terrorism without tossing a little blame on the War on Iraq. But that was to be expected.

Oh, that's right. My remote has an OFF button.


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