Norway Terrorist Attack: Oh the Irony of the Hypocrisy in the Media

Here’s a Democracy Now! video discussing the hypocrisy in the media relating to how some newspapers initially reacted to the Norway Terrorist Attack on July 24th.

Numerous news outlets and commentators initially blamed the attacks in Norway on Islamic militants. Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper, The Sun, ran a front-page headline that read, “Al Qaeda’ Massacre: Norway’s 9/11.” In the United States, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal also initially blamed “jihadists,” reporting that, “Norway is targeted for being true to Western norms.” Meanwhile, on the Washington Post’s website, Jennifer Rubin wrote, “This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.” To discuss the media coverage of the attacks, we’re joined by Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger who has written about the media coverage of the attacks in Norway for Salon.com. “When it became apparent that Muslims were not involved, and that in reality it was a right-wing nationalist with extremely anti-Muslim bigotry as part of his world view, the word ‘terrorism’ almost completely disappeared from established media discourse. Instead, he began to be referred to as a madman or an extremist,” says Greenwald. “It really underscores, for me, the fact that this word ‘terrorism’ that plays such a central role in our political discourse and our law really has no objective meaning. It comes to mean nothing more than ‘Muslims who engage in violence.’”

Greenwald’s article can be found here.

The irony I’m speaking of should be obvious enough… but just in case:

But now it turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn’t from an international Muslim extremist group at all, but was rather a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and an affection for Muslim-hating blogs such as Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugged, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch.

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About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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15 Responses to Norway Terrorist Attack: Oh the Irony of the Hypocrisy in the Media

  1. honesty bear says:

    i’m too lazy to read the article you link to, but anyways, i get the irony, but that is (somewhat) excusable for the reason that things like this are usually very confusing in the beginning, and groups take credit for things even if they didn’t do it. but what’s the hypocrisy? other than the everyday case of the media having a slant?

  2. honesty bear says:

    well if we’re striving for accuracy, i don’t see anything wrong with ‘rampage of a madman’ for the Norway stuff. and in some ways, this can be read as a sort of compliment to ismlamist extremist, as ‘terrorism’ is now considered to be apart from madness and more about politics. i guess in part i don’t see why this (the media stuff, not the act) is either shocking or worthy of outrage. but again, i still haven’t read that article, other than the first couple paragraphs.

    • dontdontoperate says:

      I think that what Breivik did was a ‘rampage of a madman’, I also think that it was highly political. To describe this as anything but political would be ludicrous in my mind.

      I guess I’m confused on your definition of madness. Breivik is not insane. At least, not any more insane then the Mumbai terrorists or the 9/11 terrorists or the London Underground terrorists. Or is that exactly what you’re saying?

  3. honesty bear says:

    i’ve just been spitballin’ here so nothing is all that fully-formed. i think part of what i was saying was that even though the norway stuff was obvi political, his politics of ‘kick-all-the-muslims-out or whatever’ isn’t really worthy of analysis, while a lot of the attacks directed at the west from the middle east is in response to years of occupation, and this in some way deserves attention.

    and every terrorist/mass-murderer is clearly at least a little insane, it’s what motivates the crazy that’s where the interesting stuff comes out. also i can’t help but remember how back on 9/11 at central you said something along the lines of how you had new heroes or something. oh you’ve come a long way.

    • dontdontoperate says:

      I completely agree about “while a lot of the attacks directed at the west from the middle east is in response to years of occupation, and this in some way deserves attention.”

      And yes, I remember saying something about ‘heroes’ as well, since at that time I had fantasies of mass violence and death… So yeah, I’m happy to say I have come a long way.

  4. honesty bear says:

    so we’re in agreement. yay. blogs and comment boards tend to make things so confrontational don’t you feel? i think it’s the whole point, counterpoint structure. but anyway i feel we’ve gotten a little sidetracked from my initial question, in that i’m still a little unsure about where the outrage is suppose to come from. and i think maybe the easiest way for me to phrase it is: why did you put this post up?

    but there’s no reason for us to get all deep and all that, if it’s simply that this is a pretty wild event and you felt like putting something up about it i’m cool with that. i don’t disagree with anything here, just that i don’t think this is anything new or huge. (again, the media stuff, not the attack.)

    so we’re to handsome furs next monday right? got any plans for the long weekend leading up to that?

  5. honesty bear says:

    actually, you know what. forget what i said. i think i’m just too jaded about the media for me to appreciate how dumb it is for them to not even try to check sources or have even a shred of an idea about what they’re reporting before they do, as it really does screw some people over. i think the only thing to salvage from what i’ve been saying is that the cause of this isn’t any kind of troubling ideology seeping from the pores of big media outlets, even though that certainly their initial intuitions about what might be fact, but is mostly the result of never-ending news cycles that can’t be bothered to think before they speak. it happens on both sides of the spectrum, and it’s just as stupid going either way.

  6. dontdontoperate says:

    Yeah, I do feel like I have to continuously fight the urge to feel that you’re being confrontational (not YOU you, but just, anyone on the other end of an argument over a blog thing, or a text message, or an e-mail, etc. etc.).
    It helps that you constantly say things like “don’t get me wrong” and so on. Those do help.
    And I hope that I do that myself, to make sure that I don’t come off in a way that I don’t want to.

    Right, my point about this blog is the following:
    1. The irony of the media blaming muslims when the person was actually a right wing muslim hater.
    2. This terrorist, or mad-man, is certainly living in a time that there is a lot of hate and racism towards muslims, and the media (I don’t mean ALL of the media and journalists, obviously, but just the NYTimes and Washington Post and The Sun…I forget the others) isn’t helping that by being so irresponsible as to quickly put the blame on muslims.

    I think both of those are important to bring to everyone’s attention, so that people can think about it.
    And yeah, it’s also important to point out the difference between this and muslim attacks, because of the questions they raise, and that those questions hopefully lead towards people NOT becoming muslim hating mad-man who kill 85 fifteen/sixteen year olds who are aspiring politicians.

    MOSTLY, though, I’m enflamed about this stuff because media studies and what not is VERY new to me. Remember, I’ve been in school for science-y stuff, and have only recently gotten into social and political things. So yeah, I’m new to this game, and so things like this are legitimately surprising to me 😉

    MONDAY!!!!

  7. dontdontoperate says:

    Oh, just read what you wrote after what I replied to.
    I agree. Full stop.

  8. honesty bear says:

    but most important of all, you never answered about your weekend plans. i’m going to toronto on friday to drive lara to the airport and then probably go to a FtB show at the hideout on queen. come if you want.

  9. dontdontoperate says:

    In the spirit of having a public conversation on our weekend plans:
    yeah, right now I may be busy on Friday in Hamilton. Saturday I have a vague idea of having plans in Toronto…. Melissa? I can’t remember.
    And Sunday I’m in Barrie for sure: it’s that family bbq/get-together thing I had last year right before the bon-fire.
    SOOO, if nothing else, I’ll be in Barrie on Monday, and can hang out with you all day and come with you to T dot. Swim in your pool?!

  10. honesty bear says:

    well maybe let me know when you have a better idea of what’s going on. and let’s be honest, this is far more private than facebook.

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