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.