What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 9, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

It's Sunday and so the P-G's Jack Kelly spins. And is caught in a HUGE mistake.

I am not sure where he's going with this week's column, however. I think it's something about how the media's PC and are unwilling to call a terrorist a terrorist or something like that.

Let's start with the big time mistake. It's been a while since Jack's made a doozy this big and maybe the crack team of Jack fact-checkers over there at the Blvd of the Allies just blinked and missed it. Truth is, they should have checked and they should have called Jack on it. Let's start:
MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer is bummed the man who put a car bomb in Times Square isn't a right winger.

"There was part of me that was hoping that this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country because there are a lot of people who want to use this terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or who come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way," she said on a radio show Tuesday.

Apparently, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also was bummed to learn the bomber was Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized citizen of Pakistani extraction who is a registered Democrat in Connecticut.
It's in that last sentence. Media Matters has a postmortem on this particular lie. They say it's from the rightwing blog "Rightpundits" and they report that RightPundits has already backtracked on it. But let's start, as they say, at the beginning. At this post at freerepublic.com (time stamped at May 4 12:51 GMT or 8:51 AM Pittsburgh time), we read:
An Islamic terrorist named Faisal Shahzad is the Time Square bomber according to media reports. He is Muslim of Pakistani heritage with dual citizenship in the United States, a registered Democrat in the state of Connecticut who may be an Obama donor.
With a link back to Rightpundits.

If you go to Rightpundits now (Sunday morning at 9:55am) you'll see:
An Islamic terrorist named Faisal Shahzad is the Time Square bomber according to media reports. He is Muslim of Pakistani heritage with dual citizenship in the United States, recently naturalized as a U.S. citizen under the Obama administration’s lenient open door policy. We have been unable to confirm earlier reports of his voter registration status as a Democrat. [emphasis added.]
As the time stamp on the Mediamatters reporting is May 5 at 11:25 AM, we know that sometime in that twenty-one hour time period 4 days ago, Rightpundits backtracked on the story.

And yet Jack is presenting this as a fact this morning. Unless he is in the habit of writing his Sunday column 4 days in advance, Jack Kelly should have known that an important source of this story could not confirm it within a day of its first appearance and that lack of confirmation is still "live."

This may not be as bad as Jack's Van Jones column that got pulled/yanked/erased from the P-G website (but only at the P-G - not the Toledo Blade - and only after this blog deconstructed it) but it's still wrong as wrong can be.

Note to my good friends at the P-G: THIS REQUIRES A CORRECTION/RETRACTION.


But let's look closer at what Theresa Brewer said. When we do we'll see how Jack very subtly misquotes her. First off if you were to listen to what she had to say, you'd hear that she wasn't "bummed" about about the identity of the Time Square (near) bomber. The word she used was "frustrated." Why? What would frustrate her? If the bomber turned out to be Muslim then that might mean more of a backlash against Muslim-Americans. She was not bummed because he was Muslim. Very subtle spin there. But a spin, nonetheless.

Then we get to Mayor Bloomberg.

Jack writes:
On Monday, Mr. Bloomberg told Katie Couric of CBS he thought the bomber was "homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda who doesn't like the health care bill or something."
Here's how CBS reports it:
Law enforcement officials don't know who left the Nissan Pathfinder behind, but at this point the Mayor believes the suspect acted alone.

"If I had to guess, twenty five cents, this would be exactly that," Bloomberg said. "Homegrown maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything."
As a rhetorical device he was offering an opposite counter-example to foreign terrorism (which would be domestic terrorism.) But in the end he said it "could be anything."

But Jack says the Mayor thought the bomber was a "homegrown." Which is, as it clearly doesn't represent reality, not true.

But the fun doesn't stop. Jack again:
When he learned the truth, Mayor Bloomberg did not apologize for his smear of people who don't like Obamacare. Instead, he smeared the people of New York City.

"We are not going to tolerate any backlash against Middle Easterners or Muslims in New York City," he said.
And, of course, the Mayor's "smear" turns out to be nothing of the sort. This is what the Mayor said:
We will not be intimidated by those who hate the freedoms that make the city and this country so great. The fact that so many people are out and about in Times Square today or just came from really shows that, and I want to make clear that we will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.

All of us live in this city, and among any group, there's always a few bad apples, but the people that live in the city are proud of the fact that this is the city that gives everybody from every place in the world an opportunity no matter what religion they practice, no matter where they or their parents came from. It's the city where you can practice your religion and say what you want to say and be in charge of your own destiny and we're going to keep it that way.

People from every corner of the world come and live here in the same buildings and the same neighborhoods and that's what makes this the greatest city on earth. We will continue to doing everything we possibly can to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks. We have, as you know, built the most comprehensive and sophisticated counter terrorism operation of any local police force in the world.
See the smear? Yea, neither did I. Jack did, though.

And this is just the first few paragraphs. I'd like to continue, but it's Mother's Day and the lovely wife and I have some lovely plans.

Ok - just one more. Jack writes:
[Homeland Security Secretary Janet] Napolitano has virtually banned the use of the word "terror" in her department. But calling an act of terror a "man-caused disaster" doesn't make it go away. It's hard to stop a terrorist if you deny his existence.
Which is , of course, why, when you go to the Homeland Security website, you'll see this page, titled "Responsibilities" and at the top of the list there's:
Guarding Against Terrorism
Yea, she's denying that terrorism exists.


1 comment:

CircleCityNews said...

Fantastic! I love the way you un-spin the news!