With the release of the Department of Defense's report on the November Fort Hood massacre, two trends are becoming increasingly clear: the administration does not want to talk about Islam's violent elements, and the mainstream media is more than willing to play along.
The administration's position clear to anyone examining official documentation. The Fort Hood report, the FBI's counterterrorism lexicon, and the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy do not even use the words enemy, jihad, Muslim, or Islam. The original 9/11 Commission Report, in contrast, used those words a combined 632 times.
The media's attitude towards radical Islam's role in this particular attack is evident in its reluctance to attribute Maj. Nidal Hasan's motives to jihad. The members of the media who share this attitude obfuscate the threats facing the nation.
Shortly after the shooting at Fort Hood, the Culture and Media Institute released a report that highlighted three telling facts:
Networks Decide Attack Wasn’t Terror: 85 percent of the broadcast stories didn’t mention the word “terror.” ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news referenced terrorism connections to the Fort Hood attack just seven times in 48 reports.
ABC, CBS, NBC Follow White House Line: Before Obama's Nov. 10 speech, 93 percent of the stories had ignored any terror connection. But after Obama hinted at what ABC called “Islamic extremist views,” all three networks mentioned terrorism.
Alleged Attacker’s Muslim Faith Not Important Either: Slightly more than one-fourth (29 percent) of evening news reports mentioned that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a Muslim. Of those, half (7 out of 14) defended the religion or included experts to do so.
Chris Matthews was even said that Hasan's attempts to contact al-Qaeda were not necessarily cause for action. "That's not a crime to contact al-Qaeda, is it?" Matthews asked.
"The Christian religion has its full helping of nuts too," Bob Scheiffer made sure to note. That comment was indicative of the larger trend in the media's coverage of the incident. That "don't jump to conclusions" attitude stands in stark contrast to much of the media's condemnations of Christianity.
Take General William "Jerry" Boykin, for instance.
Boykin was reprimanded for voicing personal religious views regarding the war on terror at his church. The Washington Post reported that the General was issued "a 'complete exoneration' that ultimately found Boykin responsible for a few 'relatively minor offenses' related to technical and bureaucratic issues."
The liberal media disagreed. CBS carried a segment (found via Nexis) on Boykin entitled "Holy Warrior." NPR's Nina Totenberg hoped "he's not long for this world," quickly clarifying that she meant "in his job, in his job, please, please, in his job."
The Washington Post and New York Times -- among many other newspapers -- lamented that Boykin's comments would be construed as endorsing a holy war against Islam.
Meanwhile, swaths of the mainstream media danced around Islam's holy war (the direct translation of "jihad") against all of Western civilization. While the American left was opining about the inference of holy war, an actual holy war had already been declared!
The horrible plight that Muslims in the military were sure to suffer at the hands of their bigoted, light-skinned comrades in arms never materialized. Meanwhile, 14 Americans had just been killed by a man screaming "Allahu Akbar" as he pumped round after round into his unarmed victims.
If the liberal media -- and their ideological counterparts in the federal government -- continue their Orwellian campaign against the use of religiously-charged words in national security documents, we may forget that a real war is going on, and start worrying about a hypothetical one.