Conservative author Ann Coulter on Friday in one sentence perfectly summed up the media's reaction to the identity of the man that caused a state of panic in New York's Times Square last weekend: "They're working through their grief of the car bomber not being a Tea Partier."
Such was marvelously said on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor."
After playing video of a CBS Evening News segment covered by NewsBusters Thursday, the host said to his guest, "They're doing it. They're not saying this is a mad man, he should be hung. These Islamic jihadists are threatening our lives. They're not saying that, they being the mainstream media in general."
That was the only invitation required for Coulter to say what dearly needed to be said about how the press have behaved since the Times Square bomber was arrested (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
BILL O'REILLY: "Impact segment" tonight, as we reported early this week, some media outlets have shown sympathy to Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of trying to set off a car bomb in Times Square. To be fair, some of the reports are simply giving the man's background. He was not prospering as a new American citizen.
But CBS correspondent Bob Orr has raised some ire over the past two nights with his point of view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB ORR: He became a U.S. citizen just a year ago, but he has not realized any American dream. He quit his job, lost his house, and was separated from his family. Sources tell CBS he defaulted on both his mortgage and another $65,000 equity loan. And video taken just after the FBI raid of Shahzad's Connecticut apartment shows the 30-year-old Pakistani American man lived a Spartan and seemingly lonely existence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Well, Mr. Orr did not mention that Shahzad had taken 13 trips to Pakistan. Well, that might put a crimp in anyone's wallet. Would it not?
With us now to analyze, Ann Coulter, who's book "Guilty" is out in paperback.
You see, this is -- there's no question they're doing it. Okay, we have it on tape.
ANN COULTER: Yes.
O'REILLY: They're doing it. They're not saying this is a mad man, he should be hung. These Islamic jihadists are threatening our lives. They're not saying that, they being the mainstream media in general.
But Mr. Orr goes out of his way to say, hey, you know, this guy had a hard life and he was down on his luck. And then doesn't mention 13 trips to Pakistan. It is not cheap to get to Pakistan. Maybe if he only took two, he could have paid his mortgage.
COULTER: Yes, which apparently he was very upset about that being foreclosed on.
Well, you have to understand, Bill, they're working through their grief of the car bomber not being a Tea Partier, which the mainstream media was so rooting for if they could find a right winger within 1,000 mile of the Tea Party.
O'REILLY: I think that's true to a large extent. But even if that's true--
COULTER: But the funniest thing--
O'REILLY: --even if that's true, even if they wanted it to be another militia-type situation when you have the fact that this guy is an Islamic extremist.
COULTER: Yes. Yes.
O'REILLY: Why are you still trying to make him sympathetic? For what reason?
COULTER: Right. Right. And he had a wife and a child, who was very upsetting and foreclosed on. But the funny thing about these sympathetic portrayals we're getting in the media is the more and more they describe him as, you know, completely normal and was buying into the American way of life, they are unintentionally leaving us with one conclusion.
So the one thing that sets him apart from the rest of us, oh, he was a Muslim. That's not the answer they want. They spent all this time saying it's not Islam, it's not Islam, it's poverty.
Well, apparently, it's not poverty. Apparently it's not being able to live in the U.S. They don't realize what direction they're pushing this whole discussion. And okay, the one thing that sets him apart, and sets the Army doctor apart, and sets the subway bomber apart, and the diaper bomber apart, what do they have in common? One's a doctor, one's being foreclosed on, one's living abroad, and one just became a citizen last year. They're all Muslims.
O'REILLY: Okay, but it's obvious. All right, what isn't obvious to me--
COULTER: It isn't obvious to the mainstream media because they had no idea what they're doing.
O'REILLY: Well, but I don't know why a journalist would want to make a guy like this sympathetic. I mean, if the bomb had gone off, innocent women and children, men, women, and children would have been killed.
O'REILLY: People have no attachment to any kind of political thing would have been killed.
O'REILLY: Muslims probably would have been killed.
O'REILLY: All right? So why are you going out of your way to say he didn't realize the American dream, he got foreclosed on. He only had three shirts in his closet.
O'REILLY: For what reason?
COULTER: Well, you always bring the mainstream media crazy portrayals of, you know, whomever. A late term abortionist, the Muslim terrorist, criminals because you should read "Treason." It's all in that massive bestseller of mine because liberals always -- they have instinct to root for barbarians against civilization. They always do it. Why did they take the side of the Soviet Union for 20 years?
O'REILLY: Is it because they feel that America has brought terrorism on itself by not giving Faisal a free home or more coats? Is that why? That we're bad because Faisal couldn't make it in Bridgeport, Connecticut?
COULTER: No, I think you're being too specific about this. You pick the barbarian--
COULTER: --from Ted bundy to Faisal. Liberals will somehow come up--
O'REILLY: Well, Bundy, though, I didn't see much reportage sympathizing with him.
COULTER: Oh, sure there was.
O'REILLY: But on this end--
COULTER: No, not only was there--
O'Reilly offered as exhibit "B" what NewsBusters reported Tuesday:
O'REILLY: Did you see the Contessa Brewer sound bite from NBC?
COULTER: Oh, please replay. Yes, I've seen it a hundred times, but I'd like to see it--
O'REILLY: I don't want to play it again. No, I don't want to see it again, but this woman was profoundly disappointed that it was a Muslim terrorist. And I'm going, all right. Why?
Now if she had said because I respect the Islamic religion and the Arab culture, and I don't want it run down anymore, I could have understood that. I mean, maybe Ms. Brewer respects the culture.
COULTER: But you know what culture they don't respect? They don't respect Christian culture.
COULTER: They don't respect American culture.
Is Coulter right? Is the media's reaction to the identity of the bomber a disrespect for American culture, or is there something else responsible?
For instance, mightn't this just be a political calculus on the part of most press members, i.e. what's in the best interest of the President and his Party?
To be sure, there hasn't been a lot of joy in Media Muddville lately with Obama plummeting in the polls and Republicans looking to pick up a large number of Congressional seats in less than six months.
As a result, the dream of a longterm liberal control of government might very well be slipping away.
As this is now the third attempted Islamic extremist attack on our homeland since Obama was inaugurated -- fortunately only Ft. Hood was "successful" -- the press have to realize that this is not an issue helping Democrats right now.
As we saw in the 2002 midterm elections, a fearful nation trusts Republicans more with national security.
As such, isn't it possible that anything significant that happens between now and Election Day the Obama-loving media are going to immediately analyze and respond to it exclusively from a "What does this do to the Democrat chances in November" perspective?
Mightn't it be as simple as that, or is there really something much more culturally and religiously biased at play as Coulter suggests?