Did Media's Bush Derangement Syndrome Drive Times Square Bomber To Violence?

May 5th, 2010 4:43 PM

There's a cynical theme growing in the media that Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of attempting to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square Saturday, was driven to violence by the loss of his job, the loss of his house, and his anger towards former President George W. Bush.

In all of this theorizing -- or what some might call psychobabble -- those making the assertion have yet to ponder if six years of Bush Derangement Syndrome might also be involved.

For over a year, Americans have been warned that so-called "hate speech" directed at Barack Obama and Democrats by conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, as well as others at Fox News, is going to manifest itself in violent acts against elected officials and/or our nation.

With this in mind mightn't years of "hate speech" directed at Bush and Republicans by liberal talk radio hosts and MSNBC in particular have incited Shahzad's anger to such an extent that he decided to become a domestic terrorist?

Consider what the Wall Street Journal wrote Wednesday (h/t Jennifer Rubin, photo courtesy AP):

Faisal Shahzad was losing his Connecticut home to foreclosure, disliked President George W. Bush, and was an almost invisible presence at the American university where he earned two degrees. [...]

Igor Djuric, a broker who showed Mr. Shahzad the 1,356-square-foot home he eventually bought, said he remembered that Mr. Shahzad was quiet about himself, but was openly critical of President Bush in the aftermath of the Iraq war.

"I didn't take it for anything, since a lot of people didn't like Bush," Mr. Djuric said, "but he was a little bit strong about expressing it."

The Associated Press is also now reporting this:

Shahzad's behavior sometimes seemed odd to his neighbors, and he surprised a real estate broker he hardly knew with his outspokenness about President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

"He mentioned that he didn't like Bush policies in Iraq," said Igor Djuric, who represented Shahzad in 2004 when he was buying a home.

Djuric said he couldn't remember the exact words Shahzad used about Bush but "something to the effect of he doesn't know what he's doing and it's the wrong thing that he's doing."
"I don't know if he mentioned 9/11," Djuric said, "but something like that, Iraq has nothing to do with anything." 

As is the New York Times:

Like so many others, he lost a house to foreclosure - a real estate broker who helped him buy the house, in Shelton, Conn., in 2004 remembered that Mr. Shahzad did not like President George W. Bush or the Iraq war.

"I didn't take it for much," said the broker, Igor Djuric, "because around that time not many people did."

And USA Today:

In Shelton, Conn., real estate broker Igor Djuric, who represented Shahzad when he bought a home there in 2004, said Shahzad made it clear that he did not like then-president George W. Bush or his war policy in Iraq. Djuric said that Shahzad's comments were not hateful but that they were surprising because the men hardly knew each other. 

This realtor's quote is now all over the media, and it seems just a matter of time before the Bush-hating press on television take the baton.

But when they do, will they look themselves in the mirror to examine their own roll.

Maybe they should consider what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said last September:

I think we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words. We are a free country, and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we carefully balance. I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw -- I saw this myself in the late `70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave -- it created a climate in which we -- violence took place. And so I -- I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made, understanding that some of the people -- the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume. But again, our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe. But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause.

Readers are reminded that just two weeks ago, the press were falling over themselves on the fifteenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing to once again tie conservative talkers to that event.

This even led to an interesting give and take between Limbaugh and former President Clinton about who was really to blame for Timothy McVeigh's diabolical behavior.  

As such, if media want to include Shahzad's apparent dislike of George W. Bush as a precipitating factor in his failed terrorist attempt in Times Square, shouldn't they take some responsibility for inciting his anger?

Or can "angry rhetoric" only be tied to acts of violence when it comes from the mouth of a conservative?