A major international incident has been boiling over in the Middle East during the last couple of weeks, yet American news viewers might not have heard about it. After years in a Pakistani prison, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently acquitted of charges of blasphemy against Islam, has so far been denied the ability to leave the country for her own safety, as the government fears civil unrest from extremists who have been protesting her acquittal. ABC, CBS and NBC have networks have failed to report the situation.
Ah, so trying to keep up the fight to try and turn the tide in Georgia is okay, but to MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews on Tuesday, doing so in Florida makes you a “clown” and “Third World” “tin pot dictator” of a country where the losers are killed by hanging.
In Friday night’s installment of bias by omission, NBC Nightly News chose not to cover a deadly suicide bombing in Pakistan at a political rally that left over 120 people dead while this same newscast and the CBS Evening News didn’t fit into their newscasts time for a news brief to pay homage to the now-identified U.S. soldier who died a day earlier in Afghanistan.
The media freak-out this weekend was the funniest thing on TV (as last night’s SAG awards proved). It was the latest episode in the Trump-says-something-slapstick-ensues series that’s enthralled comedy fans since the election. Trump puts a temporary hold on immigration from a handful of really messed up countries that may or may not care who they’re shipping here and journalists turn every international airport in the country into Marx Brothers Stateroom Scene in A Night at the Opera.
The last person you'd imagine backing Donald Trump's Muslim ban might be Mika Brzezinski. Yet on today's Morning Joe, a reluctant Mika came close to doing just that. Brzezinski springboarded off the news that the visa screening program failed to stop Tafsheen Malik from entering the country although she was already radicalized at the time.
While professing her opposition to the plan, she called the news "incredibly disturbing." When former Obama car czar Steve Rattner admitted that the process in place "had failed," Mika suggested: "are you saying something that might be in line with Donald Trump's policy?" Mika went on: "I'm not sure Donald Trump's concept is good for our country," but "we just had a slaughter." Concluded Brzezinski: "someone tell me something better than what Donald Trump is saying," adding sarcastically "and there's got to be something better because everybody has been sitting here for days, just lambasting him."
It was a priceless TV moment. Here was law professor Sahar Aziz on Jose Diaz-Balart's MSNBC show complaining about anti-Muslim bias in the US and insisting we don't know the motive behind the San Bernardino massacre. Aziz called the San Bernardino attack a "workplace violent act," pointing to the lack of any claim of responsibility or link to a terrorist group.
But literally seconds after Aziz signed off—without so much as a commercial break—NBC's Pete Williams came on to announce that just before the attack, the wife in the terrorist couple, Tashfeen Malik, "posted a statement of support for the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on a Facebook page." Williams added that such expressions of support for ISIS and for ISIS leaders, "does seem to follow a pattern that has been used in other ISIS-inspired attacks." It's okay, Professor Aziz: retroactive correction accepted!
Rudy Giuliani has said that if you can't figure out that what happened in San Bernardino was an act of terror, "you're a moron." But from Chris Hayes, to the FBI, to a representative of the Muslim community, to a Mother Jones reporter, to President Obama himself, one thing emerged from Hayes' MSNBC show tonight: they're all terribly confused and cautious about what possibly could have been the "motive" of the San Bernardino shooters.
Check out the video montage. It would be comical but for the heinous circumstances—and the unwillingness of the country's political, media and religious leaders to call out radical Islamic terrorism when they see it.
In a bid to pump up his anemic African-American support, Bernie Sanders very publicly chowed down yesterday with rapper Killer Mike, who at a subsequent rally endorsed Sanders. Reporting on the meeting of the unlikely duo, the Washington Post wrote that among other things they discussed "their mutual appreciation for the work of the philosopher Noam Chomsky."
So Bernie digs Noam Chomsky. You remember Noam: condemned the killing of Bin Laden and said that George W.'s crimes "vastly exceed bin Laden's;" self-described anarchist-socialist; member of Marxist Industrial Workers of the World; agnostic on the Holocaust, doesn't think Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic; banned from visiting Israel because of anti-Israel positions; defender of the genocidal Khmer Rouge. So what has been the MSM's reaction to Sanders fondness for Chomsky? Crickets, of course. Try to imagine the MSM reaction if a leading GOP presidential candidate expressed appreciation for a similarly-controversial figure on the far right.
Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN spotlighted another set of questionable accounts by Brian Williams regarding a supposed relationship with Navy SEAL Team Six. Williams claimed that he traveled with the unit into Iraq just three days after the 2003 invasion; that SEAL "friends" of his sent him a piece of the wreckage from the helicopter that crashed on the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden; and that a SEAL once sent him his knife. Two guests cast cold water on Williams's claims.
Nic Robertson refreshingly pointed out on Thursday's CNN Tonight that the recent terrorist attack in Paris was part of a wider "world war all in the name of Islam." While many leftists pointed the finger at the American presence in the Middle East or the Abu Ghraib controversy, Robertson put the shootings in the wider context of recent Islamist massacres across the globe.
Today, the world has learned that terrorists with the Taliban, the group of Islamic fundamentalist jihadists who have rained terror on Afghanistan and Pakistan for nearly two decades, "attacked a school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children." The death toll will almost certainly rise as some of the 114 children the BBC has reported are injured fail to survive.
But don't ask Muslims to condemn this cowardly attack on innocents. If you do, you'll upset Max Fisher at Vox, who just yesterday (HT Twitchy), in exquisite timing, insisted that it's "bigoted and Islamophobic" to expect anything of the sort:
Left-wing academic Marc Lamont Hill blasted atheists Bill Maher and Sam Harris on Monday's CNN Tonight for their blunt views about the Islamic faith: "When he [actor Sam Harris] says that Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas, that is horrific; it is offensive; and, as Ben [Affleck] said...quite frankly, it's racist." Hill contended that "Islam is not uniquely violent or primarily violent or any more prone to violence than any other religion."