Media showing surprising restraint on Dorner’s politics

posted at 10:01 am on February 9, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Christopher Dorner remains on the loose this weekend, the subject of one of the most intense manhunts of this generation. And the media is covering the story wall to wall with regular updates, interviews with his former friends and public advisories. One of the most important things that all of these talking heads want you to remember is that the now vanished maniac may have very powerful weapons. It’s an important piece of information to be sure, particularly for residents in the affected area. But with many hours of the news cycle to fill and so much background information on the suspect to cover, it still feels as if there’s something missing, doesn’t it?

At Mediaite, Noah Rothman has spotted the discontinuity.

Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

Motive matters, both in a court of law and in the process which law enforcement employs when tracking down a killer. But in terms of responsibility, I tend to be more in line with Charles Cooke at National Review, who notes that the final responsibility lies with the criminal, not with the media environment they’ve been soaking in. But he also manages to sympathize with those who are quick to note the double standard in play.

That notwithstanding, one can sympathize with the conservatives who jumped at the opportunity to exact revenge on the media, whose complicity in a series of previous rushes to blame “right wing” rhetoric for the actions of killers such as Timothy McVeigh and Jared Loughner — and tendency to presume without evidence that violence must be motivated by phantom “tea party” connections — has been nothing short of shameful. While deploring the tendency of revenge to legitimize the very position that is being criticized, sucking all parties into a useless battle of tu quoque, one can at least forgive the sentiment.

Putting this tendency to one side, there is one area in which vexed conservatives are absolutely correct. There is a whole world of difference between reporting the details of a killer’s manifesto, and accepting the killer’s conceits.

Cooke is correct. In a free society, people have to accept (and assign) responsibility for the actions of the individual to the bad actor in question. If we are to accept that seeing or hearing “bad things” is somehow an excuse for criminal behavior, then the entire battle for responsible citizenship is already lost. We may as well just start banning the production of Grand Theft Auto and confiscating all the DVDs of the Die Hard trilogy if those are accepted as reasonable excuses for mayhem.

But it would be nice, just this one time, to see a bit of that famous “fair and balanced” requirement for professional journalism in this case. Unfortunately, because of the nature of Dorner’s preferences, the fact that he has guns is suddenly far more important than any formative influences which might have helped lead him to this riotous behavior.


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Comment pages: 1 2

If OBAMA had an adult child, he would look like Dorner

TX-96 on February 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Since we know next to nuthin’ about Preezy before he was senator present…why not?

workingclass artist on February 9, 2013 at 5:37 PM

If you legalized prostitution and outlawed journalism, would anyone notice a difference?

That’s just a joke, I support a free, open and healthy independent press, and if we ever have one you’ll see just how much I support it!

Yes, there are a handful of real journalists, but they don’t make much difference. See Fast and Furious for an example.

Merovign on February 9, 2013 at 6:11 PM

It’s called self-censorship, and it only occurs when bad things happen that might reflect in any way on Democrats, liberals or the media, but I repeat myself. They make up for this by running 24/7 with anything bad that can be stretched to touch a Republican, no matter how absurdly.

I really wish the media could suffer the same pain they have inflicted on the Americans people, in the name of being our protectors, and I’d be more than willing to help them suffer it.

drunyan8315 on February 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Reading his “manifesto” was a real trip. Imagine – a rogue cop murdering innocent people as a means of protesting against rogue cops. And shooting people while advocating for gun control.

This is the heart of why he is a true leftist – like most true leftists, he has become what he hates the most.

SubmarineDoc on February 10, 2013 at 2:40 AM

SubmarineDoc on February 10, 2013 at 2:40 AM

…got that right!…(quit lurking and comment more…K?)

KOOLAID2 on February 10, 2013 at 2:48 AM

It sickens me, the betrayal of not just our half of America, but all of us are cheated by their withholding news to protect their party. Justice is denied, delayed and usually blocked completely, as wanton criminal politicians walk away Scot free with a sloppy kiss from the “media”..

I’m really starting to hate these people, they are stealing our country.. and they know they can’t be touched over it.. barring some kind of grand revival of real ethics, these scumbags have NO check and balance equal to them to say… ENOUGH WITH THE LIES…

Treat all party’s equally..

or just shut up you hacks.. but they just smirk and continue lying about us, our half of America as if we were a disease to be eradicated.. They talk of “destroying the republican party”.. openly.. as if it were a good thing to crush people under their heel for not thinking as they are told.. The GOP may well morph into something else, but not the kind of party they would ever approve.. like we need these toads permission..

So I do my part and educate what young people I can, showing them the information and letting them come to their own conclusion that the liberals are liars and thieves.. not every single one no.. but most certainly every supposed “journalista” who wages a war against American values…

mark81150 on February 10, 2013 at 4:28 AM

Wonder if Anderson Cooper will do a piece exonerating Sarah Palin from the “blood libel” Now that he has direct links to a murderous thug on a killing spree.. when Sarah… did not.

Maybe ask himself on air, if rushing to link the right to every radical or crazy with a gun, was blind partisanship gone insane..

God knows the kos-monuts will never free themselves from the blind hate..

mark81150 on February 10, 2013 at 4:34 AM

Dorner loved the media. Fellow travelers and all . . .

BigAlSouth on February 10, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Jaibones on February 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I fit is in fact like Roy Sr. it holds five.

Bmore on February 10, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I fit=If it

Bmore on February 10, 2013 at 8:57 AM

More proof the alphabet media covering for one of their own who backs the progressives and you wonder why the under-informed are educated like they are?

mixplix on February 10, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Dorner’s guns were purchased legally and are registered. The govt knew he had guns. Laws to promote public safety did not protect those he killed. Shove it, BOR.

Kissmygrits on February 10, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Dorner’s guns were purchased legally and are registered. The govt knew he had guns. Laws to promote public safety did not protect those he killed. Shove it, BOR.

Kissmygrits on February 10, 2013 at 9:06 AM

And he was a guy THEY hired to PROTECT us…remember were are supposed to rely on THEM.

CW on February 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

locomotivebreath1901 on February 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM

You are exactly right sir, and I like that screen name one of my favorite Jethro Tull classics ! :)

cableguy615 on February 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Media showing surprising restraint on Dorner’s politics

unfortunately, not on his mug. A(nother) Star is born.
Why do Liberals celebrate guns/violence?

OldChick on February 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I read the unredacted manifesto and I could not determine what would need to be edited – just the names of all his liberal icons?

It’s evident that he was a danger to the police force when he was hired, but only political correctness kept him inside the “blue-line” that he was on a deluded mission to cross.

This guys may be nuts but he’s an MSNBC posterchild supporter without question.

virgo on February 10, 2013 at 3:01 PM

williamg on February 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Sarcasm. Look it up in the dictionary.

We (and I think I can speak for most here) know that the LSM are a bunch of hypocritical dirtbags and this is just example 362,550,636 of said hypocrisy.

Relax.

kim roy on February 9, 2013 at 3:51 PM

I KNOW what “sarcam” is, Slappy – that’s why I denigrated the idea that this was “snark“. “Snark” – “sarcasm”, same thing, here.

I also KNOW when “sarcasm” or “snark” is helpful – or APPROPRIATE>

NOT helpful or appropriate in this case – try reading before you pop off.

“Appropriate” – Look it up in The Dictionary…..Please, and explain it to Jazz and Allahpundit.

williamg on February 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

mark81150 on February 10, 2013 at 4:28

jtgun on February 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Media silence is old hat. Typical silence when the truth is hitting you in the face but yet you deny it. Silence about the truth of Benghazi, vetting Obama, 23,000+ staffers for Congress, Fast and Furious and the list goes on and on.

mixplix on February 11, 2013 at 4:15 AM

I have no interest in being the bigger person here, since three months from now the left will be screeching about hate speech and right-wing extremism over the smallest nothing comment from a conservative pundit. Here you have someone killing partially motivated by left-wing punditry. Every conservative with a soapbox needs to make the point early and often that this is a liberal nutcase who’s willing to kill over his convictions. Part of the reason why liberals have so much clout is because they spent all of Bush’s tenure doing the bloody-shirt-waving bit every chance they got.

jas88 on February 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

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