More than five years have passed since the deadly Tucson shooting and the shameful media spectacle that followed it, but it seems the progressives on the NY Times’ editorial board have learned nothing from past mistakes. Today the Times has an editorial which, once again, connects a shooting to a generalized climate of hate which is, of course, the fault of Republicans. Here is a portion of the NY Times’ editorial which is titled “The corrosive politics that threaten L.G.B.T. Americans.”
While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians. Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain. Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish.
Omar Mateen told a 911 dispatcher what his motivations were. He killed 49 people in solidarity with ISIS and their extreme Islamic beliefs. ISIS, it must be noted, routinely murders gays (or people suspected of being gay) by throwing them off tall buildings. In other words, there is no reason to doubt his hatred of gays could stem from his religious leanings.
In addition, we know the FBI had twice investigated Mateen for possible Islamic radicalism. Every authority from the president on down has indicated this was an act of home grown terrorism, an apparent case of self-radicalization. How much more precise to do we need to get on the killer’s motivation?
But the intentional vaguery on Mateen’s motive is necessary so the Times’ editorial board can make the leap that comes next. Here’s the set up, “Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain.” And here’s the payoff, “Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish.” The Times editorial board has just connected a mass murder by an ISIS’ inspired terrorist to “Republican politicians.”
This is the same shameful lie we saw after the Tucson shooting in 2011. Within an hour or so of that shooting, leading voices on the left, including Paul Krugman at the NY Times, were busy blaming the murders on a political map created by Sarah Palin. They had no evidence to support these claims. Eventually we learned why: The claims were completely false. To this day, no evidence has ever turned up to support the claim that Jared Lee Loughner was inspired by a political map, by Sarah Palin, or by any political speech.
They made it up.
Here we are 5 years later in the wake of an even deadlier shooting and the Times is once again suggesting the tone of Republican politicians is responsible. Once again there is no evidence for this. None whatsoever. On the contrary, there is plenty of evidence from Mateen’s own mouth that he was motivated by Islamic extremism, something the president himself has confirmed is the case.
The editorial concludes, “The 49 people killed in Orlando were victims of a terrorist attack. But they also need to be remembered as casualties of a society where hate has deep roots.”
This crime, like the one that took place in San Bernardino last year, has no roots, deep or otherwise, in America. Its roots are in Syria and Iraq and, more generally, in the world of Islamic extremism. It’s truly remarkable how much energy the NY Times’ editorial board is willing to put into obscuring that connection.