Murder of 3 Muslim students at UNC-Chapel Hill goes political quickly and wrongly

There was a horrible story out of North Carolina yesterday as another act of domestic terrorism hit the news. Three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill were shot to death by a local man who later turned himself in.

Police charged a North Carolina man Wednesday with the murder of three Muslim students, but any motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately clear.

The shooting occurred about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, when police responded to gunfire and found the three victims dead in their apartment in Chapel Hill. All three were shot in the head, WRAL reports.

This was a horrific crime, and when news of it broke on social media the outrage was quick to follow. The headline produced the expected hashtag of #MuslimLivesMatter and it started picking up a head of steam quickly. Liberal CNN commentator Sally Kohn was quick on the draw this morning on her Twitter account.

You get the underlying message, right? The media isn’t paying enough attention because it was a white guy who shot the Muslims. And given that set of factors, he must have been some hard core, right wing nutjob. It’s some great spin to put on a story for the progressive narrative journalism hit of the day. But there was one problem with that shoot from the hip analysis.

A review of the Facebook page of the man charged in these murders, Craig Hicks, shows a consistent themes of anti-religion and progressive causes. Included in his many Facebook “likes” are the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups, and a host of anti-conservative/Tea Party pages.

Remarkably, one of the four Facebook groups he had joined included “Religious Tolerance”.

So, Sally… do you still want more media coverage of the Rachel Maddow fan and gay marriage supporter who gunned down these students? (Oh, and for the record, I saw coverage of the shooting on both CNN and Fox before Sally tweeted about it and it was on the top of the Google News page when I opened it up. Nobody was ignoring the story.)

Some of us never learn our lessons it seems. We live in a culture of instant news distribution, and things which used to take weeks or months to come to national attention – if they ever did at all – now travel across the web to an army of waiting tweeters in a matter of moments. But in the rush to be the first to comment on a story, you leave yourself open to some embarrassing mistakes if your assumptions fall through.