Thursday, May 21, 2009

White Supremacists target Black Churches...
Media Yawns?

Imagine what would happen if a handful of white supremacists acquired C4 explosive and planted the munitions around African-American churches in an obvious terror plot? How would the mainstream media cover this and what would the nation's reaction be?

Yesterday, May 20th four Muslim-Americans were captured by FBI agents in a carefully orchestrated "sting" operation as the home-grown terrorists were busy placing what they thought was C4 around New York City synagogues. The New York Post and the New York Daily News provided detailed, front page accounts of the attempted terror incident. According to the report in the Daily News the men,

"...wanted to make a statement," a law enforcement source said. "They were filled with rage and wanted to take it out on what they considered the source of all problems in America - the Jews."

The group's alleged ringleader, James Cromitie, according to the complaint, discussed targets with an undercover agent. "The best target [the World Trade Center] was hit already," he allegedly told the agent. Later, he rejoiced in a terrorist attack on a synagogue.
"I hate those motherf-----s, those f---ing Jewish bastards. . . . I would like to get [destroy] a synagogue."

So, how did some of the most respected mainstream newspapers report the story? Initially, the New York Times buried the issue with a diminutive AP report, though now the story has become too big to ignore. Nonetheless, the Times does its best to minimize the gravity and impact of this horrific terror plot. This is how the NYT's leads the story,

The four men arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y. were petty criminals who appeared to be acting alone, not in concert with any terrorist organization, the New York City police commissioner said Thursday.

It's not until the 11th paragraph that the reader learns the relevant details and again the Times does its utmost to diminish their importance:

The four men arrested are all Muslim, a law enforcement official said. Mr. Cromitie, whose parents had lived in Afghanistan before his birth, had told the informant that he was upset about the war in Afghanistan and that that he wanted to do “something to America.” Mr. Cromitie stated “the best target” — the World Trade Center — “was hit already,” according to the complaint.

At one level, we should applaud the NYT's for even reporting on the incident, as another national paper, the Washington Post has deemed the story largely irrelevant. Below is a screen capture of the current electronic version of the WaPo. One sees that the lead photograph is that of a cute and cuddly panda while the headline stories involve Obama's concern on the Gitmo detainees, the economy, etc. Where is the breaking splash about a domestic terror plot? Why, it's relegated to a tiny corner under the heading of "more headlines" - see screen capture two.

Clicking on the link brings the reader to a report written by Tom McElroy of the AP. This dispassionate piece is so sanitized that the reader is left wondering who the men were, what were their motivations, and why did this occur? The WaPo and Mr. McElroy violate every basic tenet of Journalism in their clearly whitewashed report.

Obviously, this terror plot is an emerging situation so details and information are still forthcoming. Yet, the lack of regard for the severity of this attempted domestic terror attack and the failure to provide relevant information on the part of mainstream media outlets is inexcusable. Had any other minority group in this country been singled out in this fashion, the media and politicians would have elevated this to the forefront.


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