Praying For The Worst, And Other Acts of Journalism

Call yesterday’s events in Boston what you will: tragic, terrorism, or some variance of either, our masters in the Fourth Estate had trouble keeping their desires hidden. The leader of the pack was of course, Chris Matthews:

“I was just thinking, again, it’s early; it’s an early situation, but going after the Kennedy Library, not something at Bunker Hill, not something from the freedom trail or anything that kind of historic, but a modern political figure of the Democratic Party,” he said “Does that tell you anything?”


“Let me ask you about domestic terrorism as a category. Normally, domestic terrorists, people tend to be on the far right, well that’s not a good category, just extremists, let’s call them that. Do they advertise after they do something like this? Do they try to get credit as a group or do they just hate America so much or its politics or its government that they just want to do the damage, they don’t care if they get public credit, if you will?”

And David Axelrod:

“The word has taken on a different meaning since 9/11,” Axelrod said of the phrase “terrorist attack.”

“You use those words and it means something very specific in people’s mind. And I’m sure what was going through the president’s mind is — we really don’t know who did this — it was tax day. Was it someone who was pro–you know, you just don’t know. And so I think his attitude is, let’s not put any inference into this, let’s just make clear that we’re going to get the people responsible.”

I don’t generally have a problem with speculation. Look, it was tax day yesterday, and yes, there has been “right-wing” terrorism in this country from Tim McVeigh to that Eric Rudolph guy that bombed abortion clinics. What is so maddening is how politicians and journalists are constantly on the lookout for political opportunity. No matter what Rahm Emanuel does the rest of this life, he will be remembered for saying “Never let a crisis go to waste.” When Chris Matthews got word of the Boston Marathon bombing, he was praying for it to be right-wingers that did it. Like Paul Krugman and other fellow travelers on the left, they spend every minute of every day looking for anything that will prove their world view to be correct. When Matthews or Axelrod speculate that it’s tax day or try to convince us that most domestic terrorism is right-wing (just forget the Weather Underground or SLA), it’s just their version of praying to G-d. “Please let it be right-wingers so we can say ‘Told you so!'”

It’s sickening, but I’m not ready to pass sentence just yet. We all do this in one form or another. Part of me prays it’s not “right-wingers” because I don’t trust my government and fear that if this is so, it will be used by my government to take away more of my freedoms much the way they’re trying to use the Newtown shootings to do so. Many on the left are praying it’s not Islamic terrorism because they fear it gives credence to many on the pro-war Right.

What an absurd exercise it is being human.

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