Like many papers, my local paper is always good for tweaking conservatives’ levels of disgust.
Inside the front section, there was a very small article about the shooting at the Army recruiting center in Arkansas. Police do not consider that there is any chance of this being part of a conspiracy, the article assured us soothingly. This, in spite of the fact that the shooter was a Muslim convert, who said he did it because of what the military has “done to Muslims.” No mention that we have had and continue to have Muslim conspiracies in this country against the U.S. (Does anyone remember 9/11 anymore? They weren’t Unitarians. Remember the various plots to shoot up military bases or public buildings? Those weren’t upset Lutherans, either. They were all Muslims.) There were no discussions of the left-wing media’s continuing campaign to smear all members of the military as rapists, torturers, prisoner abusers, etc. because, of course, the media is pure and angelic in all of its behavior and opinions.
On the front page, however, there was an in-depth article about the murder of Dr. George Tiller. Plenty of ink was spilled about the possible conspiracy connections within the “anti-abortion” movement. Air time has been expended at length to call for the prosecution of all pro-lifers who condemned Tiller’s “business” and to blame the shooting on Bill O’Reilly, who had reported on “Tiller the Baby Killer” for some time. Pro-lifers have been painted as one giant conspiracy lurking across America, waiting to murder abortionists, in spite of a whopping four anti-abortion murders in thirty years.
(There have been more clear-cut “she refused to have an abortion, so I killed her” murders, not to mention those – what? dozens? hundreds? – that we never heard about because they were written off as “normal” domestic violence, just to put this in perspective.)
Our local paper sees itself as a valiant defender of First Amendment rights and a champion of public information.
But only when it serves their causes.
Like I tell my kids, it’s important to examine not just what is said, but how it is presented, what is insinuated, and what is left out.