Media Political Correctness

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With the events unfolding after the Fort Hood shooting last week, many of the people I know have commented on the issue of “political correctness”. Reality is, we’re all politically correct most of the time, although we call it “social decency” or whatever euphemism you choose to use. We refrain from using vulgar language in front of our grandparents, children, bosses, etc. I know, its NOT really the same thing, but it kind of is, we avoid certain actions to prevent being offensive to someone else, which is totally okay for most of us. And in the wake of America electing the first African-American president (although, since we’re calling a spade a spade today, he’s half black and half white), race and religion have been hot button issues in this country. But there’s a fine line between not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings and reporting the news, unfortunately the American media takes it too far and will avoid offending anyone, at any cost.

The events of November 5th, 2009 were horrific, the nation was once again glued to the T.V., watching CNN, FOXNEWS or MSNBC to see what what happening. By the time the news broke, the situation was over and the speculation began. I was on twitter when the news of the shooters name was released, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and instantly the tweets/conversations turned to anger. I saw tweets about how we need to ban all Muslim soldiers from the military since they can no longer be trusted, and others about how we should refrain from snap judgments solely based on the name of the (at the time) alleged shooter. Fine, we can all respect everyone’s point of views and opinions. But the weirdest thing was that almost no one used the word, “terrorist” or “terrorism” UNTIL the name of the shooter was made public.

Then we had the fall out from the news networks, reports that Shepard Smith (FOX) refused to say the name until it has been independently confirmed. Then there were some on the right and the left calling it a terrorist act, others simply said he snapped and went crazy. What I find to be utterly ridiculous is that if it had been a white male shooting an abortion clinic doctor…oh wait, yeah, back in June, when Dr. George Tiller was killed by a, oh what did Olbermann call him?? Oh yeah, A DOMESTIC TERRORIST. (courtesy of: Tim Graham, News Busters)

“Domestic terrorism: Dr. George Tiller — women’s health physician, performer of legal abortions — is assassinated in his church. And in the very same sentence, anti-choice zealots wash their hands of his murder and say he had it coming.

A religious jihad by fundamentalist crusaders who believe that murder is justified, their acts of violence having the intended effect of changing behavior. Our fifth story on the Countdown: Not the Taliban, not Hamas, not al Qaeda. If the brutal murder of Dr. George Tiller — the Wichita OB/GYN who, among many other things, provided abortions — does not qualify as an act domestic terrorism, what does? -Keith Olbermann”

THAT WAS THE SAME DAY OF THE SHOOTING IN KANSAS. But hey, lets contrast that with what he said the day of the Fort Hood shooting,

OLBERMANN: And there — is there an expectation that at some point, his goals and his personal goals got merged with some anti-American point of view? Is this going to wind up being classified as a terrorist act? What do you think about that aspect that so many people want to know about?

Um…really?? Its ok to call a crazy white man a domestic terrorist, but to call a man who yelled “ALLAH AKBAR!” before killing 13 of his fellow soldiers a TERRORIST is a concern? WOW.

Then we got this wonderful article by TIME, excusing the TERRORIST’S actions by saying that his mental breakdown was caused by ‘secondary trauma’. The article basically states that because he was a mental health professional who helped soldiers coming back from war (note: Maj Hasan had never seen combat) that he suffered from PTSD due to hearing about all the horrible things the soldiers had gone through. Yeah, that explains the fact that he was posting all kinds of crazy pants pro-homicide bomber crap on the internet, trying to contact Al Qaida, and why the FBI has a FILE on this guy. Good job TIME Magazine!

Why are so many people in the media afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings? The REAL peace loving Muslims won’t be offended (they really do exist, I know quite a few). Who will? The random fringe lefty groups that also hate it when you call women “chicks”, that’s it. Maybe the real problem is that all of the “news” outlets are doing so poorly that they can’t afford to offend anyone.

I don’t get why we as Americans STILL have to dance around race and religion, who the hell cares! If one black man kills another human being, do we label all black men as killers? Um, no. If a crazy white guy kills an abortion doctor, do we call ALL white people DOMESTIC TERRORISTS? (well…maybe the DHS does…but that’s another topic) No, we don’t. Same goes with Christians, Jews, and Muslims and any other religion. We understand that there are some bad people in this world and there are some really great people. If people would get their panties out of that tight bunch, we actually might be able to report the news accurately, if we could understand a few simple rules of humanity, and get rid of all the damn euphemisms, we could probably progress as a nation, you know, to actually get to that “Post-Racial America” that everyone keeps talking about but does nothing to achieve.

One thought on “Media Political Correctness

  1. After 911 it would not be hard to stir the pot of racism against Muslim just because one Muslim Soldier cracked under the pressure of getting called out to duty over seas. It does require very delicate handling to keep hate crimes in reaction to this tragedy under control regardless of this guys motives and intensions.

    Language is important, it leaves impressions that can ripple into a butterfly effect. What we say does affect other people and it is important. Integrity is important, so is the safety of Muslim families that would be the target of fear and ignorance of those who take the term “terrorist” to feed their hate for a race or belief system different from their own.

    In 2004 the FBI repoerted over 500 attacks on Muslims and their facilities in the wake of 911. In short two wrongs doesn’t make a right and even though we have come a long way in diversity, 911 taught us we still have a long way to go.

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