Michael Tomasky Egregious Double-Standard Watch

Back in November 2009, after Malik Hasan murdered 13 U.S. soldiers at Ft. Hood in cold blood, while shouting “Allahu Akbar”, CiF’s America correspondent Michael Tomasky was quite careful when mediating upon Hasan’s motives.

He said:

…We have much more to learn about Hasan before we can jump to any conclusions.

…average Americans pretty much know Palestinians only as suicide bombers. Sadly, for some Americans this event will reinforce an image of a people who resort first to mindless violence.…We should assume until it’s proven otherwise that Hasan was an American and a loyal one, who just snapped, as Americans of all ethnicities and backgrounds and political persuasions do.

In Sunday’s column, however, on Jared Lee Loughner – the man arrested for the brutal shooting spree in Arizona on Saturday which killed six and severely injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – Tomasky wasn’t quite as circumspect.

Tomasky said:

… You don’t have to believe that alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, is a card-carrying Tea Party member…to see some kind of connection between that violent rhetoric and what happened in Arizona on Saturday.

…He went to considerable expense and trouble to shoot a high-profile Democrat, at point-blank range right through the brain. What else does one need to know?

….to insist that the violent rhetoric so regularly heard in this country had no likely effect on this young man is to enshroud oneself in dishonesty and denial.

…This kind of rhetoric will go into hibernation now, but only for a bit. Because not only is it too central to rightwing mythology; it is central to Republican electoral strategy. This is one of those things that no one says, because it can’t really and truly be proved forensically, but everyone knows.  Fear gets people to the ballot box.

However, as blogger William A. Jacobson noted about Loughner:

Evidence in the form of farewell videos, internet postings, and the recollections of people who knew him reveal a profoundly disturbed person who had veered far into a paranoid world.  Loughner’s complaints about government mind control and other rants were not “anti-government” in any political sense.

Jacobson concluded:

The facts will come out about the shooting and murder by Loughner.  Until then, we’ll be subjected to the sickness of people who seek to use the crime to their political advantage and who will worry about the facts later on, if ever.

Beyond Tomasky’s desire to exploit this hideous crime for his own political advantage, it’s especially interesting to note how he fails to see the hypocrisy of railing against politically-inspired vitriol in the very column where he expresses a loathing, which can only be described as palpable, towards the opposition party he’s condemning – a party which represents the views of nearly 40% of Americans.

Most importantly, it seems to have eluded Tomasky that, in the context of accusing others of inciting violence (which he acknowledges he has no empirical evidence to support) that his publication, Comment is Free, has been identified by The Community Security Trust as one of the main purveyors of antisemitic hate in the British mainstream media in both its 2007 and 2008 reports.

Nor, does it seem, that Tomasky is aware of the dramatic increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the Europe in recent years, with the UK representing, by far, the most egregious case.

According to the report, by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary anti-Semitism, cited above:

The dramatic increase in [violent] antisemitic manifestations in west European countries was influenced considerably by the virulently [anti-Semitic and] anti-Israel discourse and propaganda.

So, the next time Tomasky moralizes about the dangers of political hyperbole and hate speech, and vilifies his political opponents based on the flimsiest of causalities, he may want consider that such condemnations would possess a bit more credibility if he wasn’t employed by a publication which routinely permits, and engages in, dangerous Judeophobic invectives.

Tomasky has made the somewhat accurate, if banal, observation that “fear” brings voters to the ballot box.  He may want to also acknowledge that, as CiF proves daily, it also brings people to your blog.

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