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The Politicization of Terror

It's unfortunate that when tragedy strikes, the coverage itself becomes a part of the story. Sometimes this is done intentionally to push an agenda, and sometimes it just happens amidst coverage of a breaking story as you search for answers and reasons. Politicians and those associated with politics were not exempt from such shameful speculation, along with the media.

Barack Obama's former chief advisor David Axelrod speculated that he was sure what was going through the President's mind was that it was tax day. Axelrod seemed to back off that immediately saying, “You just don't know.” Well if you just don't know, then why speculate at all?

In a discussion with Democratic Massachusetts Rep. William Keating, Chris Matthews pointed out that “it’s filing day for the federal income tax, which does cause some emotions around the country, sometimes in the wrong parts of the brain.”

Chris Matthews also made the statement that “normally, domestic terrorists, people tend to be on the far right.” Apparently Matthews is woefully ignorant of the Weather Underground, ELF or other radical leftist groups which have engaged in domestic terrorism throughout our history. But Matthews went on to semi-clarify “...well that’s not a good category, just extremists, let’s call them that.” But Matthews went on to wonder why they would target the Kennedy Library, “a modern political figure of the Democratic Party. Does that tell you anything?” Yes, it tells us that Chris Matthews seems intent on pinning this on a right-wing domestic terrorist, who is upset by tax day or the Democrat Party or some other conservative political reason.

NBC News reporter Luke Russert speculated that this could be related to Patriot's Day, referring back to the events that took place in Waco, Texas in 1993.

It didn't end there with MSNBC. Former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur tweeted yesterday, “Our reaction as a country to Boston Marathon is going to be completely different if it's a Muslim w/ a bomb or a white shooter w/ a gun.”

Wolf Blitzer of CNN also seemed curious about the link between Patriot's Day and the bombings. He questioned within hours of the bombings, “One intriguing notion, one intriguing thought here, and I’m curious, Mike, and I’ll ask Matt to weigh in as well … It is a state holiday, in addition to the Boston Marathon. It is a state holiday in Massachusetts today called Patriots Day, and who knows if that has anything at all to deal — to do with these, these twin explosions.” He then returned to the issue of it being Patriot's Day leading into an interview with an eye witness.

CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen suggested that "right-wing extremists" could be behind the Boston bombings, not once but twice in his analysis.

Within about an hour and a half of the Boston bombings, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof took to Twitter to link Republicans to the bombings: "Explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment." After backlash, he reflected that he comment was a “low blow. I take it back,” and then he deleted the original Tweet.

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney went as far as to imply that the bombings in Boston were an inside job, tweeting: “The pattern is becoming too, too familiar. So, Boston cops were having a “bomb squad drill” on the same day ...”

Former Congressman Barney Frank took the opportunity to promote big government and the need for more government during tragedies such as this. He went on to tell CNN that “no tax cut would have helped us deal with this.”

The examples are plentiful. At the end of the day, our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families. It saddens me to see others around the world, like extremist groups in Jordan, celebrating such a tragedy in America. I cannot comprehend such hate. We hope that law enforcement will be forthcoming with the facts in due time, so as to put any speculation to rest and bring those responsible to justice.