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News Troubling Coverage of the Fort Hood Shootings

  1. Nov 6, 2009 #1

    russ_watters

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    I'm disturbed by what I am seeing in some media's coverage of the Fort Hood shootings. It seems to me that some media outlets that lean left are downplaying or ignoring the possibility - probability - that this incident was religious motivated terrorism.

    In searching for motivation, Newsweek has a prominently displayed article suggesting the stress of being in the military may have motivated the killing:
    http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2009/11/06/is-fort-hood-a-harbinger-nidal-malik-hasan-may-be-a-symptom-of-a-military-on-the-brink.aspx [Broken]

    CNN recently put up an article playing a similar angle:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/06/military.psychiatrists.fort.hood/index.html

    USA Today's main article is better, but what I consider to be a key piece of information is buried 2/3 of the way down on the page:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2009-11-05-Fort-Hood_N.htm

    Obama said we shouldn't jump to conclusions. Yes, we live in an "innocent until proven guilty" society and that is a very safe, if useless thing to say (or maybe he's overlearned from his experience with the "stupid" cop comment?). We have very strong indications that this was an act of Islamic extremist terrorism and yet news organizations are speculating more prominently about some vicarious PTSD?! WHY? Why is the story being spun this way?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Nov 6, 2009 #2

    russ_watters

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    Much better, CBS posted an article late this afternoon (4:20, judging by the timing of the first comments that specifically explores the Islamic extremism angle (oh - its an AP article):
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/06/national/main5553466.shtml?tag=stack

    This pushed me to see what Fox News has to say. Fox news comes right out and says the likely motive:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,572571,00.html

    Notice the difference: One article mentions his issues but doesn't specifically link them to the shootings, the other comes out and explicitly connects them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Nov 6, 2009 #3
    it's not being "spun" that way. at this point nobody knows what his motive was
     
  5. Nov 6, 2009 #4

    russ_watters

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    Here's a good commentary that reflects my feelings on the matter:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/fort_hood_xjP9yGrJN7gl7zdsJ31vnJ
     
  6. Nov 6, 2009 #5

    russ_watters

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    The article is exploring the possibility that it was some vicarious PTSD and not exploring the possibility that it was terrorism. I'd like to know why they are exploring one possibility but not exploring the other.

    [edit: and please note: the possibility that it was vicarious PTSD is currently the cover story on CNN.com]
    Uh huh..... so your powers of critical thinking don't lead you in any particular direction?

    We're not in kindergarden. Thinking people can look at evidence and form opinions.
     
  7. Nov 6, 2009 #6

    mheslep

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    Couple of good posts Russ.

    After the Ft Hood the incident resulting in 13 non-muslims dead, 0 muslims dead, the BBC comes out with this headline:
    "http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8347586.stm" [Broken]"

    I note after the Tube bombing one wag wrote this appropriate http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzA2Y2E2MDU2YjQzOTQwZjUzNjcwZDA0OTE3YmFkYzg=" [Broken]of the BBC:
    “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing.”
    which they well deserved.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Nov 6, 2009 #7

    mheslep

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    Per all the news sources, Hasan never served a day anywhere near a combat zone, so any PTSD on his part is a red herring.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  9. Nov 6, 2009 #8

    Pengwuino

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    From what I heard on one of the coverages, someone claimed that there's a such thing as secondary PTSD, where someone who counsels people going through PTSD somehow also gain PTSD. Not sure the details, I wasn't paying to omuch attention unfortunately.
     
  10. Nov 6, 2009 #9

    lisab

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    An engineer just shot up his former work place in Orlando, Florida. OMG! What's his religion?

    That's a ridiculous question, isn't it? It hasn't been addressed by the media...well, he must not be Muslim.

    Chill out about Nidal Hasan's religion. The guy clearly had mental illness. He was born in the Virginia, a graduate of Virginia Tech. He is *American*...most likely, he is simply a mentally ill American.

    Mentally ill people often use religion as a scaffold for their illness...how many people in mental institutions identify themselves as Jesus?
     
  11. Nov 6, 2009 #10

    russ_watters

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    Yes, a similar angle is currently being played by CNN and USA Today.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-11-06-muslim-image-campaigns_N.htm
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/05/muslims.fort.hood/index.html

    It gets even worse: now the headline on CNN.com is "Family: Ft. Hood Suspect Faced Taunts" http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/06/fort.hood.suspect.muslim/index.html

    The vicarious PTSD is looking for excuses - this is blameshifting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  12. Nov 6, 2009 #11

    russ_watters

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    Exactly! In that case, religion clearly has nothing to do with the crime: he was a disgruntled ex-employee.

    In the Ft. Hood case, religion clearly did have something to do with the crime.

    If a woman named "Shannon" shot up an abortion clinic, would you have any doubt what her religion was or that she was motivated by it?
    It may well be that all Islamic terrorists are by definition mentally ill, but why does that mean we shouldn't talk about the issue? It is important!

    ...and he didn't identify himself as Mohammed. That's a false comparison.
    Were you aware that his parents were Palestinian immigrants and he has labeled himself as "Palestinian"?
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,572509,00.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  13. Nov 6, 2009 #12

    mheslep

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    Well I'd be totally uninterested in his religion, unless it was reported that he shouted http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,572448,00.html" even though he was born in the US.

    You assess Hasan is mentally ill on what basis? Is Bin Laden mentally ill? The 9/11 hijackers? All members of Al Qaeda? How about the Ku Klux Klan who draped themselves in religion? Do we Chill Out on them too?
     
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  14. Nov 6, 2009 #13

    lisab

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    Actually, as an atheist, I totally agree with you that using religion as a motivation for any hostile or irrational act is insanity, whether it's "Shannon" or "Nidal" doing the deed.

    So we agree that religiously motivated actions, when violent, are basically insane. But religious conservatives aren't castigated as a group every time an abortionist is shot.

    I guess when you're in a group that is thinking groupthink, everyone else in the group looks perfectly sane.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  15. Nov 6, 2009 #14
    Yes they are. Hasn't there been threads on this very board blaming FoxNews and O'Reilly for Tiller's murder?
     
  16. Nov 6, 2009 #15

    lisab

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    Complete nonsense. Conservative church goers felt no reason to hold their heads down or apologize the last time an abortionist was shot.

    And in fact, they shouldn't, frankly. The nut case who shot Tiller was insane, and those who hold the same religious views that he did should not have any responsibility for his actions.

    Do you think Muslims should shoulder responsibility for the actions of one of their fellow believers who does some insane act?
     
  17. Nov 6, 2009 #16

    mheslep

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    At least radical, restore the caliphate, Islamists, should take responsibility.
     
  18. Nov 6, 2009 #17

    Moonbear

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    While we don't really know his motives yet, I am very annoyed at the news channels that seem to be trying to dismiss his actions as somehow explainable because he was called names...yeesh...he's a psychiatrist, he should know how to handle stuff like that.

    I've even seen some people trying to blame it on a stigma in the military about mental illness hindering him from being treated for some underlying problem. Again, he is a psychiatrist...I think he would have known about available mental health treatment and not been worried about a stigma...or else maybe that was why he was getting lousy performance evaluations!

    Whether he was a terrorist or just a run-of-the-mill mass murderer, I don't particularly care, as long as his punishment fits; I don't see a lot of difference in what sort of punishment should follow either one of those.
     
  19. Nov 6, 2009 #18

    mheslep

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    Yes I saw those reports, but I'm skeptical. The guy was an officer, a major, and a doctor. That leaves a very small fraction of the military that could get away with harassing him.
     
  20. Nov 7, 2009 #19

    lisab

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    I don't agree with this. Asking a mentally ill person to correctly diagnose themselves as mentally ill is futile, even if they are trained in psychiatry.
     
  21. Nov 7, 2009 #20
    All muslims? No.

    One of my class mates who knew I had served in the military asked me If I would feel put upon inviting a devout muslim into my home, and I told him it depended on what they meant by "devout muslim." If it means the same thing as most peoples religions do—that it's a vague spiritual tradition that is mainly followed because it promises paradise and people think it teaches morality—then I would have no problem being the best of friends with a devout muslim.

    But if it means that they believe we should all live under sharia law and that my daughter's place is behind a Hijab, then I can only feel contempt for that person.

    I don't excuse peoples abhorrent beliefs just because they found them in a holy book.

    Honestly though, I do find it distasteful that the within minutes of the events we hear voices across America complaining about the possibilities of retaliations against muslims. When I hear about a woman getting harmed by a man, my first reaction is sympathy for the victim—not angst over whether it paints my gender in a bad light. We even had the murderer's cousin on the news trying to engender sympathy for the guy—he went so far as to call him a loyal American—as if the fact that he ha slaughtered a dozen unarmed soldiers doesn't disprove that assertion.

    As for the Tiller thing, do you really think that Pro-Life conservatives weren't expected to cut back the rhetoric after the murder? I recall all sorts of blame being tossed around at everyone who ever called Tiller a monster.
     
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