By Jack Engelhard
That man Paul Krugman is a master of selective outrage and he sure knows how to pick his spots.
The New York Times columnist has found the enemy and it is Sarah Palin and the millions who make up the Tea Party movement. Isn’t this a bit quick, this rush to judgment about the Arizona shootings that took the lives of six and wounded 14 including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords?
Krugman writes, “Where’s the toxic rhetoric coming from? It’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.” Really? Krugman himself sounds pretty toxic. Krugman even blames Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck for this “climate of hate.” On the basis of this New York Times column alone, Krugman ought to look into his own symptoms.
Rearing up so hastily and recklessly in faulting the right makes Krugman a partner to this crime – the crime of provocation. Krugman totally absolves his fellow traveler on the far left, Keith Olbermann, from any such incitement. Isn’t this the same Olbermann who ran a series on The Most Hated Man In The World, naming Bill O’Reilly more often than not? What’s that?
Yes, the far right has crazies too, but they don’t run The New York Times or any other major American newspaper or network. (If you say that I too, right here, right now, am stirring it up even more, I say, first, this is one’s man’s opinion, second, I do not write for anything as big as the Times, and third, nobody listens to me anyway.)
We could have used a calmer voice from The New York Times. That’s exactly what we got right after the Fort Hood shootings. Back then, Nov. 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting spree that killed 13 and wounded 30 soldiers. Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a mentor of Hasan’s, called Hasan a hero, adding, “Fighting against the U.S. Army is an Islamic duty.”
Surely others will correct me if I am wrong, but I do not recall any wholesale condemnation of the Islamic community for Hasan’s action, even though Hasan is an American born Muslim of Palestinian descent. Krugman and friends made sure to remind us – to insist upon us! – that this, the Fort Hood shooting, was an isolated incident. That man, they said, was simply deranged.
There was no rush to judgment. There was no rush to print in placing blame on either the Islamic or the Palestinian community – and this was the correct reaction. We are a much more decent society when we point to the individual, not to his affiliated community. Hasan was acting alone, period. That’s what we were told and that’s how it stands.
That was then. This is now. Suddenly, collective culpability!
Can we agree, for the time being, that the Arizona suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, acted alone? Or is it more convenient to go forth on a rampage of blame?
About the author: Jack Engelhard’s novel The Bathsheba Deadline, about a hero newspaper editor who fights against news media corruption, is available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His website is www.jackengelhard.com