Saturday, November 28, 2015

On the Media's Handling of the Planned Parenthood Attack

Tom Brown has raised some questions about it based on my earlier posts on the latest Colorado mass shooting.

"My impression so far is not that this is a cover up, but that just maybe the situation is a little unclear. You quoted an article that said the gunman said three were killed and others shot INSIDE the clinic. It was unclear to me who you were quoting, but nowhere else have I seen a description of who was killed and where they were located. One article implied that at least some of the people were shot in a shopping mall nearby."

I'm not sure which quote Tom is referring to that he's unclear about. If he were to quote me with the link to the post I'm sure I could show him. I must have linked to an article-I quoted from Talking Points Memo, and other sources earlier.

"I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt (the news orgs that is) and assume they don't want to turn speculation into a false headline."

I find that I'm less ready to do that. I find it very hard to believe that there is any motive here other than the obvious one. Planned Parenthood performs abortion videos and there was the recent fake videos. That already makes it a pretty huge coincidence that he just so happened to choose PP purely randomly.

There's different ways of analyzing such a tragedy. Tom seems to want to stick to painstakingly reading every single article out there and coming up with a verdict based on the preponderance of these many articles.

That's part of it but I think to really be able to understand what happened in such events you also have to use your intuition.

"So I thought the easiest way to cut to the chase on this was to look up who was killed and where... (for example, if it said "abortion doctor and nurse killed" then I'd know exactly what was going on)... but so far nothing."

"Did he kill PP personnel right away (doctors and nurses or patients?), and then barricade himself, only wounding others in the mall in his shootout will police outside?"

"Did he directly target people in this mall? Are the other two who died mall shoppers?"

So there is empirical evidence and intuition. My intuition makes me very skeptical that there was any other motive. I find this extreme agnosticism over motive pretty suspicious.

PP has been a lightning rod  and anyone who provides abortion services has been in danger for years. There is a history of threats and violence against such health clinics that has gone up exponentially since the fake PP video.

Tom on the other hand wants to just trust the media to be trying to do the right thing. Maybe he feels good about them right now as they are working so hard to destroy Trump. LOL.

I have to say that one issue I have with is something Tom ha said before-it was the exact same thing Sumner has said: I take people at their word.

There's the suggestion that you have to e pretty out there not to. I will admit to being a little more skeptical. I wouldn't say I always take people at their word-it depends who it is. Is it someone to paraprhase Kevin McCarthy who's 'trustable?' LOL.

What I do always do is factor in people's word. But I also factor in other things.

The one thing I will say to Tom is this: Just because someone isn't obviously crazy a la Ben Carson, just because they 'sound reasonable' to the casual eye doesn't mean they are reasonable, much less honest.

Here's a big point of contention I have. In this case, the media seems to want to painstakingly cautious, where no speculation whatsoever is allowed to be entertained.

You're not allowed to connect the dots like I have done. Yet, when the subject is say the Paris attacks or the attack on the Russian plane a few weeks ago, the attitude is very different.

When the Russian plane went down no one knew for sure what happened. However, Chuck Todd and the rest of the Beltway press-Andrea Mitchell, Joe Scarborough-were very anxious to say that they thought it was likely ISIS.

Now it seems ISIS was behind it. ISIS has taken credit, Russia has agreed-so at this point I agree we have to take this as what happened-unless we learn something new that changes things markedly.

But even before the facts were in the media was willing to connect the dots. What I find is that on issues of foreign terrorism the media is usually much less shy about speculating who might have done it and not mind quite possibly being wrong later.

But on what we should call domestic terrorism, the media seems to want it to be a speculation freezone.

What I do want to say is that there is a real desire among the Right to ascribe what happened yesterday to being about something other than abortion ,anything other than abortion.

Some might just be prepared to wait and see what the media turns up. But the Right is not waiting. They were not shy about claiming this was nothing but a bank robbery that went bad.

My reason why I feel like I can't just do what Tom is doing and 'wait for the facts' is that there are opponents of a woman's right to choose that are not waiting in the least and are determined to frame this narrative.

So for me, personally, being too timid to speculate whatsoever is not a luxury I feel that I and anyone who is concerned about a woman's right to choose can afford.

UPDATE: Here is the latest from the media after most of the day is done.

"Three people were killed and nine injured on Friday at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic in a mass shooting and standoff that the organization at first suggested was "domestic terrorism" before replacing that language with "horrific tragedy."

"The mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, on Saturday said authorities aren't ready to discuss a possible motive of the gunman but people can make "inferences from where it took place."

Read more:

So at least Mayor Suthers is allowing us to make inferences. The Right is going to want this to be ascribed to just a guy with mental illness. Of course, just because he's mentally ill doesn't mean he has no motive.

"Suthers says investigators have interviewed the suspect, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina, but authorities still want to learn more about him, suggesting that his mental health was part of the investigation, according to the Associated Press. Multiple media reports drawing on neighbors' testimony painted a picture of a recluse with a history of acting strangely."

Read more:

There you go. It was nothing to do with prolifers. The mental illness made him do it. Meanwhile. it's not enough that PP was the victim of this attack, GOPers are openly bullying them in addition.
"Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, criticized Planned Parenthood's initial statement on the shooting as "very premature" in an appearance on CNN. "If we find out that he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that," he said.

"Obviously, this is a person that has a mental health issue, that's to some level psychotic and crazy,” he said. "And if he's targeting Planned Parenthood — and again, we don't know — if he is, he has taken a legitimate disagreement with the practice and turned it into an evil response, which is to go in and shoot people."

Read more:

Blaming it all on mental illness. No need for gun control. No need to protect women's healthcare clinics. Just mentally ill people that nothing much can be done about. This is the narrative. 

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