Being conservative means that often the question of “what if" comes to mind. What if some event had been the other way around? Or, what if a conservative had said what that liberal just said? The question, though usually rhetorical, is often asked. So often, that it is becoming a bit cliché and hackneyed. But seriously, sometimes one has to wonder what if…?
Every time some crazy person snaps or commits an act of violence the main stream media and or the intelegencia on the left inevitably feel compelled to try and create a link, no matter how thin the thread, to someone or something on the right. Several examples come to mind. Not long ago, Keith Olberman went so far as to blame Bill O’Reilly for the murder of abortion doctor, Dr. George Tiller. After the Oklahoma City bombing, President Bill Clinton famously tried to pin the blame on conservative talk radio. And of course the media have gone out of their way to malign the entire Tea Party movement in order to support their narrative that the Tea Party members are hateful racists and their rhetoric incites violence.
Well Wednesday a very disturbed man entered the Discovery Chanel building in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was armed and took hostages. He also had a list of demands, demands that according to the gunman’s website had their genesis when he experienced an “awakening” when he watched former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. As we learn more about James Lee, the crazed gunman, it becomes evident that he was obsessed with saving the planet. Does this mean that the environmental movement is inciting violence? Does this mean that the green movement is responsible for Mr. Lee’s act of terror? Will Keith Olberman be blaming Al Gore for Mr. Lee’s hostage taking and ultimately his death?
No, of course not. Whenever a horrific act is perpetrated by someone who espouses views that are left of center, the media never look to the views of the person. Instead, the media determine that the individual is disturbed, a loner, an outlier or a sick person. Never do the media make the same connection to the person’s liberal ideology as they most certainly would if the perpetrator listened to talk radio or liked Glen Beck. Not once will they mention which news channel Mr. Lee preferred, unless he watched Fox News. Rest assured, had he been a fan of Fox News, the media would be all over the story and would have made the quantum leap to claim that he had been stirred up and incited by his choice of media outlet.
Until the media can be honest with themselves, the “what if” question will be asked. Let’s face it, there are a lot of disturbed people in the world and they are on both ends of the political spectrum. Al Gore is no more responsible for James Lee taking hostages as Bill O’Reilly was for the murder of Dr. Tiller. James Lee was a disturbed individual who found a cause he could use as a vehicle for his craziness. Nobody but Mr. Lee can be blamed. But let’s face it; what if it had been revealed that he listened to Rush Limbaugh? The stories on the news this morning would be very different.