Saturday, December 19, 2015

Media Serving The Right, As Usual

Alert Chuck Todd- and his colleagues: conservatives can be terrorists, too. On Tuesday, Mediaite reported

All Los Angeles schools were closed today overan unspecified threat authorities believed to be credible. And whether it was or not, NBC’s Chuck Todd called it a successful terrorist attack regardless.

He said that officials probably erred on the side of caution, but still argued, “This was a successful terrorist attack today. It wasn’t blood, it was fear. Okay, and fear shut down the second-largest school system.”

Disagreement reigns in regard to a terrorist attack. The FBI insists "domestic terrorism" must

Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and

Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

There is no "or"; the conjunction is "and,"  suggesting that all three characteristics must be present to constitute terrorism. (Its definition of "international terrorism" is the same except for the obvious difference.)

The definition seems unusually restrictive and probably would not cover the incident in Los Angeles because there was no explosive, hence no act dangerous to human life (unless students would have been in danger if they had instead attended school). Yet, many- if not most- Americans would consider the threat to the LA school system to constitute terrorism.

If it is,  Missouri's largest city experienced a terrorist attack on December 12.  RH Reality Check learned

Someone threw rocks through a window of a Planned Parenthood health center in St. Louis on Saturday. Police are investigating but have not released details on the incident, clinic officials said.

Planned Parenthood’s South Grand Health Center has operated since the 1970s, providing birth control, cancer screenings, well woman and well man exams, STD testing and treatment, and emergency contraception. The center does not provide abortion care.

“The center was closed at the time of the attack,” Mary M. Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said in a statement. “The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is always our number one priority. We are working with our security and operations staff to make sure we open safely on Monday morning. Our doors stay open—no matter what.”

Kogut said that police had detained a woman in connection with the incident.

Then on December 15 we learned

A Washington state man accused of posting threats on Fox Nation against employees of a Planned Parenthood partner in California was arrested by federal authorities last week, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Scott Anthony Orton posted comments vowing to pay anyone willing to kill employees for StemExpress, according to the criminal complaint from the FBI. StemExpress is a biotech firm that came under scrutiny for its work with Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue donation program and was a target of anti-abortion "sting" videos.

The comments Orton allegedly wrote called one particular StemExpress officer a "death-profiteer" who should be "hung by the neck using piano wire and propped on the lawn in front of the building with a note attached."

The complaint alleges that the 57-year-old Orton, who lives in Puyallup, Washington, made interstate threats, as Stem Express and the unnamed employee are based in California. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The term terrorism is abused  and the word terror thoroughly misunderstood (as it can apply to broad array of behavior).   We still don't know who called in the threat to  the Los Angeles Unified School District, nor why, but a major network anchorperson/correspondent refers to it  as "a successful terrorist attack."

By contrast, when someone throws a rock through a window at a Planned Parenthood facility, the motive probably was to discourage provision of birth control services and/or health care services. When someone calls StemExpress a "death profiteer" and threatens to murder its employees, his motive is clear.  When "no more baby parts" Robert Lewis Dear Jr (below, from Colorado Springs Gazette via YouTube). boasts that he murdered three individuals at a Planned Parenthood clinic, he clearly has committed a terrorist act.

And when none of these acts is referred to as "terrorism" while so many others are, you know it's your conservative mainstream media at work.

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