by John Grooms
Its fascinating to see reactions to the political killings in Norway by members of the American right-wing media and blogosphere. From the moment reports of the massacres started coming in, the world of Fox News, AM talk shows and far-right websites got all puffed up and began denouncing the evil Islamic terrorists who, without a doubt, perpetrated the horrid events in Oslo. Pretty soon, however, reports from Oslo made it clear that the killer, Behring Breivik, was a far-right Islamaphobe; in other words, he had views that represent the U.S. right-wing medias bread and butter. It was almost comical: the sudden Ohh, shit realization, followed by the immediate and I mean immediate defensive backtracking. Whoa, whoa, well, some folks just carry their ideas too far, ahem ahem, and were going to have to double-check these allegations that Breivik is what the leftist Norwegian government says he is who knows?
When there was finally no doubt left about the killers cold, deliberate hatred of multiculturalism and Islamic immigrants, it was as if Fox and its mob of imitators alternately couldnt grasp the truth, or tried to sidetrack it. Some, like RedStates Eric Erickson who it still boggles the mind has been given a spot on CNN as an analyst, simply kept on talking about the evils of Islam, as if nothing had changed. Others, like Mark Steyn at the National Review, asked how Breivik could be an Islamaphobe since the people he killed were dozens of other blonde blue-eyed Aryan Scandinavians. Maybe someone hadnt explained to him about Breiviks public anti-Muslim online rantings; maybe he just didnt want to hear it. The worst of all this will not be a surprise was Glenn Beck. Although Beck was finally shit-canned by FoxNews, where his increasingly unhinged comments became too much even for them, he still has a national radio show, and he used the program to say that the kids who were killed at the political summer camp sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids thats all about politics? (Besides the obvious outrage of his equating massacred kids to Hitler Youth, Beck doesnt seem to remember that he sponsors the Tampa Liberty School, a right-wing camp for kids ages 8-12. Thanks to Alternet for that sidelight to Becks odious comments.)
Now, God forbid that we say that Americas anti-Muslim right-wingers who slander all Muslims as potential terrorists, claim that Western civilization itself is threatened by an influx of Muslims who want to destroy America and impose Sharia law on everyone yes, God forbid that we point out that these nuts actually have a lot in common with Behring Breivik and his views which, come to think of it, are pretty much the same as those spouted by Beck, Erickson and company. The truth of the matter and the U.S. mainstream media, if theres an iota of real reporting left in them, should dwell on this is that Breivik proudly claims various American Islamaphobes as his inspiration, he cites them by name in his manifesto, specifically the frenzied imbeciles behind the Ground Zero Mosque madness. Read all about Breiviks American influences here.
Keep in mind that American Islamaphobes are well-financed, coordinated, and dedicated to stirring up hatred of all Muslims. In the U.S., so far, this has resulted in burned Korans, some demonstrations, and vandalism against mosques. The horrors in Norway are a wake-up call to the potential consequences of dehumanizing others; if there was a shred of decency left in the Hannitys, Limbaughs and Becks of the world, they would seriously examine their careers and consciences now. But then, theyd have to actually have a conscience.
Here is a graphic from ThinkProgress that shows which American Islamaphobes were cited by Breivikin his manifesto: