A simple, open-and-shut case of Islamic terrorism, a copycat attack identical to attacks in London, Barcelona, Berlin and several other cities within the past two years. It is so simple — the only planning required is to choose the time and location (anywhere and anytime there are lots of people), make sure your driver’s license is in order and have a credit card. Bingo, you’re a murdering terrorist. Utterly brilliant in its simplicity, turning the most ordinary of machines into an almost-fool-proof killing machine.
A simple, open-and-shut case of Islamic terrorism, that is unless you are National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” I’ve been a regular listener of “Morning Edition,” which is carried by East Tennessee State Univesrity’s public radio station WETS-FM for decades. In spite of its often irritating left-wing bias — for example, NPR was loudly and proudly all-in for Hillary Clinton last year and to this day can’t say “President Donald Trump” except through gritted teeth — “Morning Edition’s” reporting is wide-ranging, the reporters are given time to put the story into context, and (even if the bias shows) they usually try to present both sides and usually succeed. So for someone who makes no pretense of his conservative bias, “Morning Edition” and its evening counterpart “All Things Considered” are a welcome reality check and occasionally a needed antidote. Anyway, I usually find political correctness funny.
But political correctness can be carried too far. Here is how reporter Hansi Lo Wang covered the story (you can find the podcast at npr.org/programs/morning-edition/) and I quote: “ … Well, New York’s Police Commissioner, James O’Neill, said the suspect made a statement when he got out of the truck, and O’Neill would not confirm exactly what the suspect said, but the Commissioner did say that that statement, plus the way that this attack was carried out, driving a large vehicle into a crowd, which ISIS has promoted and posted detailed instructions for online, that’s why NYPD and the mayor are calling it a terrorist event. And just want to point out that NBC and other media outlets have reported that a note was found in the truck that shows that the suspect claims he carried out the attack for the Islamic State, but NPR has not confirmed it at this point.” (Host David Folkenflik) “So, a lot for the authorities to work through here.”
Gee, ya think?
At this point I turned off the radio, and I doubt I’ll be turning on “Morning Edition” again. For me, this was the moment that the show jumped the shark. It has finally become so ridiculous, such a paradigm of political correctness, that it has become a self-parody. It’s one thing to bend over backward in a scrupulous attempt to be fair. While it may be a bit strained, that’s the right thing when there is a reasonable doubt about what happened. It’s something else again to deliberately and knowingly obfuscate the blindingly obvious.
Particularly when the whole charade is for no other reason than to protect the feelings of some supposedly victimized group — in this case, apparently, misunderstood Islamic terrorists and their supporters. It would be funny if eight people weren’t in the morgue and more than a dozen in the hospital. As it is, though, one is left wondering how these oh-so-earnest NPR journalists can be oh so clueless.
Guys, let me explain it to you. Islamic terrorism is real, and it’s evil. ISIS is evil. Al-Qaida is evil. Their supporters are, at the very least, religious bigots and Islamic supremacists who enable evil. They cut off people’s heads, burn them alive in cages, ram airplanes into buildings, mow down innocent people minding their own business. These things are beyond dispute. You don’t have to pussyfoot around it. You shouldn’t pussyfoot around it. You look ridiculous when you do.
What you should be doing is calling a murdering Islamic terrorist a murdering Islamic terrorist. That’s not bigotry, it’s just stating the obvious. Obvious to everyone, that is, who isn’t lost in an ideological bubble in which everyone has been brainwashed to believe in the false doctrine of radical equality. To which I say, if Western culture is equal to a culture that justifies and celebrates the murder of innocents to spread its religion, then Western culture is lost, and deserves to be.
Kenneth D. Gough of Elizabethton is a semi-retired businessman.