Opinion: Media Mangle

Death of a narrative

World's media forced to drop neo-Nazi meme for shootings in France

When an unknown gunman killed three people at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France on Monday, any reporter with a lick of sense should have first thought “Muslim extremists.” That they immediately jumped to “neo-Nazis” shows they have about as much judgment as the Southern Poverty Law Center crazies, who see Kluxers and neo-Nazi skinheads behind every bush.

The world’s media, including the vaunted Associated Press, went with the “neo-Nazi” meme because, well, that’s what they do. Muslim fanatics, in addition to being quick to chop off your head, are a protected class among the world’s media because they’re killing a lot of Jews and it’s politically incorrect to point that out.

But, lo and behold, we now find that the neo-Nazis who were immediately fingered had nothing at all to do with this heinous crime. In fact, all they were guilty of was once posing for a dumb picture giving the “heil” salute behind a Nazi flag. They never tried to kill anyone, nor, as far as anyone can tell, have never resorted to any violence at all. But, hey, there’s that Hitler thing of 70 years ago, so, you know…

It’s pretty much the same with the KKK, neo-Nazi and militia groups the Southern Poverty Law Center follows. They may be crazy, but when was the last time you heard of any of these groups going on a killing spree? Meanwhile, Muslim-extremist violence is a worldwide franchise and the fundraisers at SPLC act like Inspector Clouseau asking if you have a “lee-sawhnce for your minkey” while a bank is being robbed right behind them.

The AP has already airbrushed its mistaken neo-Nazi meme. Here is a screen grab that shows their original headline:

But if you click on that link, instead of “French hunt school killer, suspect neo-Nazi ties,” you get a story with the headline “French police ready to storm building for suspect.”

That later story, which never mentions the original neo-Nazi meme, contains the news that the gunman has al-Quada ties. What do you know? But nowhere in the story do they say, oops, we screwed up in our original story where we sincerely hoped that neo-Nazis were involved. And it wasn’t just the AP jumping on the right-wing-fanatic narrative. Here’s a screen grab of Google search results:

Interesting that the world’s media would so quickly jump to southern France’s Vichy past of cooperating with Nazis, instead of France’s current history of being a hotbed of Muslim extremist violence.