The Media’s Double Standard on Jumping to Conclusions

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


The first response by the media to any act of violence is to blame it on shadowy right wing forces. Despite a complete absence of proof, journalistic wunderkinds like Luke Russert rushed to assert a connection between Tax Day, Patriots Day and the bombing of the Boston Marathon even though the connection was so tenuous it was hardly there.

The evidence that was amassed however pointed the other way. There is a Saudi student in custody and being questioned. There is a search out for another foreign man with dark skin and an accent. 364 Ocean Avenue, the building searched by police, appears to have a sizable number of Muslim tenants.

Those aren’t definitive proofs, but they’re far more definitive than the presence of some Newtown family members at the Boston Marathon. If there was any speculation to be made, it would point in the direction of the familiar threat of Islamic terrorism.

The Boston Marathon attacks had similar characteristics to some Al Qaeda attacks, including multiple timed explosions to inflict as much human damage as possible and it resembled some of the bomb plots that the FBI and law enforcement authorities had broken up over the last few years.

Nevertheless many people on the right chose not to jump the gun and counseled waiting until all the facts are out. Meanwhile the media brought on talking heads spewing the usual hot air about right wing extremism.

This isn’t anything new. Every time an attack happens, the media pushes its right wing conspiracy while pretending that Muslim terrorism doesn’t exist. When the perpetrator is Muslim, then the media reverses course and pretends that Islam is not a factor. Even when all the facts are in, then the media urges us not to jump to any conclusions.

Obama, the master of not jumping to conclusions, declared that a Christian filmmaker was responsible for Benghazi and had him locked up, but avoided calling multiple bombings at a public event an act of terrorism. He refused to give medals to American soldiers murdered at Fort Hood by a Muslim terrorist who had been in contact with Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki because it might influence that terrorist’s case.

There is one kind of conclusion that you can always jump to and one kind that you are never supposed to reach no matter how many facts are in.

The right-wing devil is always on the table. Islamic terrorism never is.

  • BLJ

    I will make it easy for the losers in the MSM. It was Muslims who did this. Wake up morons.

    • kaz

      thats absurd. we already know that the only threat of violence is right wing extremists and returning war veterans. we know it because the democrats told us so, and the media eagerly seconded that opinion. have the democrats and media ever been wrong? besides, muslims are the religion of peace. the hated george w bush told us so.

  • Spikey1

    • If only Boston had sensible bomb legislation this could of all been avoided.
    • Blame the bomb not the bomber.
    • It's a shame that we don't give money to backward muslim countries, they wouldn't hate us then.
    • A YouTube video caused this.
    • Hillary: "What difference at this point does it make?"

  • Spikey1

    Hold on one second there skippy;
    For the most part;
    Right wing folks SELL ammunition in stores legally, not GIVE it away, like Obama does to muslims the world over.
    Democrat folks SELL ammunition illegally on the streets of most Democrat controlled cities.

    See the difference???

    In all fairness I don't want to "understand" muslims in; hope, change, unicorn and a rainbow that they will become less violent, they just need to stop what they are doing. That and the news media should report the news and not give us their "opinion".

    • Spikey1

      "News is opinion"

      Just sitting here shaking my head as to how stupid that comment is.
      News should be about what happened, for everything we know happened in the past, opinion is not news unless it is to be considered entertainment, and if it is entertainment it shouldn't be called news.

      Here, I'm feeling generous so I'll help you out a bit today:

      Definition:
      News
      noun
      1. Newly received or noteworthy information, esp. about recent or important events.
      2. A broadcast or published report of news.

      No where in there does it say something to the effect of; "make shat up just for the fun of it" or "we need to have higher ratings so lets blame ________ to sell more ad space"

      BTW: I don't watch FOX much, it is much more fun to watch CNN and MSNBC and see through their lies and obvious opinions, masquerading as news, for myself. I call this sport; media bias-deciphering.

  • Ar'nun

    Revere, where the suspect's apartment is, and the neighboring towns have gone through a dramatic change over the last few years. I used to frequent a few restaurants in Malden and Everet (towns right next door from Revere) years ago. About 6 months ago I went there for the first time in about 3 years, and all joking aside, the place made me feel like I was back in downtown Kuwait City. I would say 9 out of every 10 people I encountered were dressed in authentic Middle Eastern clothing. It was a kind of scary.

    Revere used to be a great place to take the family. When I was a kid, the Revere Beach was beautiful and a great place for families. Today the beach is disgusting. Foreign nationals, mostly from South of the border have taken over the area, which is fine, but they obviously have different standards and are used to throwing their garbage on the ground. But the Middle Eastern presence is obvious as well there with convenience stores with signs in Arabic, to a "Mediterranean' restaurant on every corner.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Very interesting.

      • Ar'nun

        Used to be very blue collared and predominately Irish/Italian. The Port where a lot of the foreign goods including oil come in are right there in this area. And of course Logan Airport is in East Boston next door. I wonder why lots of Middle Easterners would want to live so close to the docks and airport???

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Similar situation in Jersey

          • Ar'nun

            I am afraid there will soon be similar situations in the majority of this country.

    • Anonymous

      That same transformation — suddenly seeing an area looking like downtown Cairo — has become the all too frequent norm here in Canada. (I noted this over a decade ago — the men in Arab garb; the women dressed in black, covered from head to foot; the store signage all in Arabic, etc).

    • kaz

      "foreign nationals, mostly from south of the border, have taken over the area, which is fine,"

      perhaps you will explain why this is "fine", and to whom it is "fine", other than democrats and other people who wish to replace the ligitimate population of america with foreigners. will it still be "fine" when foreign invaders have replaced 20% of our population? will if be "fine" when america hating democratic voting foreigners are 40% of our population? why are not the citizens who are able to think, who overwhelmingly want an end to immigration, consulted on the subject of giving our country away? why must only those who hate america be allowed to decide to give our country away, while the legal citizens are not allowed to participate in that extraordinarily important decision?

  • Ar'nun

    Ammnition?? Why such violent rhetoric?

    We could remain silent forever, and you morons will still try and blame us for everything.

  • NYJ

    There was no 'evidence' pointing any way at all, and the "Saudi student" is a witness, not a suspect…you're as ignorant as the other side, and even more dangerous- your feeble attempt to couch your bigotry in partisanship is obvious, obtuse and banal. Good luck on your manifesto…er, book.

    • Softly Bob

      Over 20,000 deadly Muslim terrorist attacks since 9/11. That's not bigotry my friend, that's common sense. Something that buffoons like you clearly lack!

  • Anonymous

    When in France several Jewish children and soldiers of North African descent were shot, media, politicians and the Muslim lobby were very quick to blame right-wing extremists and demanded more efforts to combat racism, police protection for Mosques etc. all over Europe. I remember the anchorman of the German public-service TV station's evening news declaring that there can be no doubt that right-wing radicals were responsible and everyone was talking how this clearly results from the rising levels of xenophobia among the population etc. etc. When it was revealed that the killer was Mohammed Merah, you wouldn't hear anyone of these people any more.

    • Rifleman

      I believe that was reported here at FPM, but it's a pretty safe bet ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN didn't find it very newsworthy. It might remind people of the similar pattern of consistent 'mistakes' they're trying to sweep down the memory hole over here.

  • kaz

    if the boston bombing is an act of jihad against those who do not worship the correct god and revere the correct desert psychopath, then again, the violent faction of jihad have given us a great gift. once again, we have adequate justification to round up all our muslims and send them to some islamic eden where they can be perfectly content, and never have to gaze upon an infidel. again, this will not happen, because, just like in 2001, fools are in control. in 2001, the archfool, in response to an act of war by islam against our country, pronounced islam to be "a great religion of peace". it boggles the mind to contemplate the praise that islam will receive from the muslim in chief if islam is proved to have committed the boston bombing. perhaps we will just declare sharia law and get on with the program decided for us by our "leaders".

  • Stefan v

    1. Your country and mine are not being given away they have already been stolen, and the little problems we’re experiencing so far are the pangs of eviction/consolidation. Expect them to increase exponentially. Soon the farce will be so transparently obvious that the charade will be dropped and the true program begun. That’s what the pre-fab camps and coffins and billions of bullets are for. Remember the declared ideal sustainable population target is under a billion. The camps are for the choice breeding stock, the surplus cattle are to be culled outside, mainly by the old progressive stalwarts of famine and pestilence.
    2. Please do not fall into the trap of attributing bizarre and evil behaviour to stupidity. They are evil done by evil for evil purposes, and as long as you permit the culprits to hide behind pretend idiocy, or even put that false fence up yourself, you are preventing action.
    3. Asking evil people nicely or reasonably to stop doing evil things is fruitless. So is expecting them to stop by themselves, or wait for someone else to stop them. You must be firm, fair and friendly, and then just fair and firm. You will need to be ready to use force. The longer you put it off, the more force you will need, but the less they will have permitted you to retain. The sooner you use force, the less of it you will need, and the less often you will need to employ it. When they get the upper hand, they will use excess force constantly, it is the only way they know to control others because they are morally corrupt and live on the basest level of unrestrained human nature; their own, and their patsies’. Also, it is fun.
    4. Evil is always in the majority. A few instigators, a lot of fellow travelers, and a small number of opponents. Keep the fence sitters on your side, and the harcore scumbags will slink about in fear. Let the scumbags have the ears of the mob, and you will be a slave under perpetual threat of instant violation for any reason, or no particular reason.
    5. Things have been permitted to go to the dogs so long, it will take much blood to rectify. If it is not rectified, there will be even more blood. Don’t be surprised if in times of great bloodletting you find yourself tempted to indulge in it. Be on guard against your own evil heart.
    6. Be wary of almost-friends. The ones that speak smooth words but which under intense scrutiny are proven to be false. It is in the details. Disinformation, misinformation, provocation…the work of the traitors among us. The death by a thousand cuts proceeds one cut at a time. Eventually the cutter gets bored and just hacks your head off and seeks a new playmate, so don’t think you’ve still got time to organise a defence while your tormentor is “only” up to cut #249.
    7. The present trouble is not because exisiting laws are inadequate, it is because they are not enforced. Or, they are corruptly used for perverse intent. Laws are for the chastisement of the lawless, not to force the law-abiding to behave. The more regulations, the more confusion, and everyone is perpetually guilty. This makes it easy for the lawless to rule; especially from behind the bench and the badge, but it starts with the pen and the teleprompter….

  • deniseandros

    Most of the media should be considered enemy combatants. They are at war with the GOD of Israel, Christians, loyal Patriots, and religious Jews the world over. It is mostly through their deliberate efforts to disseminate lies, and to conceal the truth, that their jihad against America is able to succeed, and to flourish.