The blame game in Boston

In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, speculation was rife as to the motives and identities of those responsible for the carnage. The modern media landscape, defined by non-stop coverage and a mass array of instant-ready outlets, became the backdrop for for a variety of commentary and conjecture.

Jonah Goldberg writes in National Review Online that some of those public voices were all too eager to (perhaps implicitly) ascribe blame to the political Right for the attacks. NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston reported early on that “the thinking” among (unnamed) officials was focused on anti-government or right-wing individuals, for example.

I haven’t listened to the full edition of “All Things Considered” for the morning of April 18, only an excerpt containing the material Goldberg quoted. It’s possible Ralston was merely reporting accurately what she was gleaning from sources connected to the investigation. Yet her choice to offer listeners this generic and unattributed type of information, and her delivery style in doing so, do seem to contrast with the circumspect, lamenting approach of NPR et al in handling information connecting Islam to terrorism.

Goldberg puts this readiness to point the finger in historical context, from Franklin Roosevelt labeling the Republican-led 1920s a time of fascism to Michael Bloomberg hypothesizing that the unsuccessful Times Square bombing attempt might’ve been upset about President Obama‘s new health care law.

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