Friday, November 6, 2009

MSNBC Take on Ft Hood-PTSS

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Nidal Malik Hasan

I am still awaiting further details on the Ft Hood shooting before I vent my spleen on this. Maybe I need to calm down a little too. I must say that I am concerned about senseless acts of retribution that may be carried out against innocent people in this country, and I pray that does not happen. Last night, I watched all three cable news networks to see how they were treating this incident. As usual, MSNBC dragged up the rear.

CNN and Fox did what they had to do; report the news as it came in. Of course, everybody was for hours under the erroneous impression that the shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan had been killed. That was not corrected until the news conference held at Ft Hood. It was also unavoidable to report that Hasan, a Muslim psychiatrist under orders to go to Iraq, was angry about his orders and had made statements to his fellow soldiers about Muslims rising up against the "aggressor" (US Military). It quickly became clear from eye-witness accounts that Hasan was angry about our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. CNN also obtained copies of Hasan's writings from a website referring to suicide bombings. Now it is reported that Hasan was yelling, "Allahu Akbar" as he went on his rampage.

Yet, MSNBC, at least Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, refused to report what appears to be the all-important motive; that Hasan's religious feelings had a role to play in his action. Both refused to even mention the fact that Hasan was a Muslim. Olbermann wanted to know how an Army psychiatrist, trained to help soldiers in combat, could fall victim to the same problem. Incredibly, Maddow interviewed two writers from Salon and Rolling Stone (or was it Village Voice?), who discussed the issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The latter writer described the recent spate of murders in and around Ft Carson, Colorado by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Maddow wanted to know if there were any parallels between Ft Hood and Ft Carson!!

Actually, Rachel, the answer is no. Hasan was clearly not suffering from PTSS since he had not been to either theater-unless you want to call it "Pre-Traumatic Stress Syndrome").

If we give MSNBC the benefit of the doubt and take the position that they were trying to head off angry reactions toward American Muslims, that has merit. However, as a news organization, how long do they think they can keep the lid on that issue of motive?

Like it or not, America has suffered a major tragedy, and wherever the truth leads, the motive for this act cannot be covered up.

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