In a horrific series of events, which may not yet be over, two improvised explosive devices were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today, killing at least 2 and injuring over 20 others. As yet, there have been no confirmed reports of more bombs, and there are only conflicting rumors about a suspect in custody.
In an unusually appalling display of cynicism, pundits and commentators are already trying to turn this tragedy into a political talking point, while there is still blood on the streets, and no one could possibly have any information about what really happened. BuzzFeed reports the disturbing #falseflag tag started trending almost immediately after the news broke, while various unsupported accusations are being hurled at domestic right-wing and foreign Islamic groups.
1. InfoWars’ Alex Jones
Everything is a conspiracy; this is a thing; this must be a conspiracy. QED.
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) April 15, 2013
2. New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof
Never miss an opportunity to shamelessly exploit tragedy to score points on the other party.
After receiving a tsunami of criticism, he deleted the tweet and gave a surly non-apology.
3. Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin
Never miss an opportunity to make every story about your personal crusade.
Not writing on Boston. It is a local crime story for now.
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) April 15, 2013
4. NBC’s Luke Russert
It might be unfair to single out Russert, who’s only engaging in irresponsible speculation–like everyone else in the media.
I was at Fenway Park w my dad and @mikebarnicle during Waco which was on Patriots Day in 1993. Speculating on possible link.
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) April 15, 2013
5. Erik Rush
I have no words. Conservative columnist Erik Rush immediately blamed “Saudis” for the attack, and when asked if he was accusing Muslims of being behind the bombing, Rush responded:
Rush deleted the tweet, but RightWingWatch took a screen capture.
6. BBC’s Mark Mardell
Oh good! “Chatter” from anonymous sources! The most reliable kind of intelligence. If we had only had more responsible journalism like this we never would have invaded Iraq.
BBC’s Mark Mardell: Some “chatter” in intelligence community that “it could be home grown extremists”. Stresses too early for conclusions.
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) April 15, 2013
Lest you think no one had anything intelligent to say today, I offer three counter examples:
1. New York Times’ Ross Douthat
Ross need only have waited a few minutes for his Times colleague Nick Kristof to inform him.
Dreading the moment when we find out whose pre-existing political views this atrocity “vindicates.”
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) April 15, 2013
2. Former Governor Jim Gilmore
Keep calm, hug your children, call your Bostonian friends, and wait for the facts.
3. Comedian Patton Oswalt
If all this has left you feeling dirty, here’s Patton Oswalt with, I think, the right message–the one we should have heard from the media.
“The good outnumber you, and we always will.”