Part of me didn’t want to write about this story anymore. After all, the whole point of this blog was to write about politics in Los Angeles and, more broadly, California. Then one day a couple of loser terrorists bombed the Boston Marathon, and the media establishment blew a collective gasket. I hate to say it, but it was more interesting than the actual story.
Frankly, I have no idea what’s going on. Was it desperation as a deadline approached that caused Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times to write that some of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Tweets “suggest a more Holden Caulfield-like adolescent alienation”? Or was it something more sinister? Perhaps schizophrenia or amphetamine psychosis? (Off-topic – The New York Times is supposed to be my cultural superior, and that’s the best literary reference they can find? If you want to find a loser pothead in literature who becomes an Islamic radical, look to Millat Iqbal in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. I can’t believe none of these supposed intellectuals has noticed that.)
Not to be outdone, Boston Globe columnist Joanna Weiss asks if we (which I assume to mean non-terrorists) can feel empathy for Tsarnaev. The silliness here is that major news outlets are no longer content to just look to the creeps at Media Matters or Think Progress for source material, and have begun cribbing ideas from a D List celebrity like Amanda Palmer. Who at the editorial desk went off his Thorazine and thought that that was a good idea?
Here’s what I think happened: In the media’s mind, there are two types of terrorists – Tea Party (white) and Muslim (not white.) They really really wanted the perpetrator(s) to be the former, but probably realized the possibility that they could be the latter. Thus, when it turned out that the suspects were white (not Tea Party) and Islamic, the collective media mind could not process such a seeming contradiction. They couldn’t blame the Tea Party for obvious reasons, and they couldn’t bleat about racism, so their entire reason for being disintegrated. The disconnect in the media’s racism cortex caused a psychotic break, and unleashed a torrent of “What Does It Mean?” that the average reporter or journalist’s mind was ill-equipped to handle.
Pray for them. Or laugh.