November 3, 2011
WASHINGTON – Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, page A5, news brief: Four Georgia men accused of trying to manufacture a deadly toxin and attack government officials charged. Wednesday’s New York Times, the story was nowhere in the A section and relegated to A18 on Thursday. The Washington Post gave the story the whole of A2 Thursday, but with a new snow policy for federal workers beating it to page 1. From CNN.com to Fox News, it has already fallen off the radar at the time of writing. My mother, who reads a newspaper a day and gets more news in the car to work and on PBS in the evening, said she hadn’t heard of the four men from Georgia.
Remember the last time a Muslim terrorist plot hit the news?
That would have been a couple weeks ago when the Iranian government stood accused of trying to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US. The story was a lead story on many websites and news channels – for days.
No doubt the threat of Islamic terrorism remains real and warrants media attention. But so is that of home grown militias in a US whose socio-political divide has turned ever more radical of late.
This episode, corroborating that shift, should have directed the media to the fact that terrorism is not just a Muslim problem but, increasingly, a white if not Christian one too, abetted by racism, right wing hate radio and political movements feigning to share a lot in common with the Founding Fathers. The media’s failure to do so is a reminder that America still has a Muslim problem, and it’s home-grown all right.