This week, the world joined with the people of France in mourning and solidarity, following a deadly terrorist attack on the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper. Wingnuts wasted no time scoring political points.
On Wednesday, men wearing hoods and wielding AK–47s killed 12 people in a terrorist attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. They killed 10 journalists and two police officers, and injured 12 others. The police presence was part of the permanent protection the magazine was given after a firebomb attack in 2011. Video posted to social media showed the gunmen running through the streets and firing weapons, while shouting, “Allahu Akbar” and “The Prophet is avenged.”
The magazine — which has gleefully skewered other religious institutions, and politicians on the left and right — may have been attacked for its portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad. The 2011 firebombing followed the publication of the magazine’s “Charia Hebdo” issue, “guest edited” by Muhammad, which depicted the prophet saying "100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing. In 2012, the magazine defended the publication of a series of satirical cartoons and nude caricatures of Muhammed.
It’s times like these that people reveal who they are. Thousands gathered in New York, Berlin, London, and other world capitals to stand with Paris and the people of France. Some held signs reading, “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”). Some held pens in the air, to show their support for free speech. Just days earlier, iconic landmarks in Germany went dark to protest a march by the anti-Islamic group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA). The Cologne Cathedral, Berlin’s Brandenberg Gate, and the city’s TV tower turned off their lights, rather than be a backdrop for the anti-Islamic movement.
- Naturally, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News gave the Paris attacks the “Benghazi treatment,” while the rest of the world mourned.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina), one of the first Americans to comment on the Paris attack, said “We’re in a religious war. These are not terrorists. They’re radical Islamists who are trying to replace our way of life with their way of life.”
- Fox News host Eric Bolling called on the New York Police Department to engage in more racial profiling and stop-and-frisk activity in the wake of the Paris attacks.
- Fellow Fox Newser Andrea Tantaros said “leftist mayors like de Blasio” and the Obama administration had “taken those tools away at a time when we need them the most,” and claimed that “targeting mosques” is “crucial” in stopping terrorist activities. (Actually, President George W. Bush banned racial profiling in 2003, and he was fulfilling a campaign promise when he did it.)
- Speaking in support of profiling, Fox News’ Shannon Bream asked asked, “Do we even know what color they were? … What the tone of their skin was. I mean what if they didn’t look like typical bad guys?” Because “typical bad” guys always look like what?
- Fox News guest Tom McInerney, a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant General, said that “political correctness” caused the Paris attack, and New York City’s “communist” mayor will cause another attack right here.
- Sean Hannity asked whether the US wasn’t making a mistake by “not insisting on assimilation” from Muslims.
- Hannity also claimed that welfare caused the Paris attacks.
- Laura Ingraham said the French “reap what they sow” due to France’s immigration policy. “The principle of multiculturalism and open borders… is pure insanity,” Ingraham said, “a suicide pact.”
- Ingraham also said that such attacks wouldn’t happen if “most Muslims were against what’s happening.”
- When Haris Tarin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council pointed out “there’s Muslims on the front lines … who are dying,” Fox News Bill O’Reilly cut him off, saying “Here’s the deal with the no-spin zone. When you say something that’s ridiculous, I’m going to interrupt you.” Never mind that Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet was one of the 12 people killed in the attack.
- Oklahoma Republican state representative John Bennett demanded that a Muslim organization denounce sections of the Quran that he doesn’t like. Bennett didn’t mention which parts of the Bible he would denounce in return.
- The National Review’s Jim Geraghty used the attack to suggest that more guns in public places, like “media offices in New York City and Washington” would make Americans safer from “Paris-style attacks.”
- Right-wing pundit Erick Erickson called the LGBT community “terrorists,” and compared the Paris attack to the firing of Atlanta’s anti-gay fire chief.
- Fox’s Bob Beckel said that acceptance of radical Islam is “sort of like” acceptance of multicultural or interracial dating.
- And just to prove how little distance there is between religious fanatics, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League actually said Muslims were right to be angry at depictions of Muhammad. Of Charlie Hebdo publisher Stephane Charbonnier, who was killed in the attack, Donohue said, “It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.” Maybe Donohue is still smarting from Charlie Hebdo smacking the Catholic Church over child sexual abuse.
Typical, right? America’s wingnuts are conveniently confused about what constitutes a terrorist attack worthy of full-on Fox News freakout. Besides the wingnuttery above, they kept busy moving the goal posts on what the Obama administration should call attacks like the one in Paris. It was bad enough that that White House press secretary Josh Earnest waited 30 whole minutes for confirmation before calling it “an act of terror.” Now apparently, calling it “an act of terror” isn’t enough. Now the White House “has to say Islamist terror” or risk being “soft” on terrorism.
Meanwhile, we haven’t heard a peep from the right about some terrorist acts closer to home:
- Remember when Fox covered that beheading in Oklahoma for 13 weeks, because the guy who did it was a Muslim but ignored a beheading in Florida by a Christian guy whose friends called in a “religious zealot”?
- Three Georgia “militia” members pleaded not guilty to domestic terrorism charges this week. The FBI busted the “militia” members last year, after they participated in online chats in which they discussed plans to launch attacks against an Atlanta police station and other government agencies. Their plans included: “road blocks, TSA checkpoints, sheriffs/police conducting operations outside the Constitution,” and the “removal of government people who support extra-Constitutional activities.”
- An explosion outside the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP is starting to look like domestic terrorism. The FBI open an investigation after a homemade bomb exploded outside the chapter’s offices. Law enforcement officials are looking for a person of interest: a middle-aged, balding, white male seen driving away in a dirty white truck after the explosion.
As wingnuttery goes, it was hard to find much worse than this.