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So, You Want to Compare Hate Crimes

June 15, 2009

On a Sunday morning in Wichita, Kansas, a man is murdered while attending church. The killing is immediately labeled a "hate crime" and an act of "domestic terrorism." The news media is outraged. Television networks act as if the man was a martyr, and the story is front-page news in every newspaper in the country. Attorney General Eric Holder orders the U.S. Marshal's Office to increase security around the slain man's business and around similar businesses. Later he announces that the Justice Department will launch a federal investigation into the murder to see if it was a conspiracy.

The next day, in Little Rock, Arkansas, two young men are shot down by a lone gunman. One of them dies. For the most part, the public knows nothing about this shooting because the news media don't report the story. They are too busy covering every possible aspect of the first murder. No federal investigation is announced to determine whether there may be others involved in a conspiracy in Little Rock. And no one calls it a hate crime.

What could possibly make the first victim so much more important than the second? Why the lopsided coverage? What about the shooters? What information do we have on them? And why would the United States government go to such lengths to search for co-conspirators in the former case and not the latter?

For all the politically motivated reasons no one wants to admit or even talk about. Welcome to the wonderful world of 21st Century journalism and justice, where your national media and your federal government come together to determine if your affiliations and loyalties make you valuable, protected and politically correct - or not.

The first victim was Dr. George Tiller, an infamous late-term abortionist who, over a three-decade career, has destroyed more than 60,000 unborn babies - many of them full-term, since that was his specialty. As such, to the liberal media and to the Obama Administration, he is a champion of their pet cause, unrestricted abortion. The New York Times even labeled Tiller "a hero" in one of its many stories about him.

The second victim was Private William Long, a young soldier reporting for work at a U.S. Army recruiting station. He wasn't famous. He wasn't even well-known. He was just an American proudly wearing his country's uniform. Also shot and wounded was Private Quinton Ezeagwula.

These two men obviously do not carry much weight with the networks and their cohorts in the newsrooms of America's major newspapers, nor with Barack Obama's attorney general. Well, how could they? They were just soldiers. They had no money to contribute to liberal causes like Dr. Tiller did. They didn't do anything "heroic" like killing babies. Why, in civilian life they probably clung to their guns and religion. What rubes!

But there's more that makes this tale of two murders so interesting. The accused murderer of George Tiller is a white, 51-year-old anti-abortion zealot named Scott Roeder who apparently obsessed over the issue until he finally committed violence. He fits the profile of every stereotype the Left has for wild-eyed pro-lifers, and his name and picture have been spread across every media outlet in the country.

The man accused of killing Private William Long is a black convert to Islam formerly named Carlos Bledsoe (now Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad). He had recently travelled to Yemen to study jihad. Local authorities say he "probably had political and religious motives." Does anyone doubt that these facts played into the media's decision to basically spike the story?

So, let's review. We have a delusional middle-aged white man accused of killing an abortionist, and a young, Black Muslim, recently trained in Yemen, accused of murdering an American soldier. The former justifies the attorney-general's office ordering U.S. Marshals to guard abortion clinics and a full-scale federal investigation into a possible domestic terrorist conspiracy. The latter, on the other hand, is just an isolated incident. Is that about it?

By the way, the pro-life movement, from top to bottom, has condemned the murder of Dr. Tiller. And the reaction among Muslims to the murder of William Long? Is that cheering I hear in Mecca?

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Copyright ©2009 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.