Media

WSJ knew who to blame in Norway slaughter: Islam

Nothing deep about Anders Behring Breivik. He's a Christian extremist who hates multi-culturalism and Muslims (and cited anti-Islamic American blogs in his 1,500-page screed.) Racist fundamentalist nut becomes murderous terrorist. The death toll is still at 93 people in Norway's deadliest day since World War II.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page on Saturday notoriously blamed the massacre on Muslim jihadists, without hedging language (or apparently reading the paper's own front page story.) "I have written and edited such unsigned editorials at three different newspapers, and I have never seen such reckless disregard of the facts on the part of an editorial page," writes Andres Martinez, the former L.A. Times editorial page editor, in a piece at Zócalo Public Square, where he is editorial director.

The disconnect between the Journal’s front page and its editorial page is representative of the broader breakdown in our nation’s political and civic discourse – a post-Moynihan dystopia in which all factions increasingly feel entitled to their own facts. Disregard all evidence to the contrary, President Obama was born in whatever overseas locale strikes you as most salacious; healthcare reform contains death panels; a refusal to raise the debt ceiling next week will have no material consequences for our nation’s finances; go ahead, design your parallel universe.

The Journal's embarrassing editorial was later updated online a bit: "At our first deadline reports indicated that the attacks were the work of a jihadist group. Later in the evening evidence emerged that a suspect in the shooting attack on a youth camp was an ethnic Norwegian with no previously known ties to Islamist groups. Coordinated terrorist attacks are an al Qaeda signature. But copycats with different agendas are surely capable of duplicating its methods."


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