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Terrorism, Mass Murder, and Media Bias
In January 2014, Nick Robinson, the political editor of the British Broadcasting Corporation, said they had made a “terrible mistake” over their coverage of immigration for years. He admitted that they had censored legitimate concerns amid fear they could trigger racism. Robinson said BBC figures in charge during the 1990s and 2000s believed an open debate over immigration would “unleash some terrible side of the British public.” “They feared having a conversation about immigration.” One-sided reports meant that viewer’s concerns about the negative effects of mass immigration had not been addressed by the state broadcaster.
This is an open and frank admission of media bias and censorship. Unfortunately, there is every reason to believe that the same problem exists in other countries, too.
The topic of possible ideological bias or censorship in the established mass media was raised as a subject during the trial against Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo. ABB claimed that he had to retort to terrorism since he had no other way of being heard.
I still suspect that Breivik really is insane. This belief is even stronger now than it was three years ago. However, subjects of grave importance such as crime from violent immigrant gangs or how native Europeans are having their cultural heritage taken away from them were touched upon during the court proceedings. Unfortunately, partly due to Breivik’s erratic personality, these subjects were not dealt with in a proper way. Yet that does not mean that they are not worthy of debate.
Frank Aarebrot is professor of comparative politics at the University of Bergen, Norway. Research performed by him and others in Scandinavia proves that journalists have political sympathies that are far to the left of the general population. This situation has been stable for decades. Yet Professor Aarebrot is quick to reassure us that this has absolutely no impact on the political profile of their journalistic work, none whatsoever.
As a matter of fact, if you believe that journalists with far-Left political sympathies might slant the way the mainstream media report issues, you’re just as crazy as those who believe that Elvis Presley is still alive or that little green men from outer space walk among us and built the pyramids in ancient Egypt. That was the exact comparison Aarebrot drew in court in his expert testimony during the trial against Breivik in 2012.
But if journalists have some special ability or gene that makes them immune to the weakness of personal bias affecting that rest of mankind, why can’t neo-Nazis make excellent journalists? That would be the logical conclusion if we truly believe that the personal views of journalists have no impact on their reporting.
Bernard Goldberg is the American author of the bestselling book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. He mentions a study from 1996 among journalists in Washington D.C. showing that fully 89% of them voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, more than twice Clinton’s share among regular voters. 50 percent said they were Democrats; only 4 percent identified as Republicans. This very pronounced left-wing bias among leading journalists has remained remarkably stable for many years. Similar numbers will probably be found in Hollywood and the American entertainment industry, too, which have a major international influence.
Goldberg convincingly demonstrates with example after example how strong left-wing political sympathies not infrequently translate into lopsided reporting in real life, slanted in favor of left-wing politicians, organizations or causes. He repeatedly stresses, however, that most journalists honestly don’t see themselves or their reporting as “biased.” They tend to view themselves as smart, well-meaning and educated people without prejudice.
In every Western country for which I have seen studies, journalists have political sympathies to the left of the general population, sometimes quite far to the left. The question is: Does it matter?
I think it does. The mass media are incredibly powerful. They are the eyes and ears of modern societies and affect how we collectively perceive the world around us. If they distort our senses by viewing everything through rose-colored glasses, it becomes hard to accurately recognize and deal with problems.
Aslak Nore is an author, publisher and columnist at VG, Norway’s largest national newspaper. On May 26 2013, Nore published a commentary in VG on “enigmatic” Swedes. This was after immigrant-dominated suburbs of Stockholm had been rocked by riots on a scale unprecedented in modern Scandinavian history.
What were his views on the causes of these riots? Well, Mr. Nore blamed the mandatory “racism” of the white natives, especially alleged police racism, for partly triggering them. Finally, he blamed the “Swedish class society.” Obviously, Aslak Nore would be a strong contender for a Leni Riefenstahl Award for honest reporting.
In a particularly ridiculous essay, in November 2010 Nore declared that “smart” immigrants from Pakistan, Turkey and Chechnya will be “the new oil” after Norway’s oil wells run dry. He seemed to imply that there is something wrong with the brains of the natives, since these are inadequate and need to be replaced by non-European ones. Of course, if you look at the taboo subject of genetic intelligence measured in mean IQ, saying that Pakistanis or Turks have “smarter” brains than northern Europeans is nonsense.
If that was the case, how come they are incapable of producing innovative economies at home? You can further look at technological achievements. Moreover, a tiny Scandinavian country like Norway has produced more Nobel Prize winners than the entire Islamic world combined, including large countries such as Pakistan and Turkey. Aslak Nore thus uses the largest national newspaper in his country to publish such nonsense without any basis in facts, coupled with Marxist-inspired gibberish about “class structure” and “racism.”
Nore’s claims are echoed by most of the established media, yet they are factually wrong. In 2006 the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) published numbers indicating that immigration is so costly that it could wipe out much of Norway’s considerable oil wealth. The bill runs into tens of billions of kroner every year, a large sum for a small country. In 2013, the business daily Finansavisen published a series of carefully researched articles detailing how extremely costly non-European mass immigration is.
In Denmark, the historian and author Morten Uhrskov Jensen in his 2008 book Et Delt Folk (“A Nation Divided”) demonstrated that the opening up of his country for mass immigration was arranged by just part of the population, sometimes in the face of considerable popular opposition. Roughly speaking, those representing the political and media establishment and the upper classes were in favor of open borders, whereas those from the lower classes were often opposed. This divide is viewed by those from the upper segments of society as caused mainly by racism, prejudice, ignorance and xenophobia. Since the educated classes enjoyed a virtual hegemony over public debate, they were able to define all opposition as hate and intolerance.
However, Uhrskov Jensen in his 2012 book Indvandringens pris (“The Price of Immigration”) showed the huge costs in monetary terms of today’s immigration. It’s not just about Muslim immigration, although that is an extreme case due to the increased threat of terrorism and other issues, but essentially all mass immigration from backward non-European societies to developed Western countries. We see similar patterns with Mexicans in the USA, for instance. Basically, with Third World immigration come Third World problems: rising crime, rising corruption, lower trust and higher welfare costs combined with reduced competitiveness.
Let me stress here that when the mass media want to, they can be unpleasant to pretty much anybody, from celebrities to common citizens. And yes, they can be nasty to individuals from the Left, too. In Norway, the politician Tore Tønne in 2002 committed suicide after negative media exposure. He was a Social Democrat.
What I am suggesting is that in certain situations there can be a lower threshold for the media to attack people on the political Right. This is especially true if these individuals or groups are critical of Islam, open borders or mass immigration. In such situations, the left-wing bias of many journalists can have important consequences.
There is the truly ugly case of the conservative philosopher and writer Henrik Gade Jensen. In 2003, he lost his job as a press advisor to the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs in Denmark. This was triggered by false and totally baseless accusations of “Nazi” connections that were presented by a radical left-wing academic and published in a left-wing paper. A decade later, Gade Jensen received an apology of sorts for these false accusations. He also received some money to compensate for the damage done. But it took years for him to settle into an established job and a new life. This despite the fact that he is a friendly, intellectual man and perhaps the least Nazi-like person one can find. Meanwhile, this incident hasn’t had any serious impact on the careers of the dishonest journalists who were involved in the scandal.
I doubt whether this incident would have occurred had it not been for the fact that the target was a conservative man working for a right-wing government that had put in place certain restrictions on immigration.
In Norway, one of the nastiest cases of the mass media abusing their power against individual citizens was the so-called paramedics incident in 2007. It involved two paramedics and their ambulance being dispatched to a park in Oslo. Ali Farah, a Somali man, had been physically assaulted and hit in the head by another African man. The white ambulance drivers decided not to take Farah to the hospital because he seemed intoxicated and urinated on the trouser leg of one of the paramedics. However, it turned out that the Somali man had more serious head injuries than they initially thought. This triggered a veritable media explosion.
Based on weak suspicions of “white racism,” the mass media, intellectuals and politicians launched what can only be described as a witch-hunt against the ambulance drivers. “This would never happen to a white man,” said the Norwegian-Pakistani lawyer Abid Q. Raja. Raja is currently serving as a Member of Parliament in Norway for the period 2013-2017.
The left-wing author Anne Holt, who briefly served as Minister of Justice for the Labour Party, wrote an essay in the paper Aftenposten about the allegedly omnipresent white racism this case represented. When not acting as a self-proclaimed champion of tolerance, Holt has labelled people she strongly disagrees with “ cockroaches.”
Both of the paramedics were suspended from service and became the target of widespread negative media coverage. Yet it turned out that the accusations of racism against them were baseless. They were cleared after an investigation by the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. One of them, Erik Schjenken, needed professional help as he was brought to the brink of suicide.
The columnist Marie Simonsen, political editor of the left-wing daily Dagbladet, stated firmly that the actions of the ambulance drivers represented the ugly consequence of racism. That’s a very serious allegation in a society where merely being accused of “racism” can be enough to destroy careers, even lives — at least if one is white.
The driver Erik Schjenken later sued Dagbladet, who were simply the worst of a very bad bunch, for libel. He has so far won his case in court, twice.
The high-profile investor Øystein Stray Spetalen has had a few clashes with the media, but he has the financial resources to fight back. He thought Dagbladet should have been forced to pay Schjenken ten million kroner, to make sure that malicious journalism is truly punished. In his view, this is even more important because the paper (and other media such as the state broadcaster NRK) openly speculated that the two ambulance drivers didn’t have the money to fight back. Schjenken proved them wrong, but that is a credit to his perseverance.
Spetalen was angered by the fact the Dagbladet’s editors showed no sign of regret even after they had been convicted. “Every time people see Marie Simonsen on TV or read her articles they should think of the enormous injustice she did to Erik Schjenken with her malicious writings about an innocent family man. Only a lousy human being does something like that,” said Øystein Stray Spetalen. He added that Simonsen’s comments about the two ambulance drivers should be used as a textbook study on how not to conduct journalism.
Erik Schjenken felt that no fewer than four ministers from the government of PM Jens Stoltenberg — Kristin Halvorsen, Bjarne Håkon Hansen, Sylvia Brustad and Manuela Ramin Osmundsen — had publicly contributed to the stigmatization of him as a “racist.” His colleague, the other ambulance driver, stated that his son had undergone psychological problems due to the false accusations of racism promoted by Kristin Halvorsen. She was then Minister of Finance from the Socialist Left Party (SV) in the Stoltenberg coalition government.
Recall that the Somali Ali Farah was injured because he was beaten by another immigrant, from Ghana. In Norway, a country straddling the Arctic Circle, one African man beat another African man. The result was that the ambulance drivers, who had dedicated their lives to helping others, became the targets of a verbal lynch mob led by the mass media. Their crime? They where white men, the lowest of the low in the Multicultural caste system, and therefore automatically presumed to be bigoted and evil. There is no presumption of innocence if you are white and accused of the thought crime of “racism.” You are presumed guilty until proven otherwise.
In contrast, an African asylum seeker from South Sudan who was about to be deported in November 2013 brutally murdered three passengers on a bus in rural Norway. The mass media were then quick to assert that this had nothing to do with racism. One can imagine the reverse scenario, that a white man killed three black people on a bus. Does anybody seriously believe the media would not suggest that this was related to racism?
Even though there is a lot of street crime in Europe involving robberies, muggings and various forms of anti-white violence, this is rarely identified as “racism.” This betrays a powerful media bias.
Furthermore, let us consider the case of Breivik’s attacks in Norway in 2011. This triggered a veritable witch-hunt for people on the political Right who were deemed critical of Islamization or mass immigration. Would the mass media have been equally aggressive if a possibly insane terrorist had claimed to have left-wing sympathies? I doubt it. They certainly would have exercised more restraint if the killer had been a Muslim. As a matter of fact, we have already seen just such an example.
Between 2011 and 2013 there were two Norwegian citizens who became mass murderers by carrying out brutal terror attacks. The first one was Anders Behring Breivik. The second one was Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow. He was a Muslim man of Somali origins, but he grew up in Norway, spoke Norwegian and had Norwegian citizenship. In late September 2013 he and several other Muslims attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 60 unarmed civilians were systematically hunted down and shot in cold blood, a number comparable to Breivik’s attacks. Yet there are important differences between these two terrorists, as I have noted before.
While Breivik was utterly alone, Dhuhulow was part of a group of equally brutal terrorists and murderers. There was a lot of talk about Breivik’s alleged “flock” of supporters after his July 22 attacks. Yet Anders Behring Breivik in all likelihood carried out these attacks alone precisely because he found nobody else willing to participate in his massacre. Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow found a number of other people willing to join him in terrorism and mass murder. This is because, unlike Breivik, he really did come from a flock of supporters.
Many people were accused of allegedly inspiring Breivik’s mass murder. Among them were myself, Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes, Diana West and Andrew G. Bostom. Yet not one of these writers has ever called for terrorism or mass murder. Moreover, Breivik did not make stops during his massacre July 2011 to quote passages written by Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes, Diana West or Andrew G. Bostom.
Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow carried out his 2013 massacre along with a group of other like-minded individuals. This is at least partly because he was able to find other people who supported his murderous intentions and were willing to help him to carry out this mass murder. Dhuhulow found support for aggression, violence and potentially murder in the Islamic texts which he and his co-terrorists quoted.
Breivik’s massacre is likely to remain unusual, precisely because he did not come from a flock and did not have textual support from a major faith for his murders. Dhuhulow’s massacre is, on the other hand, likely to be repeated in different countries. This is because he did come from a flock of people who have textual support from the scriptures of a major faith for violent attacks.
Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow’s flock of militant Muslim supporters is set to grow, as long as the number of Muslims in the West continues to grow. Breivik’s massacre is not very likely to be repeated, whereas Dhuhulow’s massacre is likely to be repeated. This likelihood is increasing each day due to Muslim immigration.
Western mass media and political elites are currently reluctant to say this in public, however. Doing so would amount to an admission that they deliberately support immigration policies which expose their own citizens to a greatly increased risk of terrorism and mass murder.
For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.