Last week, three young men, all African immigrants, all purportedly Muslim, were found shot to death in a house on the southeast side of Fort Wayne. There’s not a lot to know right now, except that the house they were in was known as a party/hangout pad, the owners having relocated to Indianapolis and left the house open to…someone.
I don’t know anything more about it than what I’m reading in the local paper, but to me, having lived in that city for 20 years and observed dozens of homicides there, both big and spectacular and small and sad, nothing about this one sounds like a hate crime. Young men hanging in an unsupervised house, with people coming and going at all hours? Yeah, that doesn’t really sound like the setting for a latter-day lynching to me. A triple-H with three people shot in the dome suggests an assailant or assailants with accomplices, which sounds like a gang. When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.
Of course, I’m only speculating here. But I think I’m speculating fairly close to known reality. I wish I could say that for the various lefty aggregators, who are starting to pick at the story in ways that make my head hurt. ThinkProgress yelled at the governor for not saying anything about it yet. Vox scratched together some links (from TV stations — hasn’t anyone heard of newspapers? do any of these aggregators know the average age of a TV reporter in a past-100 media market? I’ll tell you: It’s about 10.) and all but pronounced it a hate crime, because Muslims were shot execution-style, so what other explanation could there be? It’s an excuse to run the few sketchy facts we know, pad it out with clips about other Islamophobic incidents, and surround it with rhetorical questions. This passage about made me hurl:
It is important to caution against assuming that whatever happened this week in Fort Wayne, whatever chain of events led to the mysterious “execution-style” murders of three young men, must necessarily be part of the rising wave of Islamophobic violence in America. Police are presumably cautioning against that conclusion for a reason, and it may well turn out that their deaths are entirely unrelated.
Still, it is difficult to ignore that three apparently Muslim young men have been murdered, for no immediately obvious reason, just as indiscriminate violence against Muslim Americans is growing out of control.
It is thus concerning that these murders have received so little attention, if only for the possibility, however remote, that they could be part of this trend of religious violence against American citizens.
Count the qualifiers and weasel words in just three paragraphs. They can’t even say for sure that the victims were Muslim. But hey — let’s scrounge a few clicks out of it.
This is what I was talking about a while back, about the importance of drilling down for original, local sources, and not relying on aggregators, particularly ideological aggregators, too much. The ThinkProgress piece quoted Vox, for Christ’s sake. So now you have aggregators of aggregation.
Think for yourselves, media consumers. In the lefty blogosphere, there’s an inside joke around the phrase, “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.” That bit of self-congratulatory bullshit was written by none other than Peggy Noonan, wondering if the raid that returned Elian Gonzalez to his Cuban father in 2000 was ordered by President Clinton, because he was being blackmailed about his sex life by Fidel Castro. This is the same thing.
And I’ve got $20 on this homicide being drug-related, if anyone wants to take the other side.
Another beautiful weekend, which will be followed by another horrible week — two fresh inches of snow expected on Tuesday. Sigh. I just paid my mortgage for March. Sometime in March, spring will arrive. There was Easter candy in the grocery today. The blueberries I bought were Chilean, but they were blueberries just the same. It’s coming.
Jolene Sherri, one of our most diligent link-hounds, found this one over the weekend, and you should read it: Jon Favreau, the POTUS’ former speechwriter, on Hillary.
And I’ve been struggling to write a piece the last few days, about political tribalism. Maybe that’s why I was so impressed and moved by Sherri’s comment late Sunday, about trying to get to the bottom of the feelings in a local planning-commission dispute. Just try talking, people! It works! Read it, though. It’s good.
And let’s all get through the week ahead, whether it’s snowing where you are or not.