Throughout the War on Terror, which everyone knows is a war against Islamic terrorists, American Muslims have been remarkably free of harassment or targeting. All that seemed to change recently when three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were murdered by Craig Hicks. The victims were Deh Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad, and her sister Razan Mohammed. Two of the three were dental students. It was a hideous event.

Was Hicks a hick? Had the media finally found a tobacco-chewing, nativist redneck who attacked Muslims for their religion and its association with terrorism? The liberal U.S. media has been waiting for fourteen years to tell that story, in order to tar all conservatives with such a brush. Hicks, however, was not the man they have been waiting for.

Craig Hicks is a committed atheist, and his Facebook page reveals that he is also very solidly a man of the left. An unbiased media would report this and ask the natural question, is violent anti-Muslim nativism emerging not from the right, but from the left? (In fact, the murder seemed to arise out of an altercation, and had no anti-Muslim implications - the story here is the media reaction).

And the media provided quite a reaction. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN reported that Hicks was an atheist, but did not mention his politics.

It is not as if there was no information to go on. Hicks’ Facebook page is a billboard for leftist causes, with “likes” extended to the Huffington Post, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Gay Marriage organizations, and Rachel Maddow. Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil DeGrasse Tyson also earned favorable mentions from the triple-murderer. There was not one mention of any of this in the major media outlets.

If Hicks had been a Confederate flag-waving Civil War re-enactor who drove around with a barking hound in bed of his pickup truck, would the press have left that out? We live in a society where the people charged with presenting information to us, the people charged with showing America to America, have their thumb on the scale.

Michael Lee, a frequent CNN guest, even made an attempt via twitter to paint Hicks as a person of the right. “It’s my understanding that he was baptized as a Christian. Stop making excuses,” ran Lee’s tweet.

Sean Sorrentino had a quick and cogent reply: “Not ‘Christianist Terrorist.” Militant atheist. Read his Facebook page.”

The media has become a player in our political dialogue, rather than a fair arbiter and impartial provider of all confirmed news and information relevant to that dialogue. We can debate the reasons, but for the time being, anyone who wants the news is going to have to dig for it by seeking out, and testing for trustworthiness, online news sources dedicated to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.


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