Sunday, April 29, 2007


When Terrorism Isn't

A militia in Alabama was raided. Authorities there found 130 hand grenades and a rocket launcher. Obviously, this group wasn't planning on having a peaceful barbecue.

Strangely enough, though, despite an anti-government agenda (and perhaps some other less savory biases) and a large store of munitions, these people aren't being referred to as "alleged terrorists." Hell, look at when the article mentions Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. One of those men blew up a federal building as "retaliation" for Waco. The other detonated pipe bombs at the Olympics, gay bars, and abortion clinics to permeate an atmosphere of fear. But their acts aren't "terrorist" acts, they're "extreme" acts. Hell, terrorist charges were thrown around when three Muslim guys got caught with a lot of cell phones.

Somewhat more relevant, a bomb was found in an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas. While the FBI's terrorism department is investigating, the story has gotten fuck-all coverage. CNN's maybe aired a brief piece on it, and the articles from both the AP and Reuters are, well... tiny. It seems that when attempted terror doesn't seem Islamist in origin, it's not interesting.

Try and follow the abortion clinic story, as it develops. If any of the reporters explicitly refer to the bombing as an "attempted terrorist act" or something along those lines, without quoting someone else, I'll be pleasantly surprised. If not... well, I guess that tells you what we consider terrorism to be nowadays.

I suppose I should be relieved that these people were caught and obviously it's a sign that even under the Bush administration monitoring of domestic terrorists hasn't fallen entirely to the curb (although, of course, white supremacist/neo-Confederate/militia groups tend not to be masterminds, to say the very least). However, I can't help but wonder if this attitude we see in the media is having any impact on how potential domestic terrorist cases are dealt with.
It's getting plenty of coverage here in Austin. Front page, above the fold, even. They aren't calling it a terrorist act from what I've seen, but they guy is being charged with using weapons of mass destruction, among other things.

My favorite quote from today's story (the one that tells what a nice, quiet guy he is and how everyone is shocked, etc.) is by a Lufkin police officer who said, in response to whether the guy was involved in any extremist groups when he lived there, "We don't really have extremist groups here. This is the heart of the Bible Belt."

Yeah, I've lived in Texas for almost 30 years and it really doesn't get more Bible Belt than Waco. And goodness knows nothing weird has ever happened THERE. So I'm sure Lufkin is totally terrorist-free too.
Hey there,
My name is Sarah and I found your blog by Googling your TVWoP screen name. I was hoping to speak/email with you because I'm researching a documentary series in Toronto about television and its influence.

You posted a really interesting comment on a Pity forum a while back, and I'm hoping to speak with you more about it. (The forum won't let me send you a message.)

You can email me at

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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