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Phillip Klein | Why coverage of ‘right-wing’ violence irritates conservatives

Earlier this week, NPR’s counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston drew justifiable outrage from conservatives for engaging in the following on air speculation about the Boston Marathon bombing:

The thinking, as we’ve been reporting, is that this is a domestic or extremist attack. Again, this is not because – this has got to be this because officials can’t get away from this idea of timing. April is a big month for anti-government, right-wing folks. There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. And these are all rallying points for these kinds of extremist groups.

Clearly, Temple-Raston didn’t have much evidence to back up her theory and subsequent evidence has undermined her speculation. Further, her conflation of multiple events and ideological movements is particularly absurd. Last I checked, Nazism was not exactly about opposition to a strong role for government. Beyond this, I think the comment is worth revisiting to explain why it is that conservatives get so sensitive when members of the media leap to blame acts of violence on the “right wing.”


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