FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2021
The New York Times saw it was good: This past Tuesday, Robert Long, age 21, shot nine people, eight of whom died.
We can't tell you why he did that. At the very least, it would seem that Long was badly disturbed.
(Reportedly, he had been a customer at the massage parlors where he committed these killings. Reportedly, he had been tormented by something he regarded as a sex addiction. Reportedly, he had sought treatment at two different residential addiction treatment centers. Reportedly, his parents had kicked him out of their house the night before.)
We can't tell you why this person did what he did. Luckily, others can. For starters, we were stunned by Erin Burnett's behavior last night on CNN:
BURNETT (3/18/21): And I want to go straight now to Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, who immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when he was three years old. He was also inside that hearing today where Congressman Chip Roy made those comments that I played earlier.
Congressman Lieu, I appreciate your time. So let's just start with this. No matter what this wasn't, we know what it was. It was a hate crime. It was done out of incredible hate. Do you think it should be handled and charged as such?
LIEU: Thank you, Erin, for your question.
The investigation had barely started. Erin Burnett already seemed to know what its legal assessment should be.
We didn't watch Anderson Cooper. Later, the nose-diving Cuomo was worse:
CUOMO (3/18/21): Georgia has become a crucible, from the election, now with these animus-driven murders. I don't care what the suspect says. I don't know how you divorce them from the choice of victims that he made, especially with the newest details about how personal the murders were.
Cuomo doesn't care what the suspect says. Apparently, he also doesn't care what the FBI director has said, or what the suspect's roommate at one treatment center has said.
Cuomo didn't mention those statements. He didn't mention the fact that Long has apparently been a customer at the spas where he conducted the killings.
He didn't care about such information. On CNN, people like Cuomo have begun to cast themselves in the role of all-around seers.
Later last night, we were stunned by what we saw the Washington Post's Carol Leonnig say on Brian Williams' show. She ended up saying that the incident "doesn't appear to be racially motivated at this moment."
We're not sure why Leonnig would say that. Before that, though, she had seemed to wander the globe, conveying the opposite impression.
(For reasons which may be perfectly obvious, MSNBC no longer creates transcripts of the things which get said on its shows.)
Then came this morning's papers. Atop its front page, the Washington Post's news report started like this:
WITTE ET AL (3/19/21): The shooting deaths of eight people at Asian-run spas in Georgia this week triggered a vigorous national debate Thursday over whether the mass killing amounted to a hate crime, a fraught conversation that echoed from the halls of Congress to the streets of Atlanta, with potentially significant implications for the prosecution of the 21-year-old suspect.
The reckoning came a day after authorities in Cherokee County—the first of two locations where people were shot dead Tuesday—appeared to play down the racial dimensions of a rampage that claimed the lives of six women of Asian descent. A sheriff’s office spokesman had said that the suspect was having “a bad day” and indicated that “sex addiction,” not race, was probably the driving factor.
Those remarks were sharply challenged on Thursday by Asian American community leaders, who denounced them as “an attempt to protect the shooter,” as well as by Democratic politicians and law enforcement experts.
The spokesman, Capt. Jay Baker, was removed from the case Thursday as the sheriff’s office expressed “regret” over his choice of words. Meanwhile, police officials in Atlanta—the second scene of the mass shooting—appeared to distance themselves from the comments, noting that a racial motive was being considered, among others.
In paragraph 2, readers were told that a sheriff's office had played down the likelihood that these killings were fueled by racial hatred. If the reader made it all the way to paragraph 45, he or she was finally told that the head of the FBI, rightly or wrongly, has said much the same thing.
Our Town is in love with claims about racial hatred. At present, it's the only toy in our toy chest. We refuse to wait for evidence to be developed in a matter like this. We want to give voice to our favorite Storyline, and we want to do it right now.
As the perfect example of what we mean, here's the first letter the New York Times published today on this topic. Why in the world would a serious newspaper publish a letter like this?
To the Editor:
The killing of eight mostly Asian women has shocked people across the country, including me, a Chinese-American woman who grew up in Georgia. While I deeply sympathize with the loss for the family members of those affected, I am not surprised that such an incident occurred.
What I saw was the same anger, the same white male rage, that I’ve seen again and again while growing up in the South. This kind of perverse Asian fetishism and white privilege are not well addressed in discussions of race and gender.
The media and crime investigators need to stop waiting for evidence of a racially motivated attack and address it as it is. What happened on Tuesday was a mass murder, a crime against the Asian-American community, toxic gender violence and violence stemming from white supremacy.
L— W—, Atlanta
The killing of "eight mostly Asian women?" Does anyone read this stuff?
At any rate, this writer said the quiet part out loud. "Investigators need to stop waiting for evidence!" They should just go ahead and base their judgments on what random citizens believe they "saw."
At the New York Times, some editor saw that letter and knew it was good. Just like that, the letter was waved into print, trailing its message behind it:
"The media need to stop waiting for evidence!" What could make better sense?
Why did Long do what he did? We can't tell you that, but we can tell you this:
We were amazed when we saw so many Others start a descent into madness during the Obama years. We're newly amazed to see the same types of impulses and behaviors sweeping through the streets of Our Town.
"All of the animus is related," Cuomo said a few moments later. "And you are either for it or you are against it."
It's hard to be much more simple-minded than that. It's a mentality which is apparently being cultivated at a certain unnamed "news channel" here in Our flailing Town.
Final point: The Washington Post was a genuine gong-show on this topic today. Our Town's ongoing Fail is increasingly strong.
Yeah, a whole bunch of the usual mind-boggling liberal bullshit. Or 'chase', as you used to call it, dear Bob. Thanks for documenting the atrocities.ReplyDelete
Although, we must say, sometimes you too are guilty of it, dear Bob. For example, in the unfortunate case of Mr Derek Chauvin, who may very well turn out to be innocent.
Tsk. Oh well...
A "good guy with a gun" would have shot Chauvin in the head, if there was such a thing as a 'good guy with a gun".Delete
"We can't tell you why he did that. At the very least, it would seem that Long was badly disturbed."ReplyDelete
Again, Somerby wishes to write off all bad behavior as mental illness, which permits pity and excuses everyone from having to figure out why Long chose these particular people as his targets.
If Somerby were to read this, he might, perhaps, understand why people are calling this a hate crime, despite Long's frequenting of the massage parlors and his own view that he had a "sex addiction":ReplyDelete
"They should just go ahead and base their judgments on what random citizens believe they "saw.""ReplyDelete
Is Somerby really trying to tell us that most of the victims were not asian women?
Somerby is wrong. He is ignorant, perhaps willfully. He doesn't understand what he is talking about. He needs to shut up and read more.ReplyDelete
Somerby never mentions the role played by religion in this young man's life and his subsequent crime. That will never be spoken about.
Somerby has no idea about why these Asian women were working in those jobs, who they were and how they became entangled in this man's life.
Somerby has no idea why these mass killers are so often white men, how and why they are permitted guns, the relation between such mass killers and violence against women. That's because Somerby reads nothing on this topic. He spends his time excusing and explaining away the parts that make him uncomfortable, as he is doing today.
But in the context of this kind of shooting, his excuses are offensive.
Once you buy into the "higher being" bullshit, it's a short road to QAnon.Delete
""All of the animus is related," Cuomo said a few moments later. "And you are either for it or you are against it.""ReplyDelete
Cuomo doesn't appear to be talking about Long's shooting here, because no one is in favor of mass shootings. However, the targeting of people because of their race is of a piece with other forms of hate and there is a relation between domestic violence and mass shootings and hate.
The right has been stoking hate for political purposes. It has formed an unholy alliance with white supremacy and it is targeting immigrants and now Asians (due to covid). This shooting is the price being paid for that kind of irresponsible demagoguery. I think that is what Cuomo is talking about and I agree with him.
Somerby here presents a phrase taken out of context in order to make Cuomo sound deranged. That is dishonest and Somerby should be ashamed to sink that low. But he doesn't have much else to use in these circumstances, other than to call Long deranged, just as he has called Trump deranged for four years. But these are not just crazy people spreading the hate. The crazy ones may take up arms, but it is the despicable ones who aim those guns at low income Asian women doing sex work during a pandemic.
Somerby is scum.
“Cuomo doesn't appear to be talking about Long's shooting here, because no one is in favor of mass shootings”Delete
Congratulation. You wrote one sentence and then spent the rest of the screed contradicting it.
Even a clown like Fredo doesn’t deserve nonsensical defenses from Anonymices.
Oh, you’re not giving yourself enough credit.Delete
“The right has been stoking hate for political purposes. It has formed an unholy alliance with white supremacy and it is targeting immigrants and now Asians (due to covid).”
Oh, and here’s another ode to logic sentence about an”unholy alliance” of conservative politicians and others aligned with white supremacists.
“ The crazy ones may take up arms, but it is the despicable ones who aim those guns at low income Asian women doing sex work during a pandemic.”
No such luck.Delete
As I've said, conservatives have no shame.Delete
Say it all you want. This is America.Delete
You are among the most despicable of the despicables and you seem to take pride in it when you should be ashamed. Fuck off.Delete
I agree with the blogger’s summations because they reasonable,Delete
You know...the guy who has provided YOU with a forum in which to disagree with HIM and to expound upon your point of view.
I know it’s easy to forget, but you aren’t dictator of the internet.
Nice one, Cece.Delete
Right-wing comedy is just below terminal cancer in the hierarchy of humor.
An actual media critic might talk about this by Jason Easley:ReplyDelete
"Republican members of Congress like Rep. Devin Nunes and Sen. Ron Johnson have already been outed as Russian assets, but the Russians have propaganda partners in conservative media. The Russians got a propaganda documentary placed on One America News during the 2020 election, and sometimes if one closed their eyes, it was difficult to tell whether it was Fox News or Russian state television you were hearing.
As the recent report from the intelligence community confirmed, the Russia threat is not going away. Donald Trump is out of office, but the Russians have found willing partners in their attack on US democracy within the Republican Party.
The Fox News coverage of Putin is so favorable that it is being used as propaganda in Russia. The relationship between Fox News and Russian disinformation has never been more clear."
Total stupidity. Russia has always interfered with our elections as we have always interfered with theirs - notably in 1996 when Clinton bragged about it on the cover of Time Magazine. What you have posted here is American propaganda. It's designed to dupe suckers like yourself. You're much, much too stupid to realize it. And hey - more power to the "intelligence community". They got you believing their propaganda. It's worked very well the last four years and proved in a crystal clear way how drop dead dumb liberals are.Delete
The idea tat it took a foreign power to get Right-wingers jazzed-up to vote for a bigot like Trump, is the dumbest thing in the history of ever.Delete
100% true. That's why Maddow liberals like the poster above and the writer he quoted are so vastly ignorant.Delete
“In paragraph 2, readers were told that a sheriff's office had played down the likelihood that these killings were fueled by racial hatred. If the reader made it all the way to paragraph 45, he or she was finally told that the head of the FBI, rightly or wrongly, has said much the same thing.”ReplyDelete
Does the FBI Director have any specific inside information that led him to offer this assessment, or are his comments based on the same accounts that the rest of us have seen?
Secondly, there are two venues for being charged with hate crimes, federal and state. In fact, the headline on the Post article reads “Georgia shootings could test state’s new hate-crimes law as debate rages over suspect’s motive”.
And we are told this about the state law: “Protected categories under the law include not only race but also gender, religion and national origin.”
So, a crime doesn’t have to be racially motivated to be a hate crime.
There has been a lot of focus on the race of the victims, but some mention has been made of the fact that this seems to have been directed at women as well. The one man who died may have been collateral damage.
The man who died has been described as a customer not a worker.Delete
“Does the FBI Director have any specific inside information that led him to offer this assessment, or are his comments based on the same accounts that the rest of us have seen?”Delete
The assumption would be that law enforcement doesn’t have any specific inside information that leads them to any other conclusion.
They tell you what they have so far. They don’t make prognostications as to what they may learn in time.
‘a witness told major South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo that Long shouted, “I am going to kill all Asians” while opening fire at one location.’Delete
That may be true, but the po po hasn’t completed an investigation of the claim yet, or has completed it and discounted it.Delete
That is the point.Delete
The police are telling us what the evidence suggests so far. This is what they know and this is what these facts bode.Delete
Again, they don’t take time in saying- but we may find something that changes everything tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed.
And is that going to bring those women back to life?Delete
“Cherokee officials said Long told them the shootings were not racially motivated, but a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office report released Friday lists “Anti-Gender Female” under a category marked “Hate/Bias.”Delete
Atlanta police said they haven’t ruled out charging the
Woodstock-area man with a hate crime.”
“”And is that going to bring those women back to life?”Delete
What are you saying? That the police and the legal system should just go with assumptions and narratives in an investigation because that way some good reform might at least come out of tragedy?
I hope not, because there’s nothing in our system that has ever supported that fallacy.
You said: "we may find something that changes everything tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed."Delete
I asked whether that was going to bring anyone back.
When people put facts together and reach a conclusion, that is not "assumptions and narratives". It is called reasoning from the evidence at hand. Denying the obvious conclusion suggests a motive too, it is called bias. Police do this all the time. They blame the victims, they produce erroneous reports, they issue statements that are later contradicted. Somerby argues that even though it is obvious what happened, we should go give the police a chance to "investigate".
The best thing to come out of this tragedy would be for Donald J. Trump to apologize for repeatedly calling this Kung Flu and Wuhan Flu and similar racist labels, and tell people to stop blaming Asian AMERICANS for their problems.
If that doesn't seem obvious to you, there is something seriously wrong with you.
“Why in the world would a serious newspaper publish a letter like this?”ReplyDelete
As a public service to let its readers know that there are people who hold such a view, perhaps. There are likely to be other letters denouncing this one.
“Our Town is in love with claims about racial hatred.”ReplyDelete
There are probably Asians of all political stripes who see this crime as anti-Asian.
No one is saying that evidence isn't needed at a trial. They are saying that this "wait and see" approach to hate crimes is infuriating. When 7 of 8 victims are women and 6 of 8 are Asian, those people were selected for a reason. It is safe to say that they were targeted for their shared characteristics. Targeting of women and Asians are both hate crimes. To refuse to call it such compounds the damage to those who are feeling vulnerable because of this attack.ReplyDelete
If the man had shot ten white women involved (to some extent or another) with establishments that provide massages with happy endings, would that be a hate crime because he likes girls and these girls were all white?Delete
It may be that it was a racial and/or gender hate crime, but it may be that this was not what motivated him.
That reality alone means that you don’t automatically declare it so.
Gosh, do you think that the guy who targeted that Jewish preschool had some other motive too?Delete
Corby, do you think there was no investigation of his state of mind and his history before they made a determination?Delete
mh, that’s what I said.Delete
Deliberate targeting of a Jewish preschool is sufficient evidence of hate without additional investigation.Delete
The shooter of the country music concert in Las Vegas required additional investigation because his motives were not immediately clear. That isn't the case with Long. He wasn't shooting an employer who had just dismissed him or mad because a sex worker belittled him (or he wouldn't have gone to multiple sites, selecting just the ones with Asian workers). What more does someone need to know his intentions? They are obvious from his actions.
Mental illness is a red herring. It doesn't explain why those women were targeted and not someone else. Most mentally ill people attack either their therapist (or psychiatric staff) or their family members. Also, the idea that mental illness alone is sufficient to cause violence is incorrect. Only a very small % (less than 5%) are violent. Labeling everyone who commits this kind of crime as a lone wolf mentally ill person is defamatory to the mentally ill. This guy was off his meds but that doesn't make mental illness causal, nor does it dictate his actions of buying a gun and deliberately targeting those women.
Somerby would like to make this just about the illness, but that is not plausible and not correct. And it is offensive to both Asian Americans and women to chalk this up to mental illness. Failure to look beyond the excuses to the larger problem is why we still have a Violence Against Women Act and men are still killing women with impunity. The manner in which Somerby ridiculed that female Asian lawyer a few weeks ago, in the midst of a huge increase in violence against Asians nationwide, is why we are having these sorts of hate crimes occurring too frequently.
The man today who attacked the elderly Asian woman by punching her in the face, to be beaten by her with a board, may seem humorous, but he could as easily have killed her had she fallen and hit her head or had he fractured her skull. It isn't funny and Somerby's refusal to acknowledge the Trump-inspired hate directed at Asians contributes to this problem, not the solution.
Needless to say, no liberal behaves the way Somerby does. He is now way over that line and I doubt anyone here is buying his "us liberals" schtick.
Anonymouse 7:59pm, did you inform the police that the motives of the preschool shooter were moot?Delete
That there was absolutely no way that he had ever had a quarrel with an employee or parent there that had nothing to do with ethnicity.
That it was out of the question to imagine that he might be angry because life had not granted him the ability to put his kids in that sort of facility. Privileged parents and their privileged offspring!
I hope you made the cops aware that it was unfathomable that maybe he had memories of having once been abused or friendless at a preschool facility
Why would the police talk to his friends or wish to see his internet musings, sites visited, journal writings?
It was crystal clear, no other way it could have been.
Why bother with trivialities. Hell. Why bother with a trial.
Anything to explain away racism, sexism and anti-semitism. No one is saying don't investigate before the trial. It is WRONG to deny the obvious targeting of stigmatized groups in our society. Racism exists. Sexism exists. Anti-semitism exist. Other forms of bigotry exist. These motivate hate crimes. No amount of sophistry from you or Somerby changes that. No amount of police denial changes the facts that eventually emerge, after all that wasted time and disregard for the victims of these heinous crimes.Delete
You are a piece of work. You need to go away and think about your impulses. The world would be a better place if you learned to think before you blather, and if you didn't always have to have the last word. (What you've written below is gibberish. The kind of thing someone doing heavy-duty drunk commenting writes.)
Anonymouse 8:56pm, I would never claim that a heavy-duty drunk wrote an argument like yours espousing that assumptions be made in a crime investigation.Delete
The fact that there are hate crime laws that toughen the penalties is all the more reason as to why that should never be the case.
Don’t tell me that you aren’t suggesting that a trial is superfluous and then say that we should automatically assume that a defendant committed a hate crime because that’s how it seems and to not go with what it seems is a denial of the entire concept of hate crimes.
Again I would never claim you had to be drunk to argue that. You just have to be dumb as dirt.
Somerby and everyone else has been talking about the media, not the investigation or trial. The media.Delete
Ostensibly...journalists employ facts too.Delete
The witnesses said he walked in with a gun and said he wanted to kill some Asians.ReplyDelete
Bob only listens to the cops who probably go to that massage parlor weekly. Those good working stiffs.
Somerby goes from strength to strength and is now full MAGAT. Defending murders of AA kids (Zimmerman), rapists (Turner), pedophiles (Moore), traitors (Trump) and now murders of Asian women.ReplyDelete
And here we have Somerby saying almost exactly the same thing as Tucker Carlson said about the shootings.ReplyDelete
Carlson: "Despite evidence that the perpetrator, Robert Aaron Long, 21, specifically targeted Asian salons, Carlson adduced the testimony of Long's former roommate from rehab, who advanced the claim that Long's killing spree stemmed from his struggles with sex addiction.
"Robert Long seemed deranged," Carlson argued, "But his obsessive and violent behavior seems all too familiar if you follow the news closely."
Somerby says (above):
"We can't tell you why he did that. At the very least, it would seem that Long was badly disturbed.
(Reportedly, he had been a customer at the massage parlors where he committed these killings. Reportedly, he had been tormented by something he regarded as a sex addiction. Reportedly, he had sought treatment at two different residential addiction treatment centers. Reportedly, his parents had kicked him out of their house the night before.)"
When you find yourself saying the same things as Tucker Carlson, it is time to take a step back and rethink your opinion. That's assuming that Somerby didn't inhale all this directly, by watching Carlson say it on his show.
“ When you find yourself saying the same things as Tucker Carlson, it is time to take a step back and rethink your opinion. That's assuming that Somerby didn't inhale all this directly, by watching Carlson say it on his show.”ReplyDelete
When you find yourself agree with...
There’s always some special why you should throw
To complete the sentence in a post I inadvertently published while distracted:Delete
There’s always some special appeal made to justify why an argument is wrong that has absolutely nothing to do with the soundness of its logic.
This shooting has the earmarks of incel terrorism.ReplyDelete
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