Is no one in the national media concerned about the very scary brush with antisemitism that occurred on President Biden’s watch this weekend?
I was watching MSNBC all day on Monday and didn’t see it mentioned once. Come to think of it, almost no one at MSNBC or CNN or in the administration or in the offices of Democrats in Congress seemed to think it was a big deal at all by the start of the week.
The number of tweets that President Biden’s FBI sent out this weekend related to a Muslim extremist who held up hostages at a Texas synagogue on Saturday: zero.
The number of tweets that Biden’s FBI sent out this weekend seeking information on random men and women photographed at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, an incident from more than a year ago: five.
Democrats, Biden’s Justice Department, CNN, and MSNBC have spent all month talking about the “anniversary” of Jan. 6. But there’s hardly a peep about 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, who for 11 hours had four Jews captive at gunpoint.
This is a serious episode of anti-Jewish hate — let’s not pretend we don’t know why someone named “Malik” would specifically go after a Jewish house of worship — which was something the media cared a lot about during a period starting in 2015 and curiously ending on Jan. 20, 2021.
When 46-year-old Robert Bowers shot up the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018, the media had no problem tracing it to then-President Trump. Because Trump hosted a campaign-style rally that day (it was only a few days ahead of the midterm elections), MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said the president was “sending a message to white nationalists” that the tragedy “doesn’t bug me that much.”
You could argue that the media were more interested in that episode than in the one from this weekend because unlike the hostage situation, wherein no one other than the perpetrator was killed, 11 people died in the Pittsburgh massacre.
But that argument doesn’t work. Far less serious and non-deadly events under Trump were covered with the same hysteria.
In 2017, an angry drunk toppled more than 100 tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri. Before it was known that the guy was simply acting out after an argument with a friend, The New York Times covered the vandalism with the headline, “Threats and Vandalism Leave American Jews on Edge in Trump Era.” (It also didn’t do the media any good when the man turned out to be black, rather than the preferred villainous caucasian male)
Might the media be able to find any American Jews “on edge” after finding out that a crazy Muslim man took a gun into one of their sacred spaces and threatened to start shooting? It’s the Biden era, after all.
And it’s not as if this is the only attack on Jews of late. The left-wing Anti-Defamation League, which the media love to cite, reports some 386 “incidents” of antisemitic violence, verbal assaults, vandalism, and intimidation that have taken place in the U.S. since Biden was inaugurated.
What’s this ugly underbelly of bigotry that’s arisen in the Biden era?
Biden and his FBI certainly don’t seem eager to address it. When the president was asked about the hostage situation, during which Akram demanded the release of an imprisoned associate of al Qaeda, Biden said he didn’t have “sufficient information” to understand why it was a synagogue that was targeted, nor “why he was using anti-Semitic & anti-Israeli comments.”
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the Associated Press reported that FBI officials said Akram’s intentions were “specifically focused on [an] issue not connected to the Jewish community.”
That’s an obvious lie. And the agency released a separate statement thereafter promising, “We never lose sight of the threat extremists pose to the Jewish community and to other religious, racial and ethnic groups.”
This is the Biden era. I get the feeling some Jews might be “on edge.”