People who had nothing to do with each other in the real world. In the blogosphere, each of these people was linked by a macabre desire by the left-wing blogosphere to find a crime which fit a narrative of right wing violence inspired by talk radio, Fox News, “wingnut” bloggers, and Tea Partiers.
It’s the narrative pushed by Dave Neiwart of Crooks and Liars about an “eliminationist” radical right. You could say that Neiwart fancies himself the new Richard Hofstadter, and “eliminationist” is the new “paranoid style” in American politics.
In each case, the facts did not fit the narrative. But the narrative was pushed anyway.
Add the Anti-Muslim Cabbie Stabber to the list. That person is Michael Enright.
The narrative which exploded immediately in the left-wing blogosphere was that right-wing incitement related to the Corboda Mosque and Islamic Center incited Engright to stab a Muslim cab driver, after questioning the driver as to his faith. Here is a taste of the initial reaction from leading blogs:
- Think Progress: “The first casualty of the “Ground Zero mosque.””
- Michael Tomasky: “Anyone surprised that a Muslim cab driver was stabbed in New York? If you are surprised, you’ve been sleepwalking the last two weeks.”
- Juan Cole: “Newt Gingrich and Rick Lazio may as well have kept Enwright in their basements in chains and whipped him into a frenzy as to spew their hatred on the airwaves.”
- Gawker: “”Ground Zero mosque” mania reaches exciting new heights.”
- Crooks and Liars: “GOP, What Have Your Wrought?”
- New York Magazine: “But with the tension so high right now on the issue of tolerance of Muslims, the correlation between the two is troubling enough.”
- Little Green Footballs: “With the bigotry and hatred continuously pouring out of Fox News, right wing websites, and talk radio, it was only a matter of time.”
- Bob Cesca: “Claiming to be a Muslim that close to Ground Zero is a stab in the heart to whatever.”
- TPM Livewire: “Okay so: Anyone else sadly not surprised at a Muslim hate crime in New York City these days?”
As the facts have come out, that Enright is far from a right-wing zealot and actually works for an “Interfaith” group which supports the Cordoba Mosque, the left-wing blogosphere is backtracking. Enright was extremely drunk at the time of the incident (no excuse, but a fact), and a crime appears to have been committed. That is all (and enough), and fortunately there do not appear to be serious injuries.
The Anti-Muslim Cabbie Stabber joins the others in the rogues gallery of criminals who disappointed the left-wing blogosphere by failing to fit the eliminationist narrative.
Update: Finally, a narrative that fits:
And, The NY Times does not go full eliminationist narrative, but nonetheless suggests a connection which the facts of its own article dispel: “The violence that erupted during the cab ride came amid a heated and persisting national debate over whether to situate a Muslim community center and mosque two blocks north of ground zero.”
And Jim Treacher notes:
Here’s how it works: When 19 Muslim terrorists fly planes into buildings and murder thousands of people, it’s not a reflection on all Muslims. Or any Muslims besides those 19, for that matter. But when a drunk A-hole in the same neighborhood yells “As-salaam alaikum! Consider this a checkpoint!” and stabs a Muslim cabbie, it’s a reflection on all opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque.