Authorities said that no motive had been determined and that terrorism had not been ruled out.The New York Times:
David Bowdich, assistant director of the F.B.I.’s office in Los Angeles, would not rule out terrorism.The Washington Post:
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan ... and other law enforcement officials said that terrorism has not been ruled out.NPR:
Police have not identified a motive for the shooting. They have not ruled out terrorism.But the message from the right is: Why won't the mainstream media say, "Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism"?
Everyone tiptoeing around this story on TV. Falling all over themselves.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 3, 2015
Unreal--MSNBC is talking "mental health" and "availability of guns" as the problem.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 3, 2015
NBC Kerry Sanders on scene just said a holiday party called a "Christmas party could have been the trigger."— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 3, 2015
All this even though the message is exactly the same at Fox News:
Police, feds probe terror as possible motive in SoCal massacreAnd Fox Nation:
Husband-Wife Team Identified as San Bernardino Killers ... Motive Unknown But Terrorism Not Ruled Out By Authorities(Oh, but I forgot: These days, even Fox is sometimes considered suspect on the right.)
Over at FrontPage Magazine, Daniel Greenfield has already condemned the media for not saying what it actually is saying:
The evolving media narrative is that familiar standby of “workplace violence”. The sort of workplace violence involving an attack by multiple terrorists wearing body armor and throwing pipe bombs shortly after an argument at a party.Ahhh, "workplace violence." That's one of those phrases, like "JV team," that make right-wingers' blood boil, and need no explanation. Angrily utter one of these phrases in wingnut company and it's like a secret handshake -- you're one of the tribe.
If you believe this version of the “workplace violence” story, the shooter stormed out of a party and 20 minutes later had managed to round up multiple heavily armed attackers to avenge his party argument.
It’s certainly a story. Even if it isn’t a very good story. And yet it’s a story that we keep hearing over and over again.
It begins with lies and ends with body bags.
Everything possible was done to deny Nidal Hassan’s terrorist motivations in the Fort Hood Massacre. His attack was deemed workplace violence. Even his own attempts to explain that he supported the terrorists were shut down so that he was reduced to smuggling messages to get his story out.
And despite multiple statements by Hassan that he was a terrorist, the official story is still workplace violence.
You can read -- even in The Washington Post, courtesy of columnist and ex-Bushie Marc Thiessen -- that President Obama personally referred to the Fort Hood hootings as "workplace violence." As far as I can tell, he never said that. It was a designation used for the incident by the government -- initially because, as AP reported a couple of years ago, "the Uniform Code of Military Justice does not have a punitive article for 'terrorism.'"
"They really didn't have an option," says Silliman, director emeritus of Duke University's Center on Law, Ethics and National Security in Durham, N.C. "He was an active-duty officer. The crime occurred on a military installation. … It was obvious he was going to face a court-martial."The Defense Department resisted the terrorism label for what Hasan did, and resisted awarding Purple Hearts to victims, because it argued, Hasan's defense might use the designation to advance the claim that he couldn't get a fair trial. I'm not sure I understand that, or agree with the logic, but ultimately Congress passed legislation making the Fort Hood victims eligible for Purple Hearts, By that time, Hasan had been tried and convicted and sentenced to death.
I don't see how any conservative can object to those outcomes -- but conservatives continue to insist that every non-conservative applies the label "workplace violence" routinely to acts that are ultimately determined to be terrorism. It's not true in general, and it isn't true now. We need more definitive information about the San Bernardino incident, but I see no evidence that anyone is denying the possibility that it was terrorism. Yet every right-winger going forward will be certain that that's we all spent this moment in a state of denial.