Suicide Bombing in Iowa– and the media is silent

On September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks that devastated our nation, a man crashed his car into a building in Davenport, Iowa, hoping to blow it up and kill himself in the fire.

No national newspaper, magazine, or network newscast reported this attempted suicide bombing, though an AP wire story was available. Cable news (save for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann) was silent about this latest act of terrorism in America.

Had the criminal, David McMenemy, been Arab or Muslim, this would have been headline news for weeks. But since his target was the Edgerton Women’s Health Center, rather than, say, a bank or a police station, media have not called this terrorism — even after three decades of extreme violence by anti-abortion fanatics, mostly fundamentalist Christians who believe they’re fighting a holy war.


Read the whole op/ed
.

via. Thanks to Matt for the link.


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33 comments for “Suicide Bombing in Iowa– and the media is silent

  1. beth
    December 3, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    why does the title read “ohio” when the text says “iowa”?

  2. Mary
    December 3, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    The article is about Iowa, not Ohio.

  3. evil fizz
    December 3, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    That would be a suicide bombing in Iowa, not Ohio. =)

    P.S. You should check out the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of active hate groups in the US, if you haven’t already seen it at Lauren’s. I just wish Operation Rescue was on there.

  4. cooper
    December 3, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    You know, this kind of shit makes me crazy.

    For all I still find the man to be a reprehensible bastard, Alberto Gonzales does get one point in his favor in my mind: He was the only person in the government (and almost all of the media I might add) who called Eric Rudolph a terrorist in front of the cameras. I god so fed up with hearing some variation on “bomber” about the guy in the news…

  5. A Pang
    December 3, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Iowa.

    Also, the comments on that article are just awful.

  6. December 3, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    why does the title read “ohio” when the text says “iowa”?

    Because I am a moron.

  7. December 3, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    You’re not a moron, but as someone currently living in Ohio, I am a bit taken aback by the apparent attitude of, “Eh, Ohio, Iowa, I don’t know, one of those places in the middle with an Indian name. It’s all just one big corn-fed blur to me.” You damned East Coast liberal.

    And I am, of course, kidding, but I assume this was something like the attitude that led to the mistake.

  8. Aerik
    December 3, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve seen this incident all over the blogosphere before. Since about the day it happened, in fact. It’s a shame the media refuses to report it. It is really a liberal media? I don’t think so.

  9. December 3, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    No, it wasn’t that, it’s that I’ve been studying for finals all day and my brain is fried. I read the article, read “Iowa,” registered that it was Iowa, but inexplicably typed “Ohio” without thinking about it — possibly because “Ohio” and “Iowa” sound kind of similar. You know how sometimes you’re typing, and you mean to type, say, “write” and instead you type “right”? Even though you know the difference? It was like that.

  10. Lindsay
    December 3, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    omg, who the fuck cares about the typo, I think you’re obviously forgetting about the article itself. Jeez.

  11. December 3, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    Okay, I was just joking in any case, Jill. But I actually know what you mean. I sometimes confuse not only words like “right” and “write” but longer words with one syllable that’s the something. So I don’t think you were necessarily thinking, “Damn, one of those places with Olive Gardens and Wal-Marts. What’s with those people?”

  12. tigi
    December 3, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Good article, but what a comments section under it. I notice now — probably not for the first time — that a lot of the anti-abortionists who are responding to the article are referring to abortion as murder done for the “mother’s convenience” rather than a difficult and personal decision that a woman makes, sometimes with help of a partner, sometimes completely alone. One person even refers to a so-called statistic that 90% of all abortions are done for “convenience,” and one of the more vile commenters (I think the one that calls the author a “child molester” and refers to herself as “realwoman”) says that the typical woman who gets an abortion sleeps with 20 women at a time. Straw-Abortionist?

    What a depressing day. First I hear that I’m like a needy cat, then I hear that, because I’m pro-choice, I’m a selfish whore.

  13. Hawise
    December 3, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    I’d rather be a needy cat or a selfish whore than someone who would toss my principles aside and try to kill people for any reason other than defense of self or other. I just think that some of the commenters on that post are sad, sad individuals who really need to get out more and interact with people on a basic level. I hope I never get that evil and judgemental.

  14. December 3, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    Hey everyone, the op-ed was written by the Exec Dir of Women in Media & News. And right now if you buy a bag/purse at Poise.cc a donation will be made to WIMN!

    $5 from each sale during the month of December will be donated to Women In Media & News. If you’d like to increase donations, simply mention how you found about about this promotion in the “Special Notes” section during checkout and your donation will be increased to $10.

    So get yourself a bag and help support the work of WIMN!

  15. December 3, 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Hawise – agreed, the commenters there sucked. I’m guessing that the paper doesn’t ask their authors to moderate the comments on their post. i also don’t see any inherent virtue in allowing comments on a news article (even op-ed pieces). Comments referencing the arguments made by an author should be subjected to response and critiques from the author – not just the community.

    This story, though, is ridiculous. A suicide bomber doesn’t get coverage? In George Bush’s America? It’s hard for me to express how disgusting it is that this fact is determined by the nature of the target (women) and the perpetrator (a Christian). The media’s silence on this story perpetuates the myth that all terrorists are Muslim and all attacks aim to undermine the Bush presidency.

  16. EricP
    December 3, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    I’d rather be a needy cat or a selfish whore than someone who would toss my principles aside and try to kill people for any reason other than defense of self or other.

    But they truly believe that abortion is murder and that you are killing children when having an abortion. Based on what you wrote, wouldn’t you take extra-ordinary steps to prevent the murder of a child? Obviously feminists don’t think abortion is murder, neither do I – just to stop the innevitable flames. However their point of view is not incredibly unreasonable.

    As for the terrorism involved, I would have no problem water-boarding anyone involved to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Presumably you agree?

  17. December 3, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    No, it wasn’t that, it’s that I’ve been studying for finals all day and my brain is fried. I read the article, read “Iowa,” registered that it was Iowa, but inexplicably typed “Ohio” without thinking about it — possibly because “Ohio” and “Iowa” sound kind of similar. You know how sometimes you’re typing, and you mean to type, say, “write” and instead you type “right”? Even though you know the difference? It was like that.

    Completely off-topic, but I have a similar blunder for you. My aunt just gave birth to my new, utterly kitten-adorable cousin Sophie and, in my haste to get to the hospital to visit them, I wound up at Sharp hospital — which is on the completely opposite side of town as Scripps hospital.

    Yeah.

  18. kate
    December 3, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    Based on what you wrote, wouldn’t you take extra-ordinary steps to prevent the murder of a child?Obviously feminists don’t think abortion is murder, neither do I – just to stop the innevitable flames. However their point of view is not incredibly unreasonable.

    As for the terrorism involved, I would have no problem water-boarding anyone involved to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Presumably you agree?

    OK, first you say its murder, then you don’t. I think its pretty clear where you come from, but I’ll bite.

    First off, most women do take extraordinary steps to prevent pregnancy. Pregnancy is a biological function that is hard to beat, its happens sometimes without planning. Why do pro-lifers take extraordinary steps to make even this difficult? Why do pro-lifers still cling to a 19th century notion of sexual function and women’s sexuality?

    As for water boarding terrorists, I for one don’t support the bizzarro torture methods employed by our military and supported by this present administration. Therefore, I don’t support torturing even the people I think the most vile. I have principles, something many pro-life supporters seem to draw a pretty wiggling line around.

    We have system to deal with criminals and threats to society, we don’t need to justify torture.

  19. EricP
    December 3, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    OK, first you say its murder, then you don’t. I think its pretty clear where you come from, but I’ll bite.

    You are making an assumption. For what it is worth, I don’t see it as murder. I do think that it is feel-goodism to deny that something is dying in an abortion. BUT… I still feel that abortion on demand is better than any other policy since any other rule will result in a worse situation. That is why I am pro-choice but we need to be honest about what is going on.

    As for the water-boarding comment. It was joke. I shouldn’t have posted that, it was a borderline troll comment. You can’t water-board a US citizens since they are subject to the constitution. Non-Americans caught fighting out of uniform should be shot, not tortured – according to the Geneva Conventions.

    We have system to deal with criminals and threats to society, we don’t need to justify torture.

    We have systems to deal with citizens. Of course those should be used. Non-citizens are not subject to that system. They are supposed to be shot on the field, not tortured.

  20. Rockit
    December 3, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    No matter how shocking these tactics are, they’re undeniably working. How many clinics have shut down because of domestic terrorism? Personally, I’d have thought offering to adopt the kids would be a more christian option (if nothing else, it would justify the donations these organisations ask for) but hey, what do I know?

  21. December 3, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    I could have agreed with a great deal here, I think. Certainly suiciding your way through a building occupied by innocents is contemptible. Wait — was it occupied? If not, it’s still criminal destruction of property, but not of the same order as attempted murder.

    Sorry to go tangential. The comments here decried how hate-filled some of the comments were on the pro-life side. I went to check that out, and it was true. I also noted hate-filled comments from the pro-choice side. Those were unmentioned. It seems a strange hypocrisy to do so when commenting about the slanting of the news.

    So following a hunch, I googled the story to see if it was as reported. Almost, but not quite. The attack was at 4:30am, so while it could fairly be called criminal, comparing it to terrorism seems unwarranted. He is referred to as a Christian fundamentalist in several reports, but I don’t see any hard news backing that up. That may turn out to be true, but I have to regard it as an assumption at this point.

    I then reread the OP, above. The phrase “three decades of extreme violence,” which I had passed by on first reading, looked a little more bothersome in light of the slant gradually coming into focus. The National Abortion Federation reports the following:

    Since 1977, casualties from this war include seven murders, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism, according to the National Abortion Federation.

    Well, murder and attempted murder do jump out at one, but for perspective, 1977 was quite some time ago. In that time period there have been many more murders and attempted murders of people against social workers attempting to take children from the home, or patients against therapists. Because those groups don’t particularly fit anyone’s political agenda, they are not tabulated as part of some terrorist group. Though there are groups representing the anger of those groups, and one can find dark mutterings about justified violence on their sites, no one treats the actual violent incidents as anything other than individual events. As they should.

    It just seems that when you are complaining about slant and suppression of news, you should take extra care not to do so yourself.

  22. zuzu
    December 3, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    But they truly believe that abortion is murder and that you are killing children when having an abortion.

    Plenty of people believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that the Grand Canyon was created by the Great Flood, and that demons are real, but should we give any deference to these positions just because they’re sincerely held beliefs?

  23. MARes
    December 3, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    That is one of teh things that aggravates me about the abortion debate, the notion that we have to be “honest” and acknowledge someone else’s personal feelings that we don’t necessarily share. If someone feels that it’s “reasonable” to have the position that a clump of cells that lives in someone’s body and has no independent existance is entitled to rights, often times even more rights than the actual living breathing human in the equation, or that removing it from one’s body would involve killing or dying, then okay, they’re entitled to that opinion. But to act like that’s the only opinion, or the only real, true, honest, not “feel-good” opinion? Why can’t we just accept that different people have fundamentally different views on this without the uncomfortable with abortion people always saying that we must all acknowledge this, that, or the other about the issue all the time, whether we all share that view or not?

  24. zuzu
    December 3, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    And, gosh, what if I feel that a fetus is an alien that needs to be nuked from space, since that’s the only way to be sure?

    Doesn’t that deserve the same kind of deference?

  25. December 3, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    Jill, don’t feel bad about mixing Iowa and Ohio. I grew up in Iowa and it happened all the time. Iowa, Ohio, Idaho…I think it’s because they all sound similar.

  26. KnifeGhost
    December 4, 2006 at 3:30 am

    You can’t water-board a US citizens since they are subject to the constitution.

    Also, you can’t waterboard anybody because it’s wrong.

  27. December 4, 2006 at 5:20 am

    But they truly believe that abortion is murder and that you are killing children when having an abortion.

    And anarchists truly believed that the factory owners they murdered were oppressors who were killing members of the working class.

    We have systems to deal with citizens. Of course those should be used. Non-citizens are not subject to that system. They are supposed to be shot on the field, not tortured.

    If I ever come close to getting naturalized, I’m going to ask Jill to forward me your personal information, which she already has based on your IP address. Just hope that if you ever face trial for anything I won’t be on the jury.

  28. Hawise
    December 4, 2006 at 7:10 am

    I should perhaps have added an ‘immediate’ to the defense of self and others but it seemed unnecessary at the time. I believe that driving a car designed to ignite a fire into a multi-use clinic and office building is an act of lunacy and whoever did it needs psychiatric help. There is no moral context into which generalized killing of innocents and the deprivation of a means of making a living is acceptable. Hurting people because they are in the same general area of an act that you disapprove of is insane. People who do these kinds of acts are NOT Christians or any other faith dependant on a compassionate diety, they have so totally missed the point that they are in some negative universe. I absolutely do not care what they call themselves, their actions tell us that they have stepped off the bus and into some some weird nether world of thought. The sooner we find a way to put them out of the way of people who can think the safer we all will be.

  29. coperad
    December 4, 2006 at 7:52 am

    If I ever come close to getting naturalized, I’m going to ask Jill to forward me your personal information, which she already has based on your IP address. Just hope that if you ever face trial for anything I won’t be on the jury.

    Whoa, hold on there. EricP wasn’t directly advocating violence against non-citizens, he was just stating the terms of the Geneva Convention. Let’s keep the threats to the anti-abortion domestic terrorists.

  30. ginmar
    December 4, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Um, Assistant Village Idiot, maybe you don’t think seven murders and seventeen attempted murders is enough. Where’s that sanctity of life thing you were talking about again?

  31. StacyM
    December 4, 2006 at 10:36 am

    There are so many common place horrors that women face in society that are ignored simply because they affect women. Men still hold the lion’s share of power in news institutions and consequently, issues that don’t directly effect men are ignored and trivialized.

    Really, this seems to be a part of a much larger problem: women’s needs and interests have traditionally taken a back seat to men’s. You can see this pattern expressed in everyday events. Who has to quit their job when a spouse gets a better offer in another part of the country? Who’s freedom of movement is more curtailed when they hit their teen years? Which consumers are ignored by the tech industry and video game industry? There’s a long, long list of everyday slights that women and girls experience.

    Is it any wonder that terrorism targeted at women is ignored?

    Imagine if a feminist political group started killing off sex workers’ male customers all across the nation. Imagine if the same group started shooting men as they left the local Seven Eleven after purchasing porn magazines. I bet the media would take huge notice of those events. I’ll bet that most of talk radio would be abuzz over this.

    But, who cares about a bunch of religious crazies who kill women and those who try to help them? So what if its been happening for decades? Back page news at best—unless a bunch of male politicians can use it to rally support for a war in another country.

  32. ACG
    December 4, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Actually, now citizens can be tortured, too. The Military Commissions Act (a.k.a. the Won’t Someone Save Us From Our Own Freedoms Act of 2006) allows the president or Secretary of Defense to arbitrarily designate anyone, even an American citizen, an “unlawful combatant,” abuse the hell out of them, and eliminate habeas corpus. Not that that really has anything to do with abortion clinic bombings, except to the extent that the government loves to prosecute/persecute Americans for terrorist acts when they think they’re involved with filthy A-rabs but not when they’re In Defense Of Innocent Fetuses.

  33. Dan
    December 4, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    The reason the media is ignoring this story is the same reason why they treat all of the violence against women as isolated incedents:Anti-Women bigotry.

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