Suspicious Minds

Friday, April 16, 2010


In the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing 15 years ago, both media and law enforcement leaped to the conclusion that the attack must have come from Islamic terrorists. As a result, Oklahoma City’s Muslim population underwent a crisis. Why were they under suspicion? Had one of them done it? Reporter Scott Gurian looks at the ongoing impact of that misguided rush to judgment.

Comments [6]

Ivy from Sioux Falls, SD

Thank you for referring to Timothy McVeigh as the terrorist he was. His actions and those of other American-born mass murderers are clear signs that there is such a thing as domestic terrorists, and we ought to refer to those performing such acts as the terrorist they are.

Apr. 22 2010 10:23 PM
R from NY

"Public radio simply cannot shake the stink of political correctness from its journalism" Mark

Well said but they are not trying to shake it; they marinade in it which is why their offerings are more propaganda than professional reporting. That's fine and dandy but why do WE have to pay for it?

Apr. 21 2010 05:43 PM
jesus gonzalez from montreal qc

I don't know which news agency it was, but I remember them comment -- "sources are now saying they suspect home grown terrorist, as the bomb is said to be low tech"

Apr. 20 2010 03:25 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

Uh, I would have thought that 9/11 - remember 9/11? - would have provided some retroactive justification for the immediate impulse on the parts of ordinary people that an act of terrorism by people espousing 'radical Islam' was not an unreasonable thought. I have several Arab-American friends, and I can tell you that the thought that Oklahoma City was an act by radicals espousing Islam was their immediate reaction, and fear, as well. Public radio simply cannot shake the stink of political correctness from its journalism, and too often ends up reminding me of Groucho's (or was it Chico's) line, "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

Apr. 19 2010 08:44 PM
Alvin Nichter from Manhattan, NYC

Two major flaws in this OTM piece:
1. OTM missed a big part of the media story: The ostracizing of Steve Emerson. Prior to the OK City bombing, he was a respected independent journalist who specialized in Islamic terrorism. On the day of the bombing, he was interviewed by (as I recall) Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News. At that time, Emerson conjectured that there MAY have been a connection to Islamic extremists. This was a reasonable suspicion, considering the significant presence of Islamic radicals in OK City and the university at the time, and the then-recent first World Trade Center attack, which was also a truck bombing on an iconic building. However, after one incorrect but reasonable conjecture relating to Islamic extremists....poof! Emerson is persona non grata in the mainstream media world. Since then, he has done important work on Islamic terrorism, but in the eyes of most mainstream media, apparently, he can never be rehabilitated.
2. Why did this report depend so heavily on CAIR as a source of information and contacts? Some CAIR leaders have had disturbing connections to Islamic terrorist groups, CAIR itself receives significant foreign funding, and it has advocacy positions as part of its agenda. OTM should tread carefully when sourcing from CAIR: You will not get an accurate, impartial view, even in a "Muslims-as-victims" story.

Apr. 19 2010 05:57 AM
Neil Fazel from Austin, TX

America's relations with Iran were the biggest casualty of the Oklahoma City bombing. Immediately after the bombing, in April 1995, President Bill Clinton issued a total embargo on U.S. dealings with Iran, prohibiting all commercial and financial transactions with the country. Then in 1996 the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act was passed. (For a long time prior to this, pro-Israel groups had been lobbying to get sanctions imposed on Iran. In the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the political climate was such that they were finally successful in getting sanctions imposed on Iran.)

The sanctions have acted as a wedge between Iran and America. Were it not for the sanctions, the two countries might even have found a resolution to their differences.

Apr. 19 2010 02:20 AM

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