Framing the Boston Bombing

Friday, April 26, 2013


The Boston bombing has become a Rorschach blot for the media, who have tied it to everything from immigration to welfare to national security. Bob talks to The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart about the media and the culture's desire to impose meaning on tragedy.


Peter Beinart

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [4]

Jim from Royersford

Bob sets up this segment by observing that everyone wanted to know what group the bombers belonged to. True. But then he asserts that this desire included a prevalent subtext of race. Peter suggests it's related to Islam having been been racialized". Even if this racializing has occurred, Islam is a religion, not a race. In fact it's a religion with many colors, including white. Certainly this is about ideology. But the only evidence in this segment that involves race is the statement of David Sirota. Yes, Peter argues that it all started with some obscure events in the first half of the 1900's, but that's not part of today's consciousness. Next, Peter then seems to warm to Sirota as he hints that the progressives have it more correct than those on the right. Still, there is no evidence that most people were thinking like Sirota. They simply wanted to know which ideology was behind this act, not what race. And just for the record, I don't think Americans have radicalized, let alone racialized, Islam. However, terrorists acting in the name of Islam, have certainly hurt their religion.

Apr. 30 2013 07:59 PM
Debbie from Atlanta

I enjoy listening to NPR as I drive back and forth, but was astounded by comments on today's show. Welfare, immigration and national security would be logical venues to explore in the aftermath of bombs that killed three and wounded many others at an iconic American event such as the Boston Marathon. Who could miss the irony of a person here in our country taking welfare and then plotting to kill the very citizens of that country. The other thing I could hardly believe was said at the break. You read news story titles that your listeners wish would have been covered. Your comment was something to the effect of if we didn't report it, we just act like it never happened. Report the news...all of it.

Apr. 28 2013 08:00 PM
WBUR Member from Greater Boston

As much as I enjoy and appreciate your show, I find it ironic that in an episode featuring detailed discussions of shoddy journalism and unchallenged assumptions related to the Marathon Bombing, your host made reference to the videos showing images of the bombers purportedly taken from the Lord & Taylor's surveillance cameras.

If you take a look at the videos on the FBI's web site (from which the still your own site was excerpted) you can clearly see the bombers walking past a dark green building with black trim situated on the Northern side of Boylston Street and on the runners' left side as they approach the finish line. This building closely resembles Whiskey's, located at 885 Boylston Street.

Lord and Taylor is a cement-colored building whose windows are trimmed in steel or aluminum and is on the South side of the street. Moreover, a police representative announced in a press conference last weekend that assertions that the images were from Lord & Taylor's surveillance cameras were erroneous.

Apr. 27 2013 03:16 PM

"...FOX News (chortle) made political hay.."
as said atop the political hay stack called public radio.

Where was all the anguished hand wringing to avoid political hay and "drawing too many conclusions" in the wake of Newtown and Tucson?

Regardless of the carnage inflicted on this nation, it seems to some it is always American society that has the problem and the law abiding U.S. citizen is the one that must reform and change rather then those committing the crimes.
Isn't making it "a story about us" blaming the victim?

Apr. 27 2013 08:24 AM

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