Some of us wrote about the attempt to kill Danish free-speecher Lars Hedegaard at point blank range a few hours after it happened. But the wise old hands at The New York Times waited almost a month, until (in keeping with their famously torpid motto “All the news that’s fit to print”) they found an angle that would not discombulate the sensibilities of their delicate readers. Lo and behold:
Danish Opponent of Islam Is Attacked, and Muslims Defend His Right to Speak
Brilliant! You don’t really have to bother reading it after that, but Andrew Higgins fills the allotted space anyway:
COPENHAGEN — When a would-be assassin disguised as a postman shot at — and just missed — the head of Lars Hedegaard, an anti-Islam polemicist and former newspaper editor, this month, a cloud of suspicion immediately fell on Denmark’s Muslim minority.
Here we go! The great thing about actual violence by Muslims is that it provides an excellent opportunity to agonize about purely hypothetical violence against Muslims. Or as a droll correspondent of the great Australian wag Tim Blair put it, in a note perfect parody of coverage of the London Tube attacks:
British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing
And, eight years on, so it goes. Diana West, in a fine analysis, pierces the “cloud”, which is mostly Mr Higgins’ fog of discreet evasions. Whether or not a “cloud of suspicion” should fall on “Denmark’s Muslim minority”, it should certainly fall on The New York Times and the Danish and Swedish press, which can’t seem to resist giving the impression that it would be best “for the future of humanity if the gunman had had better aim” – and therefore, in some vague, not quite explicit sense, Mr Hedegaard is a legitimate target, and the real “victims” here are poor blameless Muslims.
What sort of “newspaper” takes a month to publish a news story? It’s certainly not because they’re covering all the other stuff going on in Scandinavia. The last time I appeared with Lars in Copenhagen, the event had to be protected by PET, the Danish Security & Intelligence Service (very stylish fellows). The other speakers included a guy whose kitchen had been firebombed, and a lady whose family restaurant had been shot up. Gosh, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a “cloud of suspicion” and gunsmoke. But, either way, The New York Times can’t see a thing.