Monday, March 8, 2010
media and terrorism
So I was thinking about the guy who flew an airplane into the IRS offices in Austin, Texas last month. The media basically stopped covering him the day after. They didn’t even call the act terrorism, even though so many other similar acts are construed as such. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was because he was white. He was a white American with a very “American” name: Joe Stack. I think that the media did not want to cover this story because it conflicts with their agenda. There can’t be members of the dominant culture that are terrorists, the media wants us to fear those who are not in power. Because he was in the dominant group, we weren’t supposed to see him as a terrorist. The media wants us to fear people who do not fit the rigid WASP standards, and see people who are not white as possible terrorists. I think this also has to do with them construing the Fort Hood tragedy as terrorism. Even though the guy was American, he was also a Muslim with a non-dominant culture sounding name, and it fit the media’s construction of terrorism to paint the Fort Hood disaster as a terrorist act. Tim Stack resembled the dominant culture too closely to be called a terrorist but the guy at Fort Hood was ideal because he matched the media’s construction.