The ledes they (apparently) didn't read

Nov 17, 2015

"Press wrote about Beirut bombings - but did you read it? (Aka don't be a tragedy hipster)," tweets Middle East freelance journalist Mairi McKay, summarizing Max Fisher's Vox argument that media did cover the attack on Beirut -- it's just that the public didn't notice (at 71,000+ shares right now, and showing no signs of stopping). "There's a large gap between what the public thinks the media covers and what the media actually covers," points out PandoDaily's Nathaniel Mott. "Dear people on the Beirut vs Paris soap box, read this first," entreats LinkedIn's India Editor Ramya Venugopal. "Reading this, I thought about an article I did on Palestinians dying of hunger in Syria -- that no one read," realizes Terrence McCoy at the Washington Post.

Which leads us to the fearless father who threw himself on a suicide bomber, saving hundreds of lives in Beirut. We know this happened because the media tells us it did. "What martyrdom really looks like," WaPo's Antonio Olivo calls it. It must be acknowledged, however, that the people of Beirut do indeed feel forgotten. "No monuments lit up in mourning after the Beirut bombings a day before the Paris attacks," details Peter Baker with the New York Times. But as Adam Taylor clarifies in a WaPo piece, this plays into the strategy of the Islamic State, who want us to hate refugees and see them as others. And as Guardian's Nicolas Henin further elaborates, what ISIS fears more than bombs is unity. "They will be heartened by every sign of xenophobia...Their world view is that non-Muslims cannot live w/Muslims," explains David Rohde at Reuters.

And that's exactly what is seemingly achieved when governors rush to slam the door on Syrian refugees, with Michigan, Alabama, Texas, and Arkansas all claiming they will reject any such asylum applicants -- never mind that it isn't really within their power to do so. Even so, Katrina vanden Heuvel with The Nation predicts it "[w]ill be seen as 1 of most craven moments in US's long immigration history" and for some, it calls to mind what Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II. "Hey, history, thanks for repeating but also, as you repeat, teaching people nothing," snarks The New Yorker's Ben Greenman. Also, it's worth considering that all the Paris attackers identified so far seem to be European nationals. "Europe doesn't have a refugee problem. It has an internal security problem," counters Liz Sly with WashPost.

But not all of today's takes will leave a bitter taste in your mouth, like this father and son having the most precious conversation ever about the Paris attackers. At the BBC, Julia Macfarlane urges, "You absolutely must watch what this father & son say about #ParisAttacks. This is why the terrorists will never win." And on that note, we might all benefit from perusing this moving Washington Post remembrance of the victims, as well. "We're building a page to remember all the victims in Friday's Paris attacks. You can see them here, as we confirm," explains Mark W. Smith there.

About the author

Writes the @MuckRackDaily & runs #muckedup chat. Creator of #100helpfuldays. I can haz media tips?

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