I must say, there’s something about the way accused White House intruder Omar Gonzalez is constantly described in the media that bothers me. I keep hearing him called “Army veteran Omar Gonzalez.” It’s true he’s an Army veteran. So I’m not disputing the fact.Oh Jesus.
But I have a little trouble with the relevance. I know there is a cottage industry out there trying to hype up the threat of returning vets as the real source of domestic terrorism (we all remember the DHS-report controversy).That's why, every time a veteran knocks over a liquor store, the liberal media runs his mugshot next to a picture of Tim McVeigh.
But it’s worth noting that Gonzalez’s alleged motivation was to tell the president the atmosphere is collapsing. In other words, while PTSD — or some other mental defect — may be to blame for his delusions, describing him as “Army veteran Omar Gonzalez” doesn’t really tell us anything about his motivations. It doesn’t fit into the “narrative” save as evidence that he might have PTSD. But to use “Army veteran” as a euphemism for PTSD sufferer is somewhat obscene.People think Gonzalez might have PTSD because a family member told reporters he had PTSD. His bizarre post-service actions may reflect a madness independent of post traumatic stress disorder, which is why responsible media and public officials have been pretty good about not saying for sure that he has it -- with the understanding that the modifier "responsible" excludes some people, like Howard Kurtz ("The fact that Gonzalez, a war veteran suffering from PTSD, even made it to the door"), Darrell Issa ("...a crazed, solo, knife-wielding veteran with PTSD..."), et alia.
This is why Goldberg is very careful about decoupling his "calling Gonzalez a veteran, though true, is unfair" charge from his charge that something something media PTSD. He's not smart, but he does possess a certain low animal cunning.
Goldberg goes on --
... But compare all this to the coverage of Alton Nolen... He’s never described as “Muslim Alton Nolen” or “Islamic extremist Alton Nolen.” And that’s probably right. But why is Omar Gonzalez not afforded the same standard? In the case of Nolen, I suspect part of the reason is that the press, like the White House, is very reluctant to say anything that might cast aspersions on the larger Muslim community.This is bullshit. The New York Times, like every other news source on the planet, has told readers the guy is a Muslim. (The Times said "Mr. Nolen is a recent convert to Islam," which is the same thing as saying he's Muslim, unless what you're going for is some sort of pejorative lilt, a la "Dirty Dingus Magee" or "Evil Roy Slade.")
As for calling him “Islamic extremist Alton Nolen," that would be much further out than suggesting Gonzalez might have PTSD -- though (as detailed in my recent Village Voice column, which you really should read or at least click on) there are plenty of media outlets that are not only doing that, but also asserting that Nolen is part of a jihad army, fanning out across the heartland on the orders of some Islamic Mr. Big.
Goldberg's big close:
That’s perfectly defensible (though calling the beheading simple “work place violence” is indefensible Orwellian nonsense).Nolen went to his workplace and committed violence. Newspeak!
But shouldn’t the larger community of Army vets get at least the same deference?"Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America" was funny in the movie, Jonah, but as you may have noticed at parties, if you want to be asked back you're gonna need some fresher material.