Willful blindness (extreme edition)

In his weekly column Mark Steyn catches up with the obtuse coverage of the Mumbai massacres. The example he cites from the the New York Times really deserves to be memorialized in the annals of willful blindness:

Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New York Times a serene befuddlement: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

Hmm. Greater Bombay forms one of the world’s five biggest cities. It has a population of nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An “accidental hostage scene” that one of the “practitioners” just happened to stumble upon? “I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?”

In the linked column by Tom Gross, Gross notes:

Even the Times‘s British equivalent, the Guardian, began its news story: “The inclusion of the headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group was obviously intended to send its own message.”

Gross asks: “Does the New York Times think that the seeking out and murder by Muslim terrorists of the only New York rabbi in Mumbai and his wife was an accidental target?”

But the Times’s cluelessness would have been harder to pull off if it had avoided the passive voice or accurately identified the perpetrators: “It is not known if Islamic terrorists strategically chose the Jewish center” might be tough to let slip, even for the Times. When it refers to the perpetrators, the Times instead identiies them as “gunmen.”

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