It will be interesting to watch the various reactions (and non-reactions) to this event in coming days:
Damage to the Wasilla Bible Church [where Sarah Palin is a member] was estimated at $1 million, authorities said Saturday. The fire was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside…
Here’s one: The New York Times’ coverage is exceedingly terse, at 169 words with no picture, its lede devoted to Palin’s apology (in case the motives for the arson prove to be connected to her candidacy) rather than any news details of the fire itself. They manage to work the word ‘Republican’ into the first paragraph. Saul Steinberg would be pleased.
The artist and social commentator is not to be confused with Obama and Hillary inspirer, Saul Alinsky who, in his 1971 book ‘Rules for Radicals’ urged people to “Burn the system down”. His son David commented later that, “The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.”
I’ll leave it at that. Draw your own conclusions…
The WaPo is grudingly better, at 332 words (also no picture) but follows the same AP-inspired worldview implying, broadly, that it might have something to do with Palin getting too close to Focus on the Family. [aka, liberal Satan]
By contrast, the Boston Herald covers the same event with more than 4X the ink as the NYT, at 752 words and includes a picture (see below), going to the trouble of actually interviewing one of the victims. (Journalism 101 anybody?)
Church Pastor Larry Kroon, reached at home Saturday morning, said he’d been up all night and was still in a state of disbelief. He said the church was in only its second winter in the building, and he confirmed the $1 million damage estimate. “It’s one of those things — it feels surreal,” he said. The pastor said he was especially disturbed someone would set the fire while people were inside.
Kroon was at home when he got a call from the husband of one of the women who had been in the building. By the time he arrived, smoke was pouring from the windows of a back corner of the building.
The building is equipped with a fire sprinkler system, Kroon said, but the fire was burning in the walls and took hours to put out.
Most of the damage was confined to the back corner of the building where four offices and a classroom are located, he said. There is also water damage and the entire building smells like smoke, he said.
Such details matter. They used to be the mark of hard-news journalism. American Thinker observes, wryly:
This would not fit Bill Ayers’ definition of terrorism, since no one was killed. More like protest that just went a little too far in a matter of mere youthful excess… Can you imagine the media outcry if arson were suspected to have caused a million dollars worth of arson damage to Trinity United Church of Christ? [Obama/Rev. Wright's church]
Nobody deserves something like this. One’s status as victim does not depend on religious belief, political affiliation or proximity to Manhattan. It is somewhat encouraging and even, I must admit, surprising to venture into the leftist partisan swamp that is Daily Kos and find what appears to be honest sympathy. Very encouraging indeed.
UPDATE I (Monday morning): I may have been too hasty in my tentative lauding of Kos. Some blog commenters are already suggesting that the fire may have been set by the vast right wing conspiracy in a dark, twisted conspiracy to gain sympathy and power. (For students of history, that would be via comparisons to Hitler’s Reichstag fire.) Unbelievable…
UPDATE II (Monday afternoon): This is from a draft post I never finished on the ‘Alinsky school’:
Melanie Phillips on Obama:
…the revolutionary Alinsky school of politics in which his politics to date have been solidly anchored is entirely about stealth, iron discipline and steady incremental cultural change under the radar, so that the terms of political trade are changed forever…. The aim is to achieve increased control at home and decreased power abroad, in order radically to change America and neuter its power. But it must be done with maximum deniability.
What is the Alinsky model?
…the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to “rub raw the sores of discontent,” in Alinsky’s words… The agitator’s job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the “realization” that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent “self-interest” in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.