New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on Katie Couric’s show Monday night to discuss the attempted car bombing in Times Square. Between reassuring viewers at home that New York was safe and praising the city’s resilient spirit, Bloomberg wondered aloud if the culprit behind the Times Square car bomb was “a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health-care bill or something.”
WATCH MAYOR BLOOMBERG BET BOMBER HATES OBAMACARE
Mayor Mike is probably wishing he hadn’t said that: The suspect authorities took into custody last night wasn’t a Bellevue patient or a Tea Partier, but a Pakistan-born American citizen named Faisal Shahzad who tried to flee to Dubai following the failed attack.
Bloomberg was just one of many public figures who intimated the Tea Party movement Monday might have tried — or at the very least, wanted — to blow up Midtown Manhattan. Over at the Nation, Robert Dreyfuss kiboshed the possibility that the attempted bombing was an act of Islamic terrorism, arguing instead that it was “either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right. Which actually exists in Connecticut, where, it seems, the car’s license plates were stolen.”
Liberal bloggers weighed in by the dozens, conservative site InfoWars wrote on Monday, citing as evidence the Oklahoma City bombing, the Texas man who recently flew a single-engine plane into an IRS building, and Tea Party culture in general.
“It’s not enough to brazenly slander the entire movement as racist. Now the Tea Party will be linked to terrorism in order to scare away supporters before the mid-term elections,” InfoWars’ Kurt Nimmo wrote.
Bloomberg hasn’t apologized for the statement he made on Couric’s show, nor has Dreyfuss apologized. But the latter seems to have left himself some wiggle room in his post accusing Tea Partiers of attempting to blow up Times Square: “As always, it’s important to point out that even if the Times Square bombing turns out to be the work of jihadist zealots, it shows that the as an enemy these crazies rank about on a par with the guy who crashed his plane into the IRS building.”
UPDATE: It’s been brought to our attention that even more liberals tried, in one way or another, to tie the Tea Partiers to the Times Square incident on Sunday and Monday:
The reality is that in this country there seem to be essentially two scenarios that can unfold at this point when we hear about terrorism, two kinds of people/groups that typically end up being involved. And that says quite a lot in and of itself. If I were the Tea Partiers, I wouldn’t be too quick to dwell on the question of why Americans might think they’re involved in terrorism. I don’t think that’s a discussion that’s going to go well for them.
I think the politics of this incident will turn heavily on who is found to be responsible. If, as seems unlikely, the bomb is linked to south Asian or Middle Eastern terrorists, questions will again arise as to whether Homeland Security is doing all it can do to keep us safe. If, as I believe much more likely, the bomb was placed by a right-wing lunatic, it seems to me that questions need to be raised as to whether the right wing media bears some responsibility for stoking the delusions of such people through its relentless and often unfounded attacks on the Obama administration and the federal government. We need to consider whether it isn’t time to return to responsible, ethical, journalism.
Anonymous sources have reported that a suspect is currently being questioned in the Bridgeport / New Haven CT area. The suspect is a middle age white male, has a history of strong political views, and considers himself a Sarah Palin Tea Party express activist. An arrest is expected within days. In a strange twist, the suspect worked in the past as an informant with law enforcement agencies.