On Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” former anchor Tom Brokaw said the Boston bombings highlighted how “Islamic rage” is still very much a problem, and that television coverage has turned crime and political violence into a kind of reality show.
“I don’t think any of us are any more insulated from this kind of violence because it plays on television 24/7,” Brokaw said. “My wife and I were getting ready for dinner Friday night when they finally began to find him and capture him, and I said to her, ‘this is a reality show we’re going to be living with for a long time.’ We went through recently under different circumstances in Newtown, with the mass shooting of the youngsters there. I remember so vividly Oklahoma City and how that bound us together.”
The former “Nightly News” anchor then then said that, “in some ways,” Islamic extremism appears to be even “more dangerous” after bin Laden’s death.
“There are a couple of things to remember, David [Gregory], I think for all of us,” Brokaw continued. “With the death of Osama Bin Laden, Islamic rage did not go away. In fact, in some ways, it’s more dangerous. This is a perfect example. You can’t get intel on the lone operator. So, there’s a lot we still need to know about what motivated him, obviously. He’s a Chechen, but their beef is with Russia, not with us. But, he’s also a Muslim. And the fact is that Islamic rage is still out there. We saw it in Times Square. We were very, very fortunate under those circumstances. So there has to be more vigilance, obviously.”
Brokaw added that the attacks served as a reminder that the nation’s struggle against Islamic terrorism has compromised Americans’ privacy.
“But what Boston also told us — we have added 30 million surveillance cameras to this country,” he added. “We have more than doubled our private security budget in this country to now almost $50 billion. And the saying is, ‘If you see something, say something.’ But the other part of that, of course, is if you do something, someone will see you doing something. And that’s at once a relief, but it also makes me a little uncomfortable. There is no privacy left in our society.”