Via Samizdata I found this post by Timothy Sandefur: They’re fanatics; we just have isolated incidents. Mr Sandefur writes:
This week a religious fanatic, driven by his ideological fixations, shot and killed a man that, for political and religious reasons, he considered a murderer. The fanatic drove off and was later caught by police. Of course, the killer himself harbored a idiosyncratic mix of toxic religious and political ideology that led him into violent hatred of the institutions of freedom and those who live in freedom. But was he also not encouraged by a background of more “mainstream” partisanship in which political spokesmen—television and radio talk show hosts, bloggers, and political leaders—speak in increasingly angry, bitter, and violent terms of their political opposition? The political atmosphere has seen more and more spokesmen speaking in anger, hostility, and disrespect about those they view as their enemies, and this breakdown in civility must have had some impact on this gunman.
By the way, I’m not speaking of the murder of George Tiller in Kansas.
Mr Sandefur was not writing about the BBC particularly. But I am, and the BBC provided at least four stories on the Tiller murder:
This level of coverage is reasonable in that it was not just a random killing or a murder motivated by gain or personal animosity. Rather, it was the first targeted assassination of an abortion provider for over ten years. (In fact, if I may digress, the length of time since the last such murder might surprise many, since the media usually give the impression that such killings are common in the US.) It is reasonable to fear that the murder of George Tiller might be followed by others. It might be part of a terrorist movement. But the same, surely, is true of the killing of William Long?
“William Long,” you say. “I haven’t heard about the killing of William Long.” No, you haven’t, not on the BBC at any rate. Nor have you heard about Quinton Ezeagwula who was wounded in the same crime. Nor have you heard from the BBC about the killer, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad.
UPDATE: Commenter DB points out that he mentioned this in the comments on June 2nd.