Out here in the hinterlands, when we rubes hear no less than the Attorney General of the United States pledge to a specific group that she “will taken action” against certain kinds of “rhetoric” directed at that group, like all threats of fascism, we consider that kind of a big deal. On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” although Lynch had made that exact pledge to a Muslim group just a few days earlier, it was not considered newsworthy, or even raised during her Sunday appearance.
Had moderator Chuck Todd’s interview been eaten up only by a search for news about the San Bernardino terror attack, one could forgive the oversight. But it wasn’t.
In fact, although a neighbor of the San Bernardino terrorists confessed that he found the couple suspicious but said nothing out of fear of being labeled an anti-Muslim racist, Todd still asked Lynch, “Both you and Director Comey have said, ‘see something, say something.’ Is there a line where you worry that people are going to be overly suspicious?”
Although Lynch did not bring the issue up, Todd also had time to push the discussion towards gun control, “Is this a time for a gun control conversation?”
Here’s what Lynch said Thursday while speaking at a Muslim Advocates event: [emphasis added]
Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone to lift — lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric or, as we saw after 9/11, violence against individuals who may not even be Muslims but may be perceived to be Muslims and they will suffer just as well, just as much. When we see that, we will take action. …
Since 9/11, we’ve had over a thousand investigations into acts of anti-Muslim hatred, including rhetoric and bigoted actions, with over 45 prosecutions arising out of that. …
I think it’s important, however, that as we again talk about the importance of free speech we make it clear that actions predicated on violent talk are not America they are not who were they are not what we do and they will be prosecuted, so I want that message to be clear also.
Lynch is obviously going out of her way to single out speech. She’s not focusing on threats or violence (which are illegal), she is intentionally using the word “speech.” She is also, in my opinion, being intentionally unclear about what she means. The reasons for this are obvious: to pander to the group in front of her and to chill the speech of the rest of us.
Lynch was also not asked why she told this Muslim civil rights group that her “greatest fear” is an outbreak, not of another terror attack, but of anti-Muslim speech. If that sounds ridiculous, here is her direct quote:
The fear that you have just mentioned [anti-Muslim rhetoric] is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence.
Whether or not they have to invent it, the DC Media, including “Meet the Press,” constantly pounce on and obsess over anything they perceive as extreme or overreach coming from the Republican Party. To distract from everything else, the media relentlessly weaponizes these statements into cudgels against Republicans, including from obscure, local candidates.
This is a constant dynamic we see from the DC Media. Democrats are protected from their extremism (abortion, guns, speech, environmentalism etc.) while Republicans are defined by it.
Take what Lynch said. Put those words in the mouth of Jeb Bush, and switch out “Muslim” for “Christian.” Bush is not the sitting Attorney General, he is not even an officeholder. At present, Bush is a private citizen polling at 3%. Nevertheless, had he said such a thing, we all know it would be blown up on “Meet the Press” and cycling every 30 minutes on cable news as every Republican in the country was forced to answer for it.
Ask me again why trust in the media is at an all-time low.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC