The PTSD Evasion

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 11, 2009

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-Read the excerpt below from NationalReview.com's editor Rich Lowry.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers in a rampage at Fort Hood, … had never experienced any combat-related trauma. He had never even been deployed overseas. Yet he had barely stopped shooting his victims in cold blood, chasing the wounded to finish them off, when the media [suggested he had post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD].

The New York Times headlined an analysis piece on the incident “When Soldiers Snap.” It reported that in World War II, military doctors believed “that more than 90 days of continuous combat could turn any soldier into a psychiatric casualty.” With Hasan, the paper stipulated, “that point may have come even before he experienced the reality of war.”

Time magazine blamed the stressful environment of Fort Hood where frequent deployments meant “the kindling was hiding in plain sight.” The Washington Post ran a piece on Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where Hasan had served, as indicative of “the ongoing tensions, frustrations and problems in the military health-care system for [returning] troops.”

The … closest [Hassan had] come to combat was counseling sessions with soldiers. Another New York Times piece raised the possibility that Hasan might have acquired PTSD from the very act of treating those patients – “in contact distress, of a kind.”

……………….

Put aside his ongoing contact with radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, formerly a leader of Hasan’s mosque. A classmate of Hasan’s in a master’s program said Hasan told other students he was “a Muslim first and an American second.” Hasan titled a PowerPoint presentation he gave in an environmental-health seminar a year ago “Why the War on Terror Is a War on Islam.” According to one witness, he said he thought Muslims should “stand up and fight against the aggressor,” i.e., us.

By all means investigate this case thoroughly, but don’t flinch from the growing evidence that this was an act of treason by a Muslim solider who – in the War on Terror – took the other side. The press and the Army brass desperately want it to be anything other than that, the stress of . . . something. Perhaps the indignity of petty acts of anti-Muslim harassment, like his car getting keyed.

………………

Obviously, Hasan isn’t a representative American Muslim, nor is his act an indictment of Muslims in the military. We can acknowledge both those things without laboring to obscure the nature of his crime in childish evasions.

Read the original article at nationalreview.com.

Questions

1.  What type of bias does the press display in suggesting that the reason Hassan murdered fellow soldiers in a horrific rampage was that he had PTSD?

2.  Do you think the media is intentionally attempting to misrepresent the motive for Hassan’s attack?  Explain your answer.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1. The press displays bias by spin in their reporting.

2. Opinion question. Answers vary.