Did the media rush to judge Norway attack?

Readers ask whether the media made too many early assumptions about the attacker in Norway. Other letters discuss the Iranian opposition, Murdoch's waning power, Amy Winehouse's death, delayed projects and a popular fantasy series.
Anders Breivik, charged with the mass killings in Norway, is a self-styled nationalist crusader. Readers condemn the media for jumping to the conclusion that the killer must have been an Islamist. AP via Scanpix
Anders Breivik, charged with the mass killings in Norway, is a self-styled nationalist crusader. Readers condemn the media for jumping to the conclusion that the killer must have been an Islamist. AP via Scanpix

A lot of the damage was done by terrorism expert Will McCants (News media slammed for premature rush to lay blame in Oslo, July 26) on his Jihadica.com blog.

His tweeting of an unproven post quickly translated and it was widely disseminated simply because it pointed to "Islamists", a claim that was utterly irresponsible.

By the time he retracted most of his observations, the mainstream media was not interested in picking up the correction.

Zafar Khan, US

The article makes a valid point, in that the mainstream media should not be too hasty in assigning blame for terror attacks.

But the only media example cited in the article was The Sun, a rather lowbrow, scandal-driven British tabloid that can hardly be seen as a reflection of mainstream western media. As I watched the unfolding Norway tragedy on CNN, BBC World and Sky News, what was very apparent was the extreme caution displayed not to assign blame.

Yes, the possibility of Islamist extremist terrorism was mentioned, but the possibility of extremist right-wing terrorism was also mentioned. And both were expressed as only that - possibilities.

JP De Palma, Dubai

Iranian opposition again in spotlight

As an Iranian woman who lost her husband as a result of atrocities in Iran, and as the director of the Association of Anglo-Iranian Women in the UK, I was appalled to read your article on Iran's major opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (US move to delist MEK as terror group worries Iran's opposition, July 26).

The article attacks the MEK just as the Iranian regime so often does.

All the allegations of this article against the MEK have already been scrutinised in nine different UK and EU courts, and in all nine cases, the courts ordered in favour of the MEK.

Laila Jazayeri, UK

It looks like the MEK may at last get what they so justly deserve, removal from the US terrorist list.

All the allegations, even if they were true, relate to ancient history and documents like the Human Rights Watch report have been discredited.

So delist the MEK and protect the innocent men and women in Ashraf (Iraq). They were all investigated and cleared of any criminal activities before being given Protected Persons status back in 2004.

Liz Carter, UK

Murdoch should take his leave now

The world would be a better place without the likes of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, despite Martin Newland's claim (Murdoch's exit could do more harm than good, July 25).

It is not surprising then that UK prime ministers have felt the need to appease Mr Murdoch and his News Corp in various ways.

The media in Europe has shifted to the right; this new development will hopefully address this imbalance as Mr Murdoch loses the case for control over BskyB.

No media group or individual should be able to dominate the media landscape.

Name and address withheld

Winehouse article was in poor taste

"No good?" Not well is more like it, but the former is to be expected from someone who wrote: "Come on, I incited unkindly, it'll be a car crash." (Amy Winehouse: a little girl lost in Dubai, July 25).

Are you allergic to compassion?

It is possible to live without sneering and Schadenfreude and without that sort of tone. Finding pleasure in her misfortune?

If you wonder why a fair number of reasonable people think too many journalists are classless, the approach taken in this article stands as a sad, shining example.

Robert Hough, US


Still waiting for delayed villas

In reference to your news article, Frustrating wait for a villa in Jumeirah Village (May 2010), your reporters should investigate this matter further.

Independent reporting could be the only way your readers get the answer they want. When will these overdue properties be built?

Dan Crouch, Dubai

By George, please don't make us wait

I am sure by now George RR Martin has some conclusion to his brilliant epic fantasy (A Dance with Dragons: the fifth book in the Song of Ice and Fire released, July 25).

Please George, don't wait another six years as you left us hanging with every character dangling from a cliff so to speak.

Bob Parnofiello, US


Published: July 27, 2011 04:00 AM


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