June 22, 2015

"First of all, I would like to thank the city of Charleston, how they have come together and shown unity and love."

"He would be so overwhelmed with how everyone has been unified to act on one accord," said Daniel Simmons Jr., the son of Daniel Simmons Sr., one of the victims in the massacre, when he was asked on "Meet the Press," by Chuck Todd:
"What would [your father] say how the community should respond to this horrific attack? What would he be telling you? What do you think he would say to you if he were here to sort of bring the community together?"
That is, Simmons resisted the question. He didn't criticize the city or implore it to change. He thanked the city. He praised the city for what it instinctively did.

The granddaughter, Alana Simmons, broke in without waiting for a question to be directed at her, and she continued with this love for Charleston:
My grandfather really loved Charleston. And one of our best memories of him was coming down two summers ago. And he took us on this grand tour of Charleston. And he just kept talking about how great the people of Charleston were. And we saw that. We saw that this week.
So it wasn't just that Charleston behaved well after the massacre. The family, including the dead patriarch, already loved Charleston. Chuck Todd — the outsider from the domain of media — seems to have planned to set this family up as a contrast to bad old Charleston. They were supposed to be the the woeful victims whose profound moral weight would force this ignominious city to confront its terrible racism. But the family had a different idea.

Todd tried to end the interview with stress on the grandeur of the Simmons family: "Well, your family is quite an example for all of us in this country. Reconciliation, forgiveness, love, faith. Unbelievable. My condolences..." But Alana Simmons felt moved to share the praise with the whole city of Charleston:
And Charleston has been a great example to the rest of the country as well. We just really, really appreciate how everyone has come together. And, like, people of all races, all religions, genders, orientations. At the prayer vigil we went to Friday night, everyone was there. And it was just so overwhelming and just so wonderful to see everyone coming together not to bash or to talk about the suspect but to celebrate the lives and to heal together.
Apparently, that wasn't the story line Todd wanted to end with. He just had to say:
Well, it's too bad that it took a tragedy like this to make that happen. But perhaps if this is what comes out of it, maybe we're a better society for it. Thank you, Simmons family.
What? Did he forget what Daniel and Alana said in the beginning? Charleston was already great. Daniel Simmons Sr. "just kept talking about how great the people of Charleston were," and he had no experience of what happened after the tragedy.

Todd — and mainstream media in general — seem to want to use the massacre as a device for arguing that changes must be made. But we could also do what the Simmons family seems to want us to do: Witness the goodness of truly good people. And see the power of religion at its finest:
ALANA SIMMONS: And although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of the hatred from this man, the love of the community, and the love of Christ, and just the love of all of the families for the victims was so overwhelming that it outweighed the hate that he had for them.

57 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I have avoided reading the Press about this precisely for the reason you state: They are trying to use it as a cudgel despite the facts not matching their preconceived notions.

Bah.

bleh said...

You seem genuinely surprised at what Chuck Todd was attempting to do, as if politcizing a tragedy is a new media tactic.

Ann Althouse said...

"You seem genuinely surprised..."

No. I'm not. I'm just performing my usual blogging role of pointing to specific things as they happen.

Fabi said...

Chuck Todd doesn't care about these fine people or the citizens of Charleston. He's a promoter of the narrative. He has a job to do -- facts be damned.

damikesc said...

The media from NYC and DC cannot fathom that a racist tragedy can bring races together.few seem to believe that whites and blacks here hate racists.

Anonymous said...

Typical Left Wing Media, trying to divide America again....We are on to them!!

rhhardin said...

It's all about the confederate flag now.

The MSM goes where the strife is to be made.

Brando said...

Besides the obvious horror of the attack itself, one of the more disgusting elements of this incident was the near-salivation of the Left over FINALLY having a mass shooting that they could try to pin on the Right (because of course a white southern racist who made donations to Republicans? Yep, toss him on the political right!). The Tucson shooter--oh how they were hoping he'd be a Tea Partier, he even shot a Democrat! But then it turned out to be a severely disturbed kid who was apolitical. The Sandy Hook shooter--a right wing militia man, perhaps? No, confound it, a disturbed teenager off his meds! Trying to score cheap political points off of this is sickening.

The silver lining of this recent attack was how quickly and totally the condemnation has come from every part of the poltiical spectrum, and how swiftly law enforcement caught this guy (remember in the '60s when such things would be blamed on "outside agitators" and the police oddly had no leads, or couldn't convict the guy who killed Medgar Evars?). This country may have its issues, but the killer here discovered just how fringe he really was.

Tank said...

A great example of a phenomenon Don Imus often talks about: interviewers do not listen to the answers they are getting. Todd had a meme he wanted to document, but the family stayed with their own reality (I hate phrases like that): they already loved Charleston and the people there and viewed this pig (the killer - hey maybe Todd too) as an interloper and someone outside of the Charleston community. Geez, we could use a lot more of these people.

What a contrast between these southern black people who love their community and the professional agitators (Obama, Romney, Todd, etc etc etc) who want to make it into something else.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I consider it bad form to gawk at auto accidents. If someone trips an falls, I offer help, unless someone is already helping in which case I move on immediately. Clickbait says something about an elementary school exploding, I don't click.

It bothers me that so many people get off on terrible things happening to other people.

It bothers me that so many people want to extract profit from those people.

tim maguire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

Dividers are gonna divide.

tim maguire said...

My wife used to be a journalist and, through her, I've known many others. When investigating a story, they initially ask questions to find out what kind of story it is. Once they get to the point where they can say, "oh, ok, I get it. It's one of these," their approach completely changes. Having chosen their story template, further investigation becomes just a matter of plugging the facts into that template.

The conservative suspicion of how journalists operate is very close to the truth--once they've settled on the "correct" narrative, they will fight very hard to make the facts fit the story they've decided they're going to write.

Bobber Fleck said...

I'm surprised Chuck Todd didn't close with:

"Well, there you have it. The family members are so shaken by this heinous crime by a conservative white racist that they cannot at this time form a coherent response to my insightful questions."

Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised that we haven't been hearing more crapola about "the line between free speech and hate speech", but the sort of people you'd expect to be bringing that up don't seem to give a damn about Stormfront; the only sort of political motivation they care about is the kind that can somehow be traced to Fox News.

Bob Boyd said...

Don't forget, Chuck Todd is possessed of the truth and he does what he does to make a better world for all of us even if we can't understand.
Kind of like Jesus.


Brando said...

"Well, there you have it. The family members are so shaken by this heinous crime by a conservative white racist that they cannot at this time form a coherent response to my insightful questions."

If the Daily Show were more concerned with sticking to comedy and less concerned with promoting their own political narrative, they could certainly use a gag like this.

Brando said...

"I'm really surprised that we haven't been hearing more crapola about "the line between free speech and hate speech""

That's just it--a thug like Roof is so far out on the fringes that nothing on Fox News or CNN will have any effect on him--to believe the crap going on in his head you have to reject anything "society" is telling you. This is very different from the common lynching and intimidation of the Jim Crow era, particularly as the majority had been cowed into letting such crimes go unpunished. The very different reaction today shows that the Roofs of the country will be condemened, ostracized and punished.

Laslo Spatula said...

Even the racists are backing off on this one.... "I just want to say that WE didn't tell our spiritual cousin Dylann Storm Roof to start shit up."

I am Laslo.

gerry said...

MSM is malevolent.

I am glad it is dying.

It is easy to recognize evil, if you are not part of it.

Brando said...

"Even the racists are backing off on this one.... "I just want to say that WE didn't tell our spiritual cousin Dylann Storm Roof to start shit up.""

I can believe they are sincere about that--it's one thing to be a bigot and quite another to be murderous.

Bob Ellison said...

Good post, Professor.

Larry J said...

This is yet another example of where "the narrative is right but the facts are wrong."

The narrative is of a horrific mass murder is the result of the blatant racism in an old Southern city, complete with Confederate flags. The facts, according to the family, is that the city and its people are good and that the murders were the act of a single demented individual, whom many of the relatives have forgiven.

No one can deny the history of racism in the South, past and to a much lessor extent present. At the same time, most of us aren't prisoners to our history. We have friends, neighbors, and coworkers of all races and we get along with one another.

Monkeyboy said...

it's one thing to be a bigot and quite another to be murderous.
It is interesting that in his manifesto the killer said that he wanted to attack "the ghetto" but couldn't find anyone in South Carolina willing to start a race war.

I went to college in Charleston, my parents lived there for almost 30 years and my brother still does.

It's a great and good city. I am not surprised at all by their response to this.

ndspinelli said...

Hopefully your race baiting, holier than thou, husband reads this post.

MaxedOutMama said...

I don't know why anyone would try to blame this on Charleston. The killer was not from Charleston, and had no connection to Charleston.

According to police accounts of his statements, and some of what he wrote on his manifesto thingie, the killer appears to have targeted Charleston, and specifically this church, because they were symbols of a successful triumph over the Jim Crow system and societal racism, and he wanted to reverse that triumph. Because they had triumphed, this was an easy target without defenses. Until this atrocity, it was beyond conception that anyone would seek to do such a thing.

Everyone else doesn't want Charleston to change. Charleston is a success story. The killer wanted Charleston to change.

"Blaming the victim" comes to mind, but more disturbingly, the narrative that's being pushed here is the narrative the killer wanted.

Michael K said...

"few seem to believe that whites and blacks here hate racists."

My 25 year old daughter who lives in Charleston (Actually in Mount Pleasant) attended that church service at Emmanuel AME yesterday. She graduated from U of Arizona two years ago as a conservative/libertarian in spite of leftist rants by professors for years.

The shooter did NOT "contribute" to Republicans. The "contributions" were from a group he cited as telling him about black on white attacks. Th lefties are trying very hard.

I still say the shooter is psychotic but the political left will work hard to conceal that.

CWJ said...

Roof shot the wrong people. It seems everyone around them are just good good people. They are of no "use" to anyone. Thank goodness.

Michael K said...

"This is yet another example of where "the narrative is right but the facts are wrong."

Not everybody is old enough to remember the narrative that Dallas was so right wing that Kennedy was killed by one of them.

Then Oswald turned out to be a communist.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Todd hates them, the Media really hate them.

William said...

Yes, the Kennedy brothers were not killed by a communist and a Palestinian nationalist, but by America's gun culture. They really made that one stick. That's the narrative.

Anonymous said...

I'm ok letting the progressive, activist left and the loony, fringe ideological right (doesn't even appear Roof represented anyone but himself), fight it out while Chuck Todd looks at himself looking at an audience, shaping events into he narrative he senses all around him.

Maybe in Hollywood.

Build a big 'patriarch' piƱata and let the loons concoct Theories around it.

Martha said...

Then Chuck Todd aggressively interviewed Gov. Mike Huckabee about his views on flying the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capitol. When Huckabee refused to denounce South Carolina for flying the Confederate flag, Todd asked him if he personally displayed the Confederate flag. Huckabee cleverly turned the question back on Todd —did he display the Comfederate flag? Then Huckabee essentially reiterated what he had said in 2008:

"You don't like people from outside the state coming down and telling you what to do with your flag. In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them where to put the pole. That's what we'd do."

Brando said...

"Yes, the Kennedy brothers were not killed by a communist and a Palestinian nationalist, but by America's gun culture. They really made that one stick. That's the narrative."

Don't forget blaming the "culture of hate" in Dallas. Never mind that Oswald wasn't from Dallas, and it was actually a Dallas resident that was so enraged by the assassination that he killed Oswald.

William said...

There have been other mass shooters of other races and of other ideologies. The people of those races and of those ideologies are never asked to examine their rhetoric or values to see how they might have contributed to the killer's crimes.......Roof was a lunatic, and his lunacy had a racist bent. But was he truly anymore evil than the Sandy Hook or Columbine shooters.

JRoberts said...

Nine years ago when my job was transferred from southern California to the Atlanta area, all my friends in other parts of the country expressed their concern about our living in an area with so many racists.

Their condemnation has been so strong it has made me wonder who the REAL bigots are.

William said...

Do fraudulent media narratives contribute to the random attacks and murders of police officers? Is Boko Haram somehow representative of African or Islamic values? Was the recent gunshot directed at George Zimmerman somehow inspired by the malevolent media coverage he receives?

rhhardin said...

The entire Imus cast is making clear that they are not on the side of the assassin, via negative Homeric epithets deploring the bad guy and his deed.

This goes very fast into tediousness.

Maybe atrocities shouldn't be made into entertainment, but that doesn't mean make it tedious.

Just drop it.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Could it be that the Charleston, and the south, and the nation, are not as racist as they/we are generally portrayed to be? Naah!

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Todd — and mainstream media in general — seem to want to use the massacre as a device for arguing that changes must be made."

Dog bites man.

Is hack-shaming the appropriate response? (Of course, that assumes that Todd and the rest of the Lickspittle Media have any shame.)

Michael K said...

The Charleston reaction is interesting for several reasons. We were there two weeks ago visiting my daughter. We went out to dinner every night and I was struck by the fact that every restaurant was full on week nights until 10:30 PM with a crowd of 25 to 35 year olds. I was saying to myself, "What do these people do for a living ?"

The city is booming and the people tend to be young and (I presume) well educated. Those are the people who marched across the bridge last night.

While it may not appeal to a liberal media hyperventilating about gun control and the Confederate flag, residents in Charleston, S.C., held a unity march Sunday in honor of the nine African-Americans killed while attending a Bible study class.

Titled “The Bridge to Peace — Unity Chain,” the march was led by the families of the victims killed last week. Participants were clapping and singing “This Little Light of Mine” as they crossed the iconic Arthur Ravenel bridge, according to WREG.

“We want this to be an event that honors the Mother Emanuel AME Church and the citizens of Charleston who continue to make us proud,” organizers said on a Facebook page set up for the event.


I wouldn't be surprised if she was there. They are showing us the way. I am very proud of my daughter.

Meade said...

".Roof was a lunatic, and his lunacy had a racist bent. But was he truly anymore evil than the Sandy Hook or Columbine shooters."

I suppose not if you don't believe a "racist bent" adds an element of evil.

kcom said...

So shooting black people is more evil than shooting school children?

CWJ said...

Roof is a racist loon, not from Charleston, but Charleston must answer for Roof. Columbia is not Charleston but a flag flying there must answer for Charleston. Columbia is an alternate term for the United state, so the entire country must answer for Roof's racism. Is this how it works?

Michael K said...

"if you don't believe a "racist bent" adds an element of evil."

All those shooters were psychotic. Paranoid schizophrenics have delusions and, if you are talking to them, you stay away from the delusions as they get very excited when somebody encourages the crazy thinking. The haters are adding to the delusions of these kids. Laughner in Tucson was getting more agitated before the rampage.

Yet despite recommendations from Pima Community College officials that their son undergo a mental evaluation, his parents apparently didn't follow up on it.

Randy and Amy Loughner, the young man's intensely private parents, have never spoken publicly about their son's crime, and they did not respond to an inquiry this week.


The wife worked for the Democrat sheriff and who knows what he heard at home.

The kid in Connecticut was obviously insane and the mother was foolish enough to provide guns.

The young man in Colorado was seeing a psychiatrist but nobody can commit anybody anymore.

According to her (a girl he dated), Holmes often made flat jokes that made other people feel uncomfortable and expressed his desire to kill people, to which she tried to recommend getting professional help despite not taking his claims seriously.

They were all asking for help but the society has decided to let crazy people do what they want to.

kcom said...

Are we really going to start making those comparisons? Which is more evil, shooting one black person or two school children? How about three? See how stupid that is?

Sebastian said...

"What? Did he forget what Daniel and Alana said in the beginning?"

""You seem genuinely surprised..."

No. I'm not. I'm just performing my usual blogging role of pointing to specific things as they happen.""

I appreciate the post and the faux surprise can work rhetorically, but the "What?" shtick is getting a little old.

Prog journalist pushes narrative. "What?"

Meade said...

"So shooting black people is more evil than shooting school children?"

Apparently not in your opinion. Nor in mine. But let me ask you a question. In your opinion, would it have added an element of evil if Adam Lanza selected only black children to murder in order to terrorize all black children and to trigger a race war?

Larry J said...

Michael K said...
Not everybody is old enough to remember the narrative that Dallas was so right wing that Kennedy was killed by one of them.

Then Oswald turned out to be a communist.


Which is one reason that explains the number of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.

Here's an interesting article for discussion: Only Difference Between Dylann Roof and Bill Ayers Is Legitimacy Among the Left:

Q: What’s the difference between Bill Ayers and Dylann Roof?

A: Dylann Roof isn’t a friend and colleague of an American president who enjoyed a cushy life in academia before retiring to life as the kind of author who’s invited on-the-air by the mainstream media to hawk his books.

Other than that, both of these pigs share much in common.

Bill Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist.
Dylann Roof is an unrepentant domestic terrorist.

Bill Ayers despises America.
Dylann Roof despises America.

Bill Ayers’s terror group The Weather Underground targeted and murdered innocent people.
Dylann Roof targeted and murdered innocent people.

Bill Ayers used murder and violence and terror as a weapon for political change.
Dylann Roof used murder and violence and terror as a weapon for political change.

Bill Ayers wanted a race war.
Dylann Roof wants a race war.

Bob Boyd said...

@ Meade

You know what adds an element of evil?
Politicians and pundits pushing the idea that Roof's actions are representative of the attitudes of white Americans in general.
To do that actually furthers Roof's twisted agenda.

Beach Brutus said...

I think Yankee pundits fail to understand how "Southern" southern blacks are. "Southern" is not a white thing. Southern whites and blacks often have more in common with one another than with their racial cohorts outside the region. Southerners, white and black, understand that we ARE different from people in other regions. Not as much as we once were, but still different never the less.

Meade said...

@ Bob Boyd, I agree with you in principle. But I haven't seen that. Apparently you have. Can you link to a specific example of a politician or pundit doing that?

I can find many examples of white Americans expressing defensiveness about racism and white supremacy and I think I understand where that defensiveness comes from.

exhelodrvr1 said...

He killed only Christians. Why is that given no significance in the reporting?

Sorry, silly question.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Meade 1129: your wife's post is an insufficiently vivid example?

Please clarify your insight into the white defensiveness.

Meade said...

"and yeah, old house, is in this really just amores Italy bullshit of the kind that you like? Truth is truth, what he says is true, therefore you should be defending it and if you feel a need to be involved, help with the expression of the sentiments in a more palatable fashion. It's absolutely true. As for the trope of the, he says the Democrats and then the blacks. Get over it get over yourself.

By the way, as for the women in the military thread, if you had never been born, that would be ok. You would not be missed. Some other whore would have sucked all those dicks, some other flibbertigibbet would have taken a stab at art, and some other rotten shit would be teaching law in Wisconsin. your existence or non-existence is certainly no argument for or against women in the military. Whatsoever." http://althouse.blogspot.com/2015/05/i-am-80-and-figure-i-can-speak-truth-as.html?showComment=1432123646672#c401875373617249301

William said...

I also can understand where white defensiveness comes from. What I don't understand is why radicals aren't defensive and apologetic about the many crimes committed in the name of Marxism. Why don't African nationalists own the crimes of Mugabe, Dos Santos, Samuel Doe et al. Why aren't American artists and intellectuals guilty about their unwavering support of Sacco & Vanzetti and relative indifference to the contemporaneous lynchings in Lowndes County?.....The defensiveness and blame throwing by whites is a tacit acknowledgement of sin. This puts such people a mile ahead of the left on the road to salvation.

Goju said...

The interview does not fit into the chosen narrative. All tapes, transcripts, and even mention of it will be erased. The narrative will continue with those who follow and support the narrative.

Orwell was right.