As cable news networks turned in earnest to their fearful reporting on today's tragic attack in Barcelona, I was asking myself whether they covered the Charlottesville attack with the same intense focus on "terrorism."
I was on vacation when the Charlottesville attack took place, but even through the haze of forced relaxation, I didn't quite seem to detect the same laser-focus on the attack as terrorism. Instead, it seemed to be framed by cable news as a terrible thing, but not quite domestic terrorism committed by a zealot. They needed evidence. They needed to dig into the background of the white dude who did the thing. He didn't have a Muslim-sounding name, so not terrorism?
Yet not even an hour passed between the initial reports on the Barcelona van attack in Las Ramblas before every cable network was calling it terrorism. And by terrorism, we all know what they mean because now we have a president who is "unafraid" to call it "radical Islamic terrorism," right? And even though he has uttered the magic incantation, it does not seem to have caused it to end!
Malcolm Nance, bless his heart, is the only person I've heard on cable compare Saturday's attack in Charlottesville to today's attack in Barcelona.
Nance compared similar attacks in Europe and Israel, explaining that they are common because they're "horribly, horribly simple."
"I have to put this into context," Nance continued. "The attack in Charlottesville that we saw was just an American version of the same style of attack."
He even took that a step farther, speculating that the intensity of information we have related to the Charlottesville incident could have "precipitated this terrorist group's desire to gain the limelight and carry out a similar attack."
Nance is the very first commentator I've heard on cable news who is unafraid to call it terrorism whether or not it's in the United States or abroad.
Let's hope it's a trend.