Shortly after Khalid Masood’s London March 22 terror attack outside the Palace of Westminster in London, NBC’s Ken Dilanian, “Intelligence and national security reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit,” tweeted: “I know it’s a big story, but every time we freak out about a small-bore terror attack we play into their hands.” This of course leaves one wondering where Dilanian, who has had a problem with wording in the past, draws the line between “small-bore” and “large-bore.” The fact an “intelligence” reporter thinks that the line is somewhere above the three known dead (later raised to 4) and 50 injured in London is hardly comforting.
As seen below, Dilanian tried to recover. The attempt is not impressive:
“Small-bore” or “small scale,” Dilanian’s final response as seen in the graphic sounds mighty close to Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry’s August 2016 suggestion that the media would “do us all a service” if they didn’t cover terror attacks “quite as much.”
Commenters on Twitter were certainly not impressed. The final point listed below is especially strong (with some punctuation and profanity cleaned up):
- “It’s no ‘small bore’ to lose a single, law-abiding, productive, aspiring human life to this bullsh**. Poor choice of words.”
- “By rolling over and pretend(ing) it’s ok, part of life? Keep going, we see no evil?”
- “No, every time we DON’T acknowledge the severity of the problem we play into their hands.”
- “You woke up this morning, the other three (murdered victims) didn’t. But ‘small-bore,’ right?”
- “You play into their hands when you don’t create a vigilant citizenry who will look for pre-attack indicators.”
- “It’s not “small-bore” for the people that lost loved ones..it’s disturbing how no matter what you stick to your narrative.”
- “The target makes it large bore. But thanks for playing. Also, people are dead & lives devastated. If that matters to you.”
The NBC reporter is really passionate about alleged “overreaction,” having retweeted a nonsensical vox.com tweet which complained that “sensationalized terrorism coverage makes us overreact to risk.” The linked blog entry, with a pathetic Nancy Reagan-era allusion, was titled “This is your brain on terrorism.”
It would also seem difficult to convince Dilanian that the problem, separate from how quickly citizens return to the their normal lives and routines, is that the free world’s leaders aren’t reacting strongly enough. One instead gets the sense that he expects us to just get used to attacks like these as a part of modern life. You’re free to tell me otherwise any time, Ken.
Dilanian seems to have some general difficulty finding the right words. After the awful GOP presidential debate in October 2015 on CNBC, during which candidate Ted Cruz ripped the network’s questioners for their lines of questioning, Dilanian, then with the Associated Press, tweeted:
Wow. GOP really hating on @CNBC for asking tough, impertinent questions. Guess what, guys, that’s the media’s job. We do it to Dems as well.
As I explained in a related post, the question’s weren’t tough, they were stupid. (Examples: John Harwood asked Donald Trump is her was “running a comic-book … presidential campaign?”; Carlos Quintanella asked Senator Marco Rubio if he hated his current job.) Additionally, being “impertinent” (“1 – intrusive or presumptuous, as persons or their actions; insolently rude; uncivil; or 2 – not pertinent or relevant; irrelevant”) is not a virtue. It’s, well, deplorable.
Oh, and “we do it to Dems”? In the case of “Dems” and John Harwood, one of that CNBC debate’s moderators, the “it” involved, as WikiLeaks documents showed shortly before Election Day last year, had nothing to do with “tough questions.” “It” had everything to do with obvious collusion.
Returning to the current matter, Ken Dilanian has cast his lot not only with those who wish to minimize the nature of terror attacks (e.g., he characterize the attack on a Muhammad cartoon show in Garland, Texas in 2015 as “lone wolf” when it was not), but also with those who want to deemphasize them, even when they kill several and injure dozens of others. Why is he even in his current line of work?