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Understatement and Misstatement

Monday, March 8, 2010, 22:01 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

CNN.com reported last week that John Patrick Bedell, the so-called Pengaton shooter, “had a history of mental health problems.” One can presume they mean problems besides Bush Derangement Syndrome and 9/11 Trutherism.

Bedell, 36, suffered from bipolar disorder, according to court records from a 2006 California arrest for a man by the same name. That man’s birth date matches the one authorities gave for the Pentagon shooter.

Bedell had been committed to mental institutions at least three or four times, according to [San Benito County, California, Sheriff Curtis] Hill.

The Christian Science Monitor rushed to declare him a right-wing extremist despite his leftist views on many issues. They were quickly forced to backtrack on that claim with an update noting, “As more information emerges about Mr. Bedell, the less it appears that any coherent ideology was behind his actions, except that he was deeply antigovernment.” Adding insult to injury, right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin found out Bedell was a registered Democrat. Lefty-turned-righty neo-neocon points out that the same media reflex to label Bedell as a conservative also manifested itself in the case of Joseph Stack, the guy who flew a small aircraft into a building housing an Internal Revenue Service office—even though Stark’s final writings documented kneejerk Bush hatred and the anti-capitalism that is the hallmark of late 20th century liberalism.

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