Struggling to Understand the Fort Hood Shootings

Amid grief, observers discuss the role of the media, the shooter's name, and speculation of terrorism

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Shootings at Fort Hood military base in Texas have reportedly left 12 killed and 31 wounded. Details on the events are still emerging and there is much left to know about what happened and why. As coverage unfolds, journalists and pundits are using Twitter to debate and theorize on the violence. Much of the discussion centers on media coverage, which many criticize as overly speculative, and on the shooter, Army Major Malik Nadal Hassan. (Please note that information on the event is incomplete and as the story develops these tweets may reflect old information.)

On Speculation of Terrorism:

National Review's Kathryn Lopez: "re fort hood: why do we reflexively rule out terrorism?"

Activist Jim Gilliam: "'is this an act of terrorism?' is code for 'did a muslim extremist do this?' obviously, it's an act of terrorism."

ABC's Jake Tapper: "This is a time for the best in Americans to come out, not the worst. Let's donate blood, pray, have well wishes, stick to facts. No word on motive yet and at a time like this ppl should listen to their better angels."

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "Sad that US Muslim groups feel obligated to rush out statements condemning the murderous actions of one American Muslim. Sadder still that folks are presuming to know what motivated the killer/killers...and blaming it so quickly on Islamic terror/jihad."

On Malik Nadal Hassan:

Salon's Mike Madden: "How long before some idiotic elected official declares Muslims shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military?"

The American Prospect's Adam Serwer: "Please America, remember what kind of country you are right now."

The Nation's Jeremy Scahill: "Right wing blogs in full swing, calling allgd ft hood shooter a jihadist and "not likely Amish" bc of alleged Arab name."

Media Matters's Oliver Willis: "ppl jumping to conclusions either way because of this guy's name are likely... jumping to conclusions"

On Media Coverage:

Alex Dreier: "[Chris] Matthews is an impossible listen right now. Just abysmal journalism. [Wolf] Blitzer is saying so many unbelievably stupid things right now. Please tell him that this isn't Jeopardy."

Media Matters's Oliver Willis: "oddly fox seems to be showing the most restraint with this story. the shep [Smith] effect?"

Spencer Ackerman: "hey CNN, STFU about combat stress -- we don't even know the IDs of the Ft Hood shooters yet"

Jarvis J: "Oh Lord, Chris Matthews is only good at jumping to conclusions. Take him off the air for now. Jesus. By the time Chris Matthews finishes speculating, Osama bin Laden himself will be at Ft Hood."

Daily Kos's David Waldman: "24/7 cable news has no choice BUT to speculate. What else can they do for the 23 hours and 58 min left after they tell you what's known?"

Conservative blogger Allahpundit: "You know when it'll be perfectly PC to speculate about Hasan? When cops find one of Glenn Beck's books on his bookshelf"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.