Monday, July 25, 2011

Fitting Us Into Their Agenda

Screen cap: NYT on Oslo and GoV

As most readers know by now, Gates of Vienna has experienced a massive surge of traffic in the last few days, thanks to the manifesto written by Anders Behring Breivik, the accused murderer of seventy-six people in Oslo and on the island of Utøya.

The increased traffic forced us to close our blog to comments, since they became too numerous and contentious to monitor. It also brought a vast flood of emails, the full quantity of which we are having difficulty reading, much less responding to.

Yesterday Fjordman welcomed new readers from Der Spiegel and Dagbladet. Later in the day he could have added Aftenposten to the list. Then late last night The New York Times surprised us by deigning to take notice of our existence.

The New York Times has traditionally been nicknamed “The Old Grey Lady”, but it seems the lady may be getting a bit long in the tooth, perhaps even moving into her dotage. Her reporting on the Oslo incident reflects what we have long come to expect from the paper: it gives a not-so-subtle push to help readers reach the conclusion that “anti-Islamic” websites and writers indirectly caused the carnage in Norway.

This is what one of her reporters, a man named Steven Erlanger, wrote about us yesterday:

Mr. Breivik was said by analysts to have been an occasional commenter on a blog, Gates of Vienna, which is topped by these words: “At the siege of Vienna in 1683 Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war.”

Well, at least he quoted our masthead right — I’ll give him that.

But the assertion that Mr. Breivik had commented here is, as far as I can determine, not true.

I don’t know who the NYT hires to be its “analysts”, but we have our own team, the guys I call “the Scandinavian Gang of Five” — Fjordman, Henrik, Reinhard, Kitman, and KGS. Collectively they are fluent in English, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, German, and several other European languages. Their own contacts give them an additional reach into events throughout Scandinavia.

All in all, I’d say that’s a pretty good team of analysts.

On Saturday morning I asked for their help in finding the customary screen names used by Anders Behring Breivik in his postings around various Scandinavian websites. There were four or five altogether, and I searched our comment archives for any instances of those names or their close variants. As far as I could tell, there were none to be found. If Mr. Breivik hung out here, he must have used a different nickname.

The fact that the Times’ “analysts” had said the purported killer had commented here prompted me to email the reporter and ask him for the screen name under which Mr. Breivik had commented at Gates of Vienna, and also the names and credentials of the “analysts” who determined this fact.

That was last night, and Mr. Erlanger has not replied to my email as of post time. What’s more, the Times’ article was updated this morning and reposted at a new URL for today’s edition, with the identical paragraph about GoV included intact.

Thus it is only proper to publish a copy of the email I sent to the NYT last night:

Subject: Your article on the Oslo killer

Mr. Erlanger,

In your article today at this URL:

You state:

“Mr. Breivik was said by analysts to have been an occasional commenter on a blog, Gates of Vienna...”

and you include a link to our blog:

My wife and I are the proprietors of the blog “Gates of Vienna”. What you said is not true, as far as we can determine.

Yesterday, as soon as the information on Mr. Breivik became widely known, I consulted my Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish contacts to learn all the known screen names used by the killer in his postings on forums and blogs. Then I searched our comments archives, and there were no comments under any of those names.

I ask you to tell me:

(1) The names and credentials of the “analysts” who said that Mr. Breivik was a commenter on our blog, and
(2) What screen name he is alleged to have used to post those comments.

Then I can determine the factuality of the assertion made by those “analysts”.

If you cannot do this, I request that you withdraw the above-quoted statement, and post a public retraction.

If someone supplies me with the likely nick for Oslo berserker, and it turns out that he has in fact commented here in the past, I will not only not delete his comments, I will track them down and post at least some of them on the main page.

Our increased readership, gives us the good fortune to be able to publicize the way we do business here, which is different from the customary practices of the mainstream media. We acknowledge error, post retractions, and publish the truth, even if that truth might sometimes make us uncomfortable or unhappy.

Not so for “America’s Paper of Record” — which could be better described as “America’s Propaganda Organ for the Progressive Trans-Nationalists”.

Or, to paraphrase its own masthead: “All The News That Fits Our Agenda, We Print.”