I have long believed that a person’s reaction to tragedy is the clearest definition of their character we could ever wish to observe, and if I’m not mistaken we’ve learned a lot about a handful of our political commentators in the hours following the Boston Marathon bombing.
Officials hadn’t even determined if all three of the blasts in the city were related when Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, took to the airwaves to float the idea that the explosions could be attributed to America’s own right wing political fringe. His comments came less than two hours after the initial blast and, an obvious effort to never let a good tragedy go to waste, they spurred a firestorm of disgust on Social Media. Little did offended citizens know, Bergen’s assertion would be one of the most unremarkable of accusations as the day wore on.
Even Charles Pierce’s blog post at Esquire, perhaps quickest and most stinging among them, was somehow dwarfed in comparison as more unfounded, politically-charged articles surfaced.
April 15, 2013 was, indeed, a sad day in America, but the three deaths and 144 injuries (and counting) were only the beginning. The true misery is the realization that we live in a society in which Patton Oswalt, a TV sitcom comedian, must emerge as a voice of reason and hope in the wake of death, destruction, and nation-rocking adversity because the people who are supposed to serve as our thought leaders and social informers are too preoccupied advancing their selfish and biased political agenda.