The tragic, sickening murder of journalist Steven Sotloff has prompted a chorus of grief and anger from Americans, but a very different reaction from the Islam-hating corner of the right-wing media. While Sotloff’s colleagues have praised his courageous reporting on conflict-torn Middle-Eastern countries, conservative journalist Charles Johnson (not that Charles Johnson) decided to dig up some of Mr. Sotloff’s tweets, and twisted them to portray Sotloff as a “friend” to terrorists, while describing Sotloff as a “typical left-wing journalist” who tweeted about Mitt Romney’s debate performance.
The fevered Islamophobic likes of Debbie Schlussel and Bonnie Benstock-Intall took things a step further, using the occasion to launch sickening attacks on the late freelancer. Schlussel, a conservative media figure with a lengthy list of media credits, penned a lengthy, smear-laden blog entry with all the sensitivity of a burlap condom:
The newly-beheaded Steven Sotloff lost his head long ago. He was an Islamopandering schmuck who learned Arabic, bragged about loving “Islamic culture” (an oxymoron), loved HAMAS and ISIS, and was an Arab Spring Breaker (my name for all the reporters hanging out in the Middle East cheering on various Muslim rebels and their disastrous consequences). Everything he did was part of his vocation: serving as an apologist for jihad and supporting not just Muslims, but the most extreme Muslims he could find, especially the terrorist variety.
She followed that gem up by falsely claiming that Sotloff “converted to Islam.”
Echoing Schlussel’s sentiment that “You play with snakes, you get bit. And, sometimes, beheaded,” conservative blogger Bonnie Benstock-Intall headlined her hateful anti-Sotloff rant “REAP WHAT YOU SOW: Steven Sotloff, Jewish grandson of Holocaust survivors with American-Israeli citizenship, held a “deep love for Islam.”
I’m not including a link, because Benstock-Intall included an explicit photo of Sotloff, post-execution, featuring the cation “How do you like the Islamic world now, Steven?”
These people obviously don’t represent the views of most conservatives, but just as the immigration crisis revealed the sort of intolerant hate that modern conservatism attracts and tolerates, these folks represent a teeming, writhing ecosystem underneath the same rock.