Sunday night’s abominable attack on Quebec City’s Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec has fallen into a media pattern that has become depressingly rote.
First the attack, then the confusion, then the misreporting (including a man who called in the attack being mistakenly I.D.’d as a suspect). Then: the sense of helplessness and grief on the part of the general public, a bountiful offering of “thoughts and prayers” that are (at best) an expression of that helplessness, desperate Google searches for charities to donate to and ways to help, to do something, anything, to express something other than a numb, dumbstruck ambivalence. Then: a portrait emerges. Not of the victims — whose “innocence” is always well-established, despite being an a priori condition of any tragedy of this sort — but of the perpetrator.
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