03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Reading the Pictures: 100% of Your Weekly Dose of Terrorism Panic


This is a very bad TIME.

First of all, the word "terrorist," at this point, doesn't appeal to any thoughtful or intellectual understanding of anything. Instead, like spraying acid, it is targeted for a strict emotional response.

Few would consider this killing spree as an act of "domestic" terrorism -- by one of our own. Instead, the emotional take-away is that Hasan is a foreigner and a one-man sleeper cell. But then, what's one more reprehensibly act of scaremongering by the traditional media at the expense of the Muslim world?

What is especially warped about this raccoon cover -- beyond how it places Hasan's act in a strictly political, as opposed to a psychological or sociological context -- is how the "psycho x-ray" effect turns what is otherwise a tragically complex story into a one-frame horror movie (sign of things to come!), making out Hasan, with that Andy Kaufman-like smile, as a bandit mutant freak.

For more media and political spin, visit