Pushing through the rhetoric, Michael Knowles breaks down the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand and how to combat the suspect's bad ideology on Monday's "The Michael Knowles Show." Transcript and video below.
What happened in New Zealand?
Here's what we know. We know that a 28-year-old personal trainer, former bodybuilder, went into a mosque live-streaming with a bunch of guns and killed 49 Muslims — at a mosque, at their house of worship. Just before he went in, he released a manifesto online that is 73 or 74 pages and it explains why he did it. It is a difficult document unless you are steeped in internet language — unless you are steeped in various ideology on both the left and the right. Unless you have some context with which to read this manifesto, you can get it very wrong. As a ton of people on social media and in traditional and mainstream media did on Friday and Saturday. They just were not equipped to read this document, so they didn't know exactly what it meant.
The question is, should people read the manifesto? This document was hosted on a few websites — Scribd and a few others, and some media were posting it. Some media outlets said we don't want to publish the manifesto. Daily Wire said they would not publish the manifesto. We are not going to give this guy extra publicity. I totally get that and that makes a lot of sense to me. However, the document cloud services like Scribd, that people had uploaded it to, also took down the manifesto. This I think is a huge mistake. To say a place like Daily Wire or CNN or Fox or whatever, that they are not going to publish it — right. There is no reason to totally give this guy an open platform, but to say that the internet is going to censor this document - you can't find it. I wasn't able to find it after I first read it and then it was gone, and I had to search and have people send me copies of it just to be able to read it. This is a bad idea because the message that it sends is that this document is explosive. It's dangerous. People can’t be trusted to read it. Why? Maybe it's because it contains all sorts of truths that the conspiracy doesn't want you to read. Which is not what is going on here.
What is actually happening is these document cloud services are getting a lot of public pressure. They don't want to give this guy publicity. They don't want to be seen as agreeing with this guy's content. They are being kowtowed by censorious mobs, that actually if anything, are giving this shooter more credit than he deserves.
The reality is, the ideas that he is espousing are bad ideas. He's asking questions and is coming up with bad answers to those questions. Then, he is using those bad answers to justify killing a ton of innocent people. Those are bad ideas and the way to stop those bad ideas is to refute them. Not to ignore them, not to dismiss them — no. Take them head-on, there is nothing mystical or secret or really wise in these documents. They are bad ideas and we should refute them. We gotta deal with ideology head-on. If you ignore it, you give it a dangerous cache, and people are going to seek it out and they are going to read it out of context, and they might draw pretty bad conclusions. What the guy did is not defensible. It's not defensible ideologically, religiously, or politically. The ideas that he espouses are only powerful if they are not shown to be as wrong as they are.