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You Don't Hate Journos Enough: New York Magazine Celebrates Aaron Bushnell as 'Antiwar Martyr'

Journalism meme

If you're like us, you've probably already cast the name Aaron Bushnell onto the ash heap of history. Bushnell, you will remember, is the mentally ill Air Force reservist of immolated himself in some kind of deranged show of solidarity with the 'Free Palestine' movement. Hamas even congratulated him for it, which is a pretty great sign that you are on the wrong side. 

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For the insane left, however, Bushnell was -- and remains -- a hero. And the legacy media, being not only committed leftists but also amoral ghouls, jumped on that bandwagon hard. But that was way back in February and we thought even the media vultures had moved on from a story that had clearly flamed out (pun intended). 

Not so fast, though, said New York Magazine. In a truly grotesque attempt to resurrect Bushnell's 'legacy,' the publication published a lengthy 'think piece' late last week, examining the life of Bushnell in the most sympathetic terms. 

If this sparks memories of Rolling Stone putting the Boston Marathon bomber on its cover, it should. Just like that cover story which was highly sympathetic toward Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, New York magazine's article relishes in how Bushnell was a religious scholar (thankfully, they did not include the adjective 'austere'), how he loved Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, how he was shy and awkward, all characterizations designed to elicit sympathy, not condemnation. 

In case you were wondering which side New York magazine falls on the dilemma of whether Bushnell was a 'martyr' or a mentally ill extremist, writer Simon van Zuylen-Wood clears that up right at the beginning: 

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The spectacular way Bushnell ended his life almost guaranteed that the reactions to it would come in extremes. Many on the pro-Palestine left received Bushnell as a revolutionary figure or martyr ... Stylized images of Bushnell’s blazing silhouette circulated on social media. Protesters began wearing T-shirts with his face and writings. A street was renamed for him in Jericho, and billboards and posters went up in Yemen and Malaysia ... 

... In the ensuing cycle of counter-takes, liberals and centrists warned against glorifying suicide, while the right received Bushnell, callously, as the victim of an epic self-own ... People seemed to consider Bushnell either incomprehensibly deranged or in possession of great moral clarity ...

... Posthumously, he became the poster child for a largely leader-less and anonymous antiwar movement.

Of course. He is the 'poster child' for a movement. The article AGREES that he is a martyr. 

And if you say what he did was insane, then you are being 'callous' with your 'counter-take.' 

Well, if you want callous, New York Magazine, Twitter is here to deliver. 

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These responses (and so many more just like them) are to be expected on Twitter. They serve to illustrate the insanity that New York Magazine is celebrating. And far from being 'callous,' they highlight that no functioning person should EVER celebrate such an act or call it 'martyrdom.'

But even better than the funny responses were the serious ones, showing how dangerous van Zuylen-Wood's line of thinking was throughout the article. 

The rabbi's tweet ends with this quote, 'Once you are gone, we will give you a featured story!'

There isn't a single sentence in the article stating that behavior like Bushnell's leading up to his suicide should be discouraged, or should require psychiatric intervention. Not one. 

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That doubt would be correct. There's nothing in the article decrying the extreme ideas that Bushnell was infected with or embraced. 

You would also be correct in assuming that the article doesn't spill a single drop of ink on any media self-reflection about the narratives they promote (many of which come directly from Hamas). 

Sadly, many Western media outlets DO INDEED do that here. 

There is similarly no criticism, not a word, about the people who encouraged and celebrated Bushnell. Probably because the publication is one of them. 

Number of times the words 'mentally ill,' 'narcissist,' or 'narcissism' appear in the article: also zero. 

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Sorry, we might be starting to sound like a broken record here, but guess how many times van Zuylen-Wood refers to violent, inflammatory rhetoric from politicians like 'the Squad' throughout his article? 

If you guessed 'also zero,' you win. 

(Sorry, we don't have any prizes to give out at the moment, but you can bask in being 100 times smarter, more perceptive, and more informed than anyone who works at New York Magazine.)

Now there's an idea that probably should be investigated. 

If you think these last three characterizations might be a little extreme in their own right, consider this:

van Zuylen-Wood ends the piece by showing some of Bushnell's deranged text messages (we won't reprint them here) with a comment from a friend that 'they made sense.' The author then concludes by stating, 'In the end, Bushnell was violent only toward himself.'

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With that kind of language, it is difficult to draw any inference OTHER than van Zuylen-Wood and New York Magazine consider Bushnell's act of lunacy to be a good thing, on balance. Or at least 'an important statement' for his cause. 

That is simply just as crazy as Bushnell's setting himself on fire. And far more dangerous to society as a whole.

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