It might be Pavlovian, but then again it might be that dull simplicity that you see in cows as they move on the paths they've been shown and come to a dead halt when confronted with something new.
Here's the front page of Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Saturday, July 23, the day after the Norway killings:
Now why the hell would The Sun, Murdoch's popular British rag, print such a ridiculous headline? Probably for the same reason that the racist Right in the US immediately jumps to blame Muslims (or Latinos or unions, etc.) for tragedies. For examples of which, simply read the comments section of Washington Post articles on the killings -- preferably the articles from Friday, when no one was sure who had done it. Or maybe I should say, when no one actually knew who had done it -- because these racist yahoos were pretty damn sure they knew who had done it, just as Murdoch's tabloid was certain.
And of course, you have the "experts" called in by the various television media, such as Cliff May, the president of the "Foundation for the Defense of Democracies," which despite its nice name often aligns itself with police-state reactions to unrest and overall has a xenophobic attitude. On Bloomberg/Washington Post, May immediately responds with a list of Norway's "enemies," all of which are connected in some way to so-called Islamic interests, and after giving that some expansion, he finishes up with "it may not be any of that, of course." Why was this idiot given air time?
We really don't need the sort of "analysis" that either May or Conley provides. Anyone can sit in a chair and speculate without providing any evidence. It's called fanning the flames of ignorance.
It isn't helpful.