Speaking last week to troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, President Trump declared that establishment propaganda media was not reporting terrorist attacks: “It’s gotten to a point,” he said, “where it’s not even reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t even want to report it.”
If you open your window right now, you will be able to hear the New York Times and the Washington Post and CNN and the BBC and all the rest collectively screaming, “Oh yes we do!” But President Trump is correct. He said: “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t even want to report it.” The establishment propaganda media has taken this to mean that he was claiming they didn’t even mention the attacks. They did. But in virtually all cases, they did all they could to obscure the motivating ideology behind those attacks. They deliberately conceal and/or misrepresent the aspects of them that make it clear that they’re Islamic jihad attacks. This is in accord with the guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists, which tells journalists not to connect Islam with terrorism, and to obscure that connection wherever possible.
One notorious example of this is the Orlando massacre. Mainstream news outlets claimed that Omar Mateen was a conflicted gay man lashing out at other gays. This was outright disinformation: the FBI later announced that there was no evidence that he was gay, no gay apps on his phone, etc. Few outlets published his actual remarks, making it clear that he was killing for the Islamic State and Islam. The coverage of terrorist incidents in general in the establishment media deliberately misleads the public.
Meanwhile, however, instead of taking Trump’s remarks as an occasion for some introspection and reform, establishment media outlets seized on erroneous statements by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer to accuse the Trump administration of fabricating terror attacks. Zack Beauchamp of the hard-Left Vox reported that “in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews,” Conway “made up a terrorist attack committed by Iraqi refugees that never happened — the ‘Bowling Green Massacre.’” In reality, as Beauchamp explained, there was no jihad massacre in Bowling Green, but two Iraqi jihad terrorists were discovered to be living there in 2011.
It was an honest mistake, but the establishment propaganda media doesn’t allow those it hates to make honest mistakes. That generosity is reserved for Barack (“57 states”) Obama and Joe (“When the Depression started, FDR went on TV”) Biden, and the like.
Does Zack Beauchamp think that he has now discredited the idea that Muslim refugees have committed jihad terror attacks? Well, let’s see. In 2016 alone, there were these: Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry, who in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant who in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant who in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant who in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming “Allahu akbar”; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant who in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University.
What’s more, all of the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. But, but, Kellyanne Conway made a mistake!
And then Sean Spicer did as well. Patricia Murphy of the Daily Beast reported that Spicer “has repeatedly pointed to Atlanta, along with San Bernardino and Boston, as one of three U.S. cities that have been attacked by Islamist terrorists to argue that the Trump administration needed to act quickly to prevent another attack in the future.”
It would be nice if Spicer and Conway had not gotten the names wrong, but the establishment propaganda media is trying to portray both misstatements as some attempt by the Trump administration to exaggerate the jihad terror threat. In reality, it’s true, “there has not been a successful jihadi terror attack in Atlanta.” However, in 2009, a Muslim named Ehsanul Islam Sadequee spoke of attacking oil refineries and going to a jihad training camp in Pakistan.
My hunch is that Spicer had not Atlanta, but Chattanooga in mind. In July 2016, a Muslim named Muhammad Abdulazeez murdered four Marines and one sailor at a reserve center in Chattanooga. This was not reported as a jihad terror attack, and only six months later did the Navy confirm that it actually was one.
Jihad attacks and plots in the U.S. are real, and abundantly documented. Also abundantly documented is the media’s determination to avoid discussion of the motivating ideology behind these attacks. Its attacks on Trump, Conway and Spicer only illustrate further its avidity to keep Americans ignorant and complacent about the nature and magnitude of the threat. It is a source of hope that at last we have a President who is pushing back against this denial, instead of abetting it.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.