The White House just followed through on Donald Trump’s earlier promise to release a list of terrorist attacks that the media was “refusing to cover.” It will come as no surprise that in fact, the vast majority of the 78 attacks were in fact reported on quite extensively, and the rest were so minor they didn’t deserve any coverage.
Included on the list are the major attacks in Paris, Nice, and Brussels, as well as a list of anybody who committed a crime and then said “I did it for ISIS!” – like a Philadelphia man with mental illness who shot a police officer in the arm and then claimed allegiance to Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).
A White House official says "most" of these 78 attacks since 2014 have not received enough attention from media. pic.twitter.com/v66rcHxAFI
— Dan Merica (@merica) February 7, 2017
Most of the “attacks” have no casualties, and the idea that the media isn’t reporting on terror attacks is ludicrous to anyone who watches the news for ten minutes. The idea itself comes from conspiracy theorist website InfoWars, of which Trump is a huge fan.
POLITICO reporter Kyle Cheney even recalled that media hype about Islamic terrorist attacks was so high at one point that Secretary of State John Kerry demanded they tone it down a bit.
“But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on” said Kerry during a visit to Bangladesh last year.
Spokesman John Kirby later clarified that “There’s the violence itself and the havoc that it can wreak and the fear that it can instill and the damage that it can cause. And there’s also the notoriety that comes with the press coverage from it, the glorification of that through amplification in the mass media. And I think he (Kerry) was just referring to that as a fact and something that we all have to be mindful of as these events happen.”
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 7, 2017
CNN acknowledged the role they have played in overblowing the threat of terrorism and giving unnecessary screen time to glorifying the nihilistic violence of Daesh. “There are 78 attacks listed on this list. It’s a headscratcher as several of these, we here at CNN and other international news outlets, covered these extensively. All of these, you’ll recall, we covered extensively. It’s puzzling as to why the White House would include these attacks on this list when they were covered for days on end” said CNN’s John Acosta.
The response from other media outlets was one of similar dumbfoundment.
I can think of only one terror attack that the media has single-handedly & unanimously ignored & that's the tragic massacre at Bowling Green
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) February 7, 2017
we literally won a Pulitzer for covering one of the things on this list https://t.co/JCLcqq3ZlL
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) February 7, 2017
Not only were many of these covered by news media, but the White House spelled San Bernardino wrong https://t.co/WFFRZGps1L
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) February 7, 2017
This is obviously a list thrown together at the last minute by desperate staffers rushing to accommodate the fickle needs of their child-emperor. In reality, we need to cover terrorists less, not more. Their power comes from creating fear and by depriving us of our freedoms by overreacting to their actions.
And if we’re going to really complain about not covering terrorist attacks enough, perhaps we should be covering the attacks that pummel Iraqi and Afghani cities, or the villages in Nigeria slaughtered by Boko Haram that never get a blip of American press, or the atrocities committed by Syrian and Turkish and Saudi and Burmese and Sudanese governments. But somehow we have a feeling those aren’t the attacks Trump cares about.
What do you think?
Colin Taylor is the managing editor of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.