By Constance Renton
By Constance Renton
Toronto – The White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks they say the media has consistently under reported.
At a recent visit to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, President Donald Trump alluded to attacks happening “all over Europe” and that “it’s gotten to the point where it’s not even being reported.” Trump expanded his commentary on the media, saying “… in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
The media, already on the defensive, was pushed further into its own spotlight when the White House issued its list of 78 terrorist attacks on Monday, which it says went under-reported or not reported at all.
On Monday night’s edition of CNN’s The Lead, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius said “As a journalist I’m really troubled by this.” He went on to say he has approximately 100 examples of strong reporting that he would like to show the President. Ignatius underscored his remarks saying, “We have brave colleagues who everyday are taking big risks to cover these stories.”
“I Know Because I was There”
Appearing on the same program, CNN’s Anderson Cooper also robustly defended his colleagues and his network’s coverage. “Not only did we cover many of the attacks on that list the White House has released, we covered them heavily. I know because I was there on the ground reporting a number of them.”
These remarks were followed by footage of Cooper reporting on attacks in cities such as Ottawa in 2014, Paris and San Bernardino in 2015 and Orlando in 2016. “To be sure, we as a program did not cover each and every incident on the list, however, other programs as well as CNN International covered most if not all of them, many of them exhaustively.”
In an interview on the subject with Anderson Cooper, CNN’s Jim Acosta saw the tempest in a teapot as “a talking point in search of a set of facts that doesn’t exist.”
Others took critical note of the fact that the White House list only included attacks motivated by so-called Islamic terrorism. There was no mention of home grown terrorist attacks over the same time-period. For example, the church massacre in South Carolina which left 11 worshippers dead, and the massacre in Quebec City in which 6 Muslim men died while at evening prayers, were omitted, some say conveniently.
This has left plenty of room for reflecting on Trump’s repeated use of Islamic terrorist attacks, or the mere threat of such, as a reason for justifying his recent immigration and refugee ban. He has also repeatedly referred to any news organizations which have been critical of him as reporting “fake news.”