More Muslim victimhood fantasy from the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations and its reliable tools at the Washington Post. Speaking of bias, Paul Farhi never mentions that CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, when what was once the nation’s largest Muslim charity was discovered to have been funneling money to Hamas. Several former CAIR officials have been imprisoned for terror-related crimes. Its California chapter distributed a poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI. Nonetheless, although reporters routinely quote CAIR spokesmen in stories regarding Islam and Muslims, no one in the mainstream media ever mentions CAIR’s ties to Hamas or these other questionable aspects of its record. Instead, they deceptively call CAIR a “civil rights” organization. Farhi identifies it only as a “Washington-based group.”
Moreover, Hooper’s claim that if a Muslim were involved in an act of violence it would generate headlines around the nation and the world is demonstrably false. The real double standard in the media today is the general tendency to downplay the Islamic character of Islamic jihad terror attacks, and the ongoing search for “right-wing terrorists.” The most egregious of this came in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. David Sirota wrote in Salon about the same alleged double standard of which Farhi complains, in a piece entitled “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.”
Before the perpetrators were discovered, Charles P. Pierce in Esquire tried to associate the bombings with right-wingers: “Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”
CNN’s national security analyst, Peter Bergen, said that the bombers “might be some other kind of right-wing extremists.” He added that “we’ve also seen other extremist groups attacking, right-wing groups, for instance trying to attack the Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010.”
Even after it became clear that the bombers were Islamic terrorists, the media did its best to ignore it. CNN’s initial profile of the bombers never identified them as Muslims at all, and suggested that they were moved to bomb the Marathon by American xenophobia.
In a lengthy profile of the bombers, NBC only mentioned their jihadist motives in passing, mentioning only in the eighth paragraph that “Tamerlan had a YouTube page that featured videos about Islamic radicalism.”
When journalists had to acknowledge the bombers’ Islamic identity and motives, they began publishing pieces saying it didn’t matter. Megan Garber wrote a piece in The Atlantic entitled “The Boston Bombers Were Muslim – So?” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked, “What difference does it make why they did it if they did it?” PBS went even farther, professing not to know why they did it three months after the bombing, when the bombers’ motives were abundantly clear, and declaring the hope that the trial of surviving bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would “shed more light on the motive behind the bombing.”
The real double standard is decisively in CAIR’s favor. That’s why you’ll never read about it in the Washington Post.
“In the news media, are Muslims the only ‘terrorists’?,” by Paul Farhi, Washington Post, June 10, 2014 (thanks to Steve):
What do you call a couple who espouse an extremist, anti-government ideology and kill two policemen and a bystander while draping one of their victims in a flag associated with a political movement?
After Sunday’s shooting spree perpetrated by just such a couple in Las Vegas, many in the media declined to use one potential label: terrorists.
Jerad and Amanda Miller, the young Nevada couple who fatally shot three people before killing themselves, were enamored of a right-wing, conspiratorial view of federal authority, according to law enforcement officials. They killed two police officers, Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, as the two men quietly ate lunch, and covered one of the bodies with a Nazi swastika and the Revolutionary War-era “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a symbol of the Tea Party movement. The pair shouted about “revolution” as they moved to a nearby Wal-Mart, where Amanda Miller shot a customer, Joseph Wilcox, who tried to stop them.
That shorthand description would seem to qualify the Millers as terrorists. Although the term’s strict definition has been a subject of debate within national security circles for years, there has been some consensus around Georgetown professor Bruce R. Hoffman’s five-part test: an act of violence that was politically motivated, perpetrated to influence a broader audience, involved an organized group, targeted civilians and was carried out by a person outside the government.
Yet few media accounts have described the Millers as terrorists or their actions as terrorism.
The Washington Post avoided both terms in a news story on Monday. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the couple died “shouting messages of antigovernment revolution” but made no mention of terrorism. The Associated Press, the most widely distributed news service in the world, hadn’t used either term in multiple stories through Tuesday afternoon.
And that has prompted suggestions of a double standard.
“Without a doubt, if these individuals had been Muslim, it not only would be called ‘terrorism’ but it would have made national and international headlines for weeks,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based group. “It was an act of terror, but when it’s not associated with Muslims it’s just a day story that comes and goes.”
Hooper cited a litany of news stories about domestic acts of violence that never gained prominence as acts of terrorism because, he said, Muslims weren’t involved: the attempted storming of an Atlanta-area courthouse by a heavily armed man last week, the arrest of two men accused of setting off pipe bombs in movie theaters in the D.C. area and an Alaska couple associated with an anti-government group who plotted to kill federal judges.
“There’s absolutely a double standard, and it needs to be called out,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, a senior editor of the Islamic Monthly. “Whenever a white person engages in violence they’re considered crazy lunatics, but when a brown Muslim does it, it’s an act of terrorism. Since 9/11, the media is quick to jump on anything an Arab or Muslim does, but it takes a much more deliberative approach when it’s a white person.”
News organizations, including The Post, say they are reluctant to call anyone a terrorist unless officials do so first.
“In general, we shy away from independently labeling people as terrorists and would factually note if someone has been listed or labeled as such by someone else, such as the FBI or another government entity,” said AP spokesman Paul Colford in an e-mail.
He said, however, that there are some “clear” cases in which the words apply: the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; bombings in Bali, London and Madrid; and the assault on a Nairobi shopping mall last year by the militant group al-Shabab. But in incidents such as the shootings in Las Vegas, the news service relies on the FBI or other agencies for such terminology.
The Reuters news service has a similar policy. Its stylebook advises reporters to use the terms “terrorism” and “terrorist” only when attributing them to a specific source. “Aim for a dispassionate use of language so that individuals, organisations and governments can make their own judgment on the basis of facts,” it says. “Seek to use more specific terms like ‘bomber’ or ‘bombing’ . . . ‘gunman’ or ‘gunmen,’ etc.”…