If you were a visitor from another planet, learning about last year’s Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando from the media’s coverage of the anniversary, you might have no idea whatsoever that the killer – Omar Mateen – pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State while carrying out the massacre. You might not hear a peep about Mateen’s history of interest in Islamist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda. You might be completely ignorant of the fact that the killer told police more than a dozen times that he was killing people to avenge U.S. bombings in the Middle East.
The media, along with the Obama administration, was trying their damnedest last year to make the Orlando massacre about anything other than Islamic terrorism. It was about gun control. It was about anti-Hispanic hate. It was about the LGBT community.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch even scrubbed portions of the official transcript of Mateen’s calls to the police to make sure there was no specific mention of ISIS. She later went back on that policy and claimed she originally did so to deprive the terrorist group of publicity…as if that makes any sense whatsoever.
And now, a year out from the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the media is finishing the job they started in the days after the attack.
In articles appearing in the Washington Post, USA Today, the Associated Press, and elsewhere, there are hardly any mentions of the Islamist ideology that motivated the attack. Instead, Mateen has been relegated to the “mentally disturbed” pile along with other mass shooters like James Holmes of Colorado. When his affiliation with Islamic terror is mentioned at all, it’s done so incidentally. As though he merely picked ISIS out of a “hat of reasons.” On another day, he might have just as easily picked “I hate gays” or “They need to bring back Saturday morning cartoons.” This is the nonsense they’re selling the American people, and it’s a travesty.
We can speculate all day long about why they do things like this. Maybe they want to put the gun control debate front and center. Maybe they don’t want to give any oxygen to Donald Trump and his supporters. Maybe they are afraid that they’ll set off a round of anti-Islamic hate crimes. It doesn’t really matter. It’s not the media’s job to do “message control.” It’s their job to present the American people with the facts. Keep the editorializing on the back pages and let the truth speak for itself.