Orlando shootings transcript an indictment of media coverage on terrorism

Omar Mateen

Florida driver’s license photo for now-deceased Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter. (Via Wikipedia)

The Orlando Police Dept. released a transcript of conversations between Orlando shooter Omar Mateen and negotiators on Friday amid a barrage of politics news about the upcoming debate and other issues.

The release of the transcript is an indictment of legacy media regarding reportage on terrorism. 

Media have done this before. Many Americans were unaware of threats posed to our country by jihadists before September 11, 2001. Even the bombing of the World Trade Center when Bill Clinton was president didn’t wake us up to the threats existing domestically and beyond our borders.

Had Mateen been associated with select domestic supremacy groups long targeted by the US government, it’s likely the investigation of the Pulse nightclub shootings would’ve played out differently in the news sector.

A number of newspapers cited frequently by TV news presenters and all manner of bloggers attempted to convince us the shooter simply hated gays. The Washington Free Beacon has an in-depth article about this, citing The New York Times’ claim days after the shootings the “precise motive” for Mateen’s killings wasn’t clear.

The administration of President Barack Obama has worked diligently to downplay domestic terrorism if it is related to jihadist supremacy.  Media have been complicit, possibly in an effort to protect the legacy of a president most media openly advocated for in the last two presidential elections.

As the Free Beacon article indicated, Mateen’s conversation with the negotiator suggests he was fully committed to ISIS/ISIL, and his violent acts were sparked by the Obama administration’s drone policy. Obama increased the use of drones on a level far greater than the administration of President George W. Bush, and that increase has met with approval from people who want to keep US troops out of harm’s way whenever possible.

The Free Beacon also published the transcript of Mateen’s conversation with authorities as he went about the business of killing 49 innocent people and injured 53 others on June 12. Exchanges between Mateen and authorities prove there was no doubt about the source of his motivation.

Although there are terrorist groups not aligned with Islamist supremacists, a brief check of FBI releases illustrates, perhaps better than any other source, the breadth of attacks on the US homeland. Many of those attacks were thwarted before people died. A cursory search at the FBI website using the name of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi returns page after page of releases announcing charges against  al-Baghdadi sympathizers and supporters.

Media have long ignored cases of terrorism related to identity groups associated with leftist politics. For instance, virtually no national coverage was given to an attempted bombing of a federal building by an Iraqi ‘refugee’ who was in the country although he was technically “inadmissible.” 

While terrorism and ISIS have been concerns for most Americans outside the politics industry, Democrats didn’t even mention ISIS as their presidential confirmation convention opened in July. Republican nominee Donald Trump has made national security a top issue in his campaign.

Perhaps the greatest bit of information media and Democrats have ignored is the fact Omar Mateen was, according to an oft-cited left of center newspaper, a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Democrats have focused on social and gender issues as the presidential election nears while Republicans are focused on the economy, national security, and jobs.

It’s not surprising most of legacy media, a de facto messaging arm for the left, ignored the reality of Mateen’s motivation.

The US for now at least has a robust independent media who don’t skew news on behalf of leftwing ideologues.

Currently the US government is attempting to keep the family of another terrorist, the San Bernardino shooter, from collecting his life insurance.

A couple months after the Orlando shootings, the father of that shooter was spotted sitting on the stage behind Hillary Clinton at one of her political rallies.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 28, 2016)








About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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