Media Meltdown Over Trump Correctly Calling Paris Attack Terror
Press rage over president preempting French authorities with accurate observation
Several mainstream media figures were positively apoplectic on Thursday following comments made by President Donald Trump that suggested the terrorist attack in Paris was in fact a terrorist attack.
“Again, it’s happening, it seems,” Trump said during an afternoon press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. “I just saw it as I was walking in, so that’s a terrible thing. And that’s a very, very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today,” he continued.
“It looks like another terrorist attack.”
“But it looks like another terrorist attack. And what can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong, and we have to be vigilant, and I’ve been saying it for a long time,” Trump continued.
The collective media freakout in reaction to the comments was swift.
“Trump calls Paris shooting ‘terrorist attack,’ Paris police have not yet announced motive,” the Associated Press tweeted incredulously.
Brian Williams, MSNBC’s fact-troubled anchor, was equally as upset that Trump dared suggest the attack may have been an act terrorism.
“President Trump said right off the bat to a question, looks like another terrorist attack in France that we have not been comfortable to call it that or report that, but we’ll have more reporting upcoming,” said Williams.
Williams’ colleague, Chuck Todd, who was providing commentary on the press conference with Williams, cautioned viewers that press coverage was “getting ahead of the facts.”
“You do wonder if — are people are going to take what [Trump] said as some idea that it’s — that he knows something more than what anybody else does,” Todd continued.
The British newspaper The Independent ran the headline, “Donald Trump responds to Paris shooting: ‘It looks like another terrorist attack,'” but made sure to note in the article’s subhead that the “French interior ministry says it is too early to judge motive.”
Two things stand out as problematic about the mainstream media reaction to Trump’s comments.
First of all, given what has been going on in Europe over the past 24 months, and the extent to which France specifically has suffered from Islamic terror, it doesn’t seem an unreasonable leap of logic or faith to say that the incident may have been terror. The western European nation has suffered 22 terrorist attacks in the past two years. Paris has suffered at least six terrorist attacks in the same timeframe.
Secondly, Trump only suggested as much. He did not say the attack in Paris was terrorism, indeed he did not even suggest that the attack in Paris was probably terrorism. Trump said only that “it looks like another terrorist attack.”
Within more or less an hour of Trump's comments, French authorities confirmed it was terrorism, the French president said it was terrorism, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
The media rush to cry foul over Trump's suggestion of terrorism, since vindicated by the facts, fits with a pattern of downplaying acts of Islamic terrorism across much of the mainstream press.
Just this week, the AP — the organization which felt the need to call out Trump for daring to suggest the Islamic terror attack in Paris was a terror attack before the full facts were known — is the same organization that felt the need to hide from its readers the fact that a shooter in Fresno, California, yelled "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire. The AP had to delete their tweet that contained only an English translation of the favorite Jihadi cry and later replaced it, but again with a whitewashed explanation that the real phrase was yelled in Arabic, rather than honestly sharing of the words with their readers.