Politics

AP Whitewashes Racial Motive in Fresno Rampage Coverage

Wire service coverage omits details pointing to hate crime, tweets censor 'Allahu Akbar'

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, yelled “Allahu Akbar” before gunning down three white men in cold blood on Tuesday.

“We do not believe … that this is a terrorist-related crime,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer to reporters on Tuesday. “This is solely based on race.”

Subsequent details reported by numerous outlets painted a picture of Muhammad as consumed by anti-white hate. Police quickly labeled the shooting spree an official hate crime.

But the Associated Press’ initial report on the story made absolutely no mention of Muhammad’s name or race, the race of his victims, nor the fact that he yelled, “Allahu Akbar.” The AP report mentioned only that there was a “shooting in Fresno” and that one person had been killed. “Few other details were immediately known,” the report claimed.

Yet the AP reporters certainly had access to additional information about the shooter. The AP article linked directly to a local Fresno Bee article, which — while it didn’t mention the racial motive — revealed both the race and name of the shooter.

Eventually AP did get around to reporting on Twitter that Muhammed was a racist and yelled something before opening fire, but rather than reportingly correctly that he yelled “Allahu Akbar,” the wire service decided to provide only the English translation of the phrase, obfuscating the obvious Islamist connection.

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“Fresno police say suspect in triple slaying told them he hates white people, shouted ‘God is great’ before killings,” read AP’s tweet.

The censored tweet was met with a swift and powerful backlash that forced the AP to delete the offending message.

“We deleted a tweet about a Fresno slaying suspect shouting ‘God is great.’ It failed to note he said it in Arabic. A new tweet is upcoming,” the service then tweeted. But when the AP finally did produce a new tweet, it remained censored, as the news agency kept the English translation but simply specified the actual phrase was delivered in Arabic.

AP’s apparent whitewashing of the incident was made all the more stark by the straightforward reporting of other mainstream outlets.

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“Hate crime suspected after three white people killed in Fresno,” reported CBS, while the intensely left-wing Guardian newspaper’s headline stated that “three killed by gunman in suspected race attack.”

A subsequent AP headline on covering the shooting again declined to offer insight on the shooter’s hate-based motives.

“The Latest: Brother of Fresno suspect shocked by killings.”

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