The White House late Monday published a list of supposedly “under-reported” terrorist attacks, following up on President Donald Trump’s claim that the media was deliberately suppressing coverage of such acts.
In addition to the fact that many of the events listed were extensively covered by the press, glaringly absent, many noted, are attacks committed by white men and those whose victims were non-Western.
The 78 examples provided span from September 2014 through December 2016. The list includes prominent events such the December 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California (among other typos, the list misspells “Bernadino”), the Nice, France truck attack that killed 84 civilians, and the June 2016 coordinated suicide bombings at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.
Putting to rest claims that the listed attacks were under-reported, the Guardian on Tuesday published the full White House list with internal links and details regarding “how they were reported.”
“What does the White House’s choice of ‘cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report’ tell us?” the newspaper asks, using the president’s own words.
As many pointed out, Trump’s list specifically does not include attacks perpetrated by white men or where Muslims were the majority of victims, such as last week’s deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque.
Arguing that such exclusions are even more telling than what is included, the Washington Post‘s Katie Mettler and Derek Hawkins write: “Some of the countries most devastated by terrorism from Islamic extremists were left out entirely. Whether that suggests that the administration thinks they received adequate coverage is anyone’s guess. But it was a glaring omission either way.”
What’s more, as CBS reported this morning, none of the attacks on Trump’s terror list “would have been prevented by his [travel] ban” on immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
As for the White House’s intent, some observers, such as the Washington Post‘s Philip Bump, suggest that the whole frenzy was deliberately designed to get the press to reiterate these dozens of attacks to underscore Trump’s call for closed borders. Others point to the fact that far-right outlets like InfoWars have long sown fears about a “massive media cover-up.”
In a lengthy Twitter thread (partially sourced above), activist and entrepreneur Michael Skolnik argues that such media attacks are both a distraction and an attempt to undermine core institutions.