Monday, President Donald Trump quipped, yet again, that the press is incompetent and not doing their jobs. This time it was in an appearance before members of the military at the MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa. In what could be called a sinister suggestion, Trump detailed that the world is at war with radical Islamic terrorism and that “ISIS is on a campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the world.”
No one can disagree that that terrorism is has become a worldwide fear. President Trump continued stating that, “Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our nation as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe. You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening.” It is what President Trump said next that is causing many to wonder if the President is stating a fact grounded in facts or innuendo or yet, possibly conspiracy theory.
Trump continued to say that “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.” To say that the press is lacking or shirking their responsibility in keeping the public informed regarding terror attacks is unproven and false. When the White House was asked when these terror attacks occurred and proof that that those across the globe journalists were purposely not reported, Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, did in fact produce a list of 78 acts.
Whereas the list did not contain White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway’s assertion of a “Bowling Green massacre”, there were attacks listed such as Nice’ truck attack, 2015 attack in San Bernardino, Calif., and the 2016 attacks on an Orlando nightclub, which were covered by all major networks, newspapers and cable news networks. Attacks that took place in the U.S did receive more press at times that other smaller attacks in Europe as the press in the United States targets news for Americans. That is not to say smaller attacks aren’t covered. Not at all.
Security experts also dismissed the claims that President Trump stated. The fact that the President is created a false news item is unsettling. The director of globalsecurity.org, John Pike, stated that in fact terror plots, attempts and actual attacks are reported. “There are some incidents of such trivial nature that local authorities are hard put to decide whether it is terrorism or hooliganism. But if an American or European civilian or officer is seriously injured or killed, it gets reported.”
The White House also suggested that the press was slow to label acts of violence such as in San Bernardino, as terrorism. Yet, for journalists, they are not the ones to label any type of violence but the label is issued by a government agency such as Homeland Security. For a news agency to label an act of violence would be inappropriate. Now the press, is being called by the President of the United States, “very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
Donald Trump, while on the campaign trail, had been taken to task for unproven intelligence reports and conspiracy theories such as Senator Ted Cruz’s father being involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Trump, along with his staff, have continued to peddle “alternative facts.”
The President and his staff have created an atmosphere of adversarial behavior between themselves and the press. For the press, they have been maligned, bullied and now, bad Americans who look the other way when terrorists strike. For what reason, only Trump knows. As he said on Monday, “they have their reasons, and you understand that.”