I have a paid subscription to the Washington Post, but there are days when I’d like my money back. Yesterday, for instance, I read Katie Mettler‘s piece about Omar Mateen, the ISIS-inspired son of Afghan immigrants. Wielding a semi-automatic rifle, Mateen murdered 49 revelers at a gay nightclub in Orlando a year ago.
Actually, the article isn’t about Mateen at all. Mettler decided that the WaPo‘s commemoration should emphasize love and healing and rainbows — and honestly, I don’t have a problem with that. What I do find problematic is that there’s something rather crucial absent from her piece.
She doesn’t refer to Mateen’s motive even once. The word terrorism is simply missing in action, as are ISIS, Muslim, Islam, and religion.
Isn’t that remarkable?
It’s not just Mettler. In fact, she did more than some of her colleagues at the paper could be assed to do. Mettler at least mentions Mateen (once). Multiple other WaPo stories and captioned photo essays couldn’t even muster that. Tim Graham noted this on the conservative media watchdog website Newsbusters:
On Monday’s front page, [the Washington Post] promoted Sunday’s “Equality March” by the gay Left: “It was at times celebratory and at others somber as participants gathered to commemorate the anniversary Monday of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at an Orlando gay nightclub a year ago. Those touched by the shooting have worked to heal, raising money for the victims and organizing politically.”
On the back page of the A-section, they published an entire page of four color photos under the theme “A Year Later, Healing From a Massacre.” There was only a paragraph of text on “the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history,” but no Mateen or ISIS.
The paper’s coverage was at least bizarrely consistent:
On the back of the Metro section was a story all across the bottom half with three color photos under the headline “At Equality March, remembering ‘all 49 angels’ of Pulse: Thousands take part in LGBT demonstration before 1st anniversary of Orlando massacre.” Reporter T. Rees Shapiro used the same template as the front-page blurb, with no Islamic State mentions.
The same weird practice was apparent on the front of Saturday’s Style section. The big headline was “A Poignant Point of Pride: For this year’s LGBTQ community celebration, the Human Rights Campaign wears 49 ribbons, one for each life lost at the Pulse nightclub.” Caitlin Gibson wrote, “Monday will mark the first anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in American history — a horror that unfolded in a popular Florida gay bar that had been a cherished place of safety and acceptance for a marginalized community.”
Other prominent newspapers, including the New York Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times also reported on the massacre’s anniversary, including brief but correct mentions of the terrorist butcher and his love for Islam-inspired violence.
On the other hand, joining the Washington Post in whitewashing the inconvenient crime was the Huffington Post. That website, beloved among broad swaths of the left, also avoided any whisper of terrorism, ISIS, and Muslim theology. The word Islam only appears in the context of various presumed phobias:
[The shooting] raised countless questions about modern-day homophobia including internalized — transphobia, gun violence, racism, Islamophobia and the human capacity for evil.
Not only are the gay-hating tenets of Islam thus swept under the rug (more on those holy verses in a second); somehow, according to the Huffington Post team, when a Qur’an-quoting jihadist murders 49 gay people, we must admonish each other that this is an excellent time to talk about (wait for it) racism and Islamophobia.
[W]hile the vast majority of Muslims do not agree with the violent actions of Mateen, the hatred that underpins those actions is pervasive in the Muslim world. This hatred is not arbitrary. It originates from the root of the faith, from the very foundational documents of Islam.
The scriptures colorfully narrate genocide conducted by God against homosexuals — the Qur’an describes the destruction of the entire nation of Lot (Qur’an 7:80-84) as punishment for acts of homosexuality amongst the population (Qur’an 27:54-58). There are explicit calls for punishment for homosexuality (Qur’an 4:16-17), including the death penalty (Hadith).
Syed’s cri de coeur was headlined “After the Orlando Massacre, We Cannot Ignore the Connection Between Islam and Anti-Gay Bigotry.”
And yet, that’s precisely what some liberal news outlets keep doing… playing all of us for fools.
(Screenshot via YouTube)