The murders of three white men by a black supremacist gunman in Fresno received limited media attention on Tuesday, most notably at CNN.
CNN’s dearth of coverage of the shootings, carried out by 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, an African-American Muslim, stands in stark contrast to its reporting of other non-political news events: the manhunt for a Cleveland man who killed a 74-year-old man on Sunday, a sexual harassment scandal involving Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and a child custody battle involving radio host Alex Jones.
A review of CNN’s broadcast through primetime shows that the Fresno killings received no mentions on air. An article about the attacks is loaded to CNN.com.
MSNBC gave a brief mention to Muhammad’s racially-motivated killings during the day Tuesday. Fox News hosts discussed the story during several primetime shows. NBC, CBS, and ABC aired segments on the story during their nightly broadcasts.
Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer confirmed Tuesday night that Muhammad chose his victims because they were white.
“This is solely based on race,” he said during a press conference. “It has nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statements that were made.”
Terrorism was thought to be one possible motive when the story broke earlier on Tuesday after it was reported that Muhammad yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he was being arrested. The gunman told police he shouted the Arabic phrase, which translates to “God is greatest,” in case anything happened to him.
Muhammad opened fire in downtown Fresno just before 11 a.m. local time. All three of the victims were white men. Two were clients of Catholic Charities. A third victim was working for a gas company.
Muhammad, an aspiring rapper with a lengthy criminal history, is also the primary suspect in a murder of a motel security guard on Sunday. (RELATED: Race Is A Motive In Murder Of Three White Men In Fresno)
Muhammad’s anti-white sentiment is a prominent feature on his social media accounts and in his rap lyrics.
“Hollow points make a white devil body spin,” he raps in a music video posted to Youtube last month.
“Kill a racist devil dead, cut of they head, put a bullet in they head, and get they bread,” the lyrics continue.
In other posts on Facebook and Twitter, Muhammad referred to white people in racist terms and criticized Donald Trump and his adviser, Steve Bannon, as white supremacists.
It’s not clear why CNN completely ignored the story. A special election in Georgia took up a significant portion of airtime. The network’s shows also discussed a report that the FBI used information from the infamous Trump dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant against a former Trump campaign official. Trump’s phone call to Turkey’s controversial president following a disputed referendum vote this weekend also received attention, as did a story about the Chinese government granting patents to Ivanka Trump.
Of arguably lesser news value was CNN’s segment on comedians who are shaming Trump about his refusal to release his tax returns. The network also occupied TV time on stories knocking two of its competitors, Fox’s O’Reilly and Jones.
Three separate segments about sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly were aired.