The Washington Post left any mention of Islamic terrorism out of a recounting of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, referring instead to a terrorist shooting 49 people dead in the name of the Islamic State simply as “gun violence.”
“A year ago, 49 people died at Pulse Nightclub,” the bizarrely passive headline on the story reads.
Reporter Katie Mettler writes at length about the havoc wreaked on dozens of victims and their families in the June, 2016, attack, but makes no mention of the motivation of the Muslim terrorist responsible for the destruction. Neither Islam nor terror is mentioned once, although Omar Mateen took great pains to make his motive ultra clear.
The description of the attack is even more bizarre than the headline. Mettler ascribes the religiously motivated terror rampage to a disembodied “mass shooting” that “stole 49 lives.”
“It had been a year since the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history stole 49 lives there and scarred countless others; a year since Pulse, a safe space for Orlando’s gay community, fundamentally changed,” she writes.
The person responsible for this violence placed a brief 911 call to let everyone know exactly why he had just opened fire on a bunch of people dancing in a nightclub. Let’s revisit that transcript.
— “Emergency 911, this is being recorded,” the operator said.
— “In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent,” Mateen said in Arabic.
— “Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” he continued, then switching to English: “I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
— “What’s your name?”
— “My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.”
— “What’s your name?”
— “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.”
— “Alright, where are you at?”
— “In Orlando.”
— “Where in Orlando?” [End of call.]
Setting aside these explicit statements, as well as Mateen’s history of threatening violence based on Islam and the fact that he had been investigated by the FBI for terror ties, Mettler links the attack not to terrorism, but to police shootings that she vaguely describes as “gun violence.”
“By the end of the night, more than 1,000 people had gathered to remember what happened last June, when Orlando became the first U.S. city of the summer — before Falcon Heights, Minn., and Baton Rouge and Dallas — to be upended by gun violence,” she writes.
Despite Mettler’s obvious attempt to wipe the story clean of any mention of Islamic terror, an accurate description of the attack did creep in through the video about the victims embedded right at the top of her story.
“Remembering the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack,” the video title reads.
And below is a description from a video editor: “49 people were killed at a nightclub in Orlando when a gunman who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State opened fire and took hostages. Here are the victims.”
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