Opinion

KASSAM: The Media Has A Problem Covering 9/11

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Raheem Kassam Contributor

The New York Times began its 9/11 coverage this year with an avian appeal. The 9/11 tribute lights, they claim, are putting 160,000 birds at risk every year.

Apparently the “Tribute in Light” — two columns created by 88 searchlights — is affecting the migratory patterns of our winged friends.

That is, unless you read the article. The headline’s claim is debunked about halfway in: “But according to radar studies … the 20-minute breaks are enough to allow birds to resume their migration.”

This isn’t the first year they’ve done it, but the articles are getting longer and the shrieks are becoming shriller: “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the yellow warblers?!”

The peregrine falcon focus is scarcely the worst of the Gray Lady’s misdeeds when it comes to the anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2019, the Times published a tweet that read: “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.”

There were 2,977 victims who died on 9/11, and over 6,000 were injured. Additional lives have been lost since that day as a result of related issues, but the Times originally saw no problem with rounding way down in its estimations of those killed.

Worse still is the implication that “airplanes took aim.”

Imagine a right-wing website marking the far less deadly Charlottesville attack with a tweet that read, “A car took aim at Heather Heyer.”

No, a car didn’t take aim. A frenzied neo-Nazi did.

No planes “took aim” on 9/11. Frenzied Islamic terrorists did.

The Times was forced to back down, issuing a tweet that reads: “We’ve deleted an earlier tweet to this story and have edited for clarity. The story has also been updated.” The changes made to the story are unlisted, and the New York Times has not responded to my request for clarity at the time of publication.

The paper also saw fit to publish an opinion-editorial by Omer Aziz, about how hard 9/11 made it to be a Muslim.

“I’m still mourning the life I lived before I learned that I was different,” said the sub-headline.

Forgive me if I refuse to shed a tear. The rest of us use this day to remember those who actually lost real lives or those of loved ones.

And never forgetting doesn’t just mean never forgetting the incident, or the dead, or their families. It also means never forgetting the fascist and barbaric ideology that contributed to those deaths.

It means remembering that little to nothing has been done to effectively rid the world of the scourge of jihadism as a philosophy, ideology, and a core tenet of the faith of many.

Like the Cold War, we may have physically hampered the menace, but we have come nowhere close to crippling its foundations.

Just as cultural Marxism continued its creep into the West after the fall of the Berlin Wall, so too has Islamic doctrine found new roots in the United States and Europe, often at the behest of our own politicians.

The New York Times isn’t the only outlet running interference on 9/11, either.

CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted a segment by his colleague John Avlon, with the chyron reading, “America’s 9/11 Amnesia.”

Avlon attacked President Trump, before pivoting to what he calls, “another form of violent extremism: white nationalist terrorism.”

“Here’s a startling statistic,” he drones on. “Since 9/11 right wing terrorists have killed more people in the United States than jihadist terror. That’s according to New America.”

‘New America’ is one of your classic D.C. think tanks packed to the gunwales with establishment foreign policy impresarios, including — though not disclosed — Avlon’s CNN colleague Fareed Zakaria.

Amongst New America’s donors are the same old names: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the Omidyar Network, and of course George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

But New America didn’t publish such a report, it simply aggregated an article written by the far-left Slate magazine. The author — Daniel Byman — has written about “right wing” terrorism almost every other month this year for Slate, with headlines ranging from Right-Wing Terrorism Could Get Even Worse After Trump” to “Trump’s Rhetoric Is Raising the Risk of Right-Wing Terrorism.” Breadth, perhaps, is not Byman’s strong suit.

On Aug. 5, 2019, he published what CNN laundered as a think-tank article by New America, titled: “Right-Wingers Are America’s Deadliest Terrorists.”

Byman’s article in turn leans on research conducted for New America, by author Peter Bergen, another CNN employee. You see how the D.C. merry-go-round works?

The study data reveals a far higher number of attempted jihadist attacks on America since 9/11, but those labelled “far right” are ostensibly revealed to have been more deadly.

In part this is due to greater resources spent foiling jihadist attacks. But the frequency of “far right” killings listed is also higher due to the methodology used in classification.

A bank robbery with links to the cultist Branch Davidians is listed as “far right.” So too is a stand-off between a 22-year-old and police after a domestic incident involving the shooter’s mother. As you can imagine, the list of ill-categorized “right wing” attacks goes on.

This is not to say that domestic terrorism related to Neo Nazism or ethno-nationalism is non-existent. But using 9/11 — as CNN has — to foster fears of a clearly less significant threat on a symbolic day is indicative of a deep-seated problem America’s media has with the day that shook the world.

Avlon closed his two minutes of fear-mongering about “right-wing” terror by demanding, “To truly learn the lessons of 9/11 is to resolve not to let hate win or fear define us.”

Between birds and” whataboutery,” America’s establishment journalists reveal who really has amnesia: them.

Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) is a Claremont Institute fellow and speaker at CPAC Australia. He is the author of two bestselling books: “No Go Zones” and “Enoch Was Right.”


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.