WASHINGTON (CNN) – Journalists called out a White House claim that news outlets are failing to adequately report terror attacks.
On Monday, the White House issued a list of 78 terror attacks to underscore US President Donald Trump’s assertion that the media is failing to adequately report them.
But reporters in print, on air and on social media have robustly covered many of those attacks and terror in general.
“As a journalist I’m really troubled by that,” Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said on CNN’s The Lead on Monday.
“We have brave colleagues who everyday are taking big risks to cover these stories. Look at the “New York Times” which the president demonizes often. The New York Times this weekend had an outstanding piece of reporting about how ISIS has been reaching out, is more involved in some attacks in Europe and abroad.”
Ignatius said he has about 100 examples of strong reporting he’d like to show the President.
It’s particularly inappropriate when we have colleagues who are doing everything they can to bring this story to America.”
The attacks listed span from September 2014 to December 2016, and include the Paris attacks, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the truck attacks in Nice and Berlin, the Brussels airport attack, the Istanbul airport and Sultanahmet attacks, and the Sydney siege.
But the White House only mentions attacks that appear to have been carried out with Islamist motives and omits other terror operations. It does not mention the recent attack on a mosque in Quebec City, or the racially motivated attack by Dylann Roof on a church in South Carolina, in which nine black worshipers were shot dead.
The document was distributed Monday evening, the same day President Trump told enlisted service-members at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida that attacks were happening “all over Europe” and 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,” Trump added.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer later elaborated, saying the President “felt as though members of the media don’t always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered; that a protest will get blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn’t necessarily get the same coverage.”
When asked for an example of a terrorist attack the news media has not reported on, Spicer said: “We’ll provide a list later. There’s several instances.”
President Trump has used terror attacks to justify his controversial temporary ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US. He has also repeatedly referred to media organizations critical of him as “fake news.”