Thursday, June 16, 2016

Guns? Terrorism? Hate crime? Media go to their corners in reporting on Orlando. - Margaret Sullivan

It was only about 10:50 a.m. on Sunday, and very little was known about exactly what had happened in Orlando but that didn’t seem to stop politicians and pundits from making some definitive statements, often in highly partisan terms.

If you favored gun control, this was further evidence of the legislative failures to stop slaughter. If you were wary of Muslims, this was an opportunity to paint an entire faith as terrorists. If you supported gay rights, this was a hate crime targeting the LGBT community.

In too many cases, news outlets were busy amplifying the politics of blame.

“This is not a hate crime,” Sebastian Gorka, a counterrorism expert, said on Fox News. He demanded that President Obama must “stop the political correctness” in a response that hadn’t yet been made. What happened in Orlando was clearly “part of a military assault,” implicating forces of global jihad.
[50 dead in worst mass shooting in U.S. history]

On CNN, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) declared that this was clearly terrorism, although at that point no one really knew. “If common sense holds true . . . this is the new face of the war on terror . . . something we’ve never had to confront before.”

Some news organizations were emphasizing that the massacre had happened at a gay club during a period of Pride celebrations; others, according to Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, “lagged behind”on this point. “They were tiptoeing around it,” she said. Gun control was front and center for some but hardly mentioned elsewhere.

Fingerpointing was on full display in the early hours of the reporting on the nation’s most deadly mass shooting. - Read More at the Washingtonpost

Guns? Terrorism? Hate crime? Media go to their corners in reporting on Orlando.

Obama visits survivors in Orlando: ‘Our hearts are broken, too’


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