Jul 21 2015

Mental Illness Doesn’t Explain Mass Violence–but Neither Does ‘Islamic Extremism’

Anderson Cooper asks Gary Tuchman about Chattanooga violence

It’s true, as CNN’s Anderson Cooper says, that most depressed people, and people with mental illness in general, will never hurt anyone. But it’s just as true that religious beliefs–“extremist” or otherwise–don’t “lead most people to kill other people.”

Jul 09 2015

Got to Be Thwarting Something: FBI Claims It Stopped Unspecified Mayhem, Possibly on July 4

NYPD at Coney Island (photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

The holiday weekend came and went, with the FBI “terror warning” hyped by the media foreshadowing nothing more than for two false alarms and a handful of canceled Fourth of July plans. So it was curious, to say the least, when on Thursday the FBI asserted that “a number” of “ISIS-inspired” terror plots had been “thwarted.”

Jul 01 2015

Zero for 40 at Predicting Attacks: Why Do Media Still Take FBI Terror Warnings Seriously?

CNN: US on Terror Alert

A casual search reveals the FBI and DHS are a pitiful 0 for 40 warning of terror attacks—some of which were specifically about 4th of July threats, none of which materialized in any way.

Jun 25 2015

That Most Terrorists Aren’t Muslim May ‘Come as a Surprise’–if You Get Your News From Corporate Media

Police at a Las Vegas terror attack (photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters)

in a piece all about the “mismatch between public perceptions and actual cases,” the entity most charged with matching sure these match–the news media–doesn’t get much scrutiny

Jun 22 2015

WaPo: Don’t Say ‘Terrorist’ About ‘White People Like Ourselves’

Dylann Roof appearing in court

Generally, news outlets don’t explain why they aren’t calling Roof a terrorist suspect–they just rarely use the word. But the Washington Post’s Philip Bump gave it a shot in a piece headlined “Why We Shouldn’t Call Dylann Roof a Terrorist.”

Jun 19 2015

Why Are Persons Unknown More Likely to Be Called ‘Terrorist’ Than a Known White Supremacist?

Dylann Roof

The day after the Boston Marathon bombing, 34 percent of newspaper stories used the word “terrorism.” With the Charleston church massacre, the comparable figure was 7 percent.

May 01 2015

Media Now Offering ‘ISIS Plots’ That Are 100% ISIS-Free!

Contrary to Fox News, these suspects were not lured by ISIS, but by the FBI.

Right on cue, the American media published dressed-up FBI press releases about the “disrupted” plot. These outlets, as usual, omitted the rather awkward fact that this “ISIS plot” did not actually involve anyone in ISIS.

Mar 18 2015

Forgiving Al-Qaeda in Pursuit of a New Enemy

There are signs of a shift in the Western foreign policy establishment toward seeing groups like Al-Qaeda not as the main targets of US military operations but as potential allies against the governments Washington has identified as more important enemies.