"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

From "Not Reported" to "Underreported" to ?

I daresay you've read about The Hairpiece's latest wild fantasy -- that are just oodles of terror attacks around the world that the press hasn't reported on because reasons. Washington Post, via Joe.My.God.:

Speaking to the U.S. Central Command on Monday, President Trump went off his prepared remarks to make a truly stunning claim: The media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks.

“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” he said to the assembled military leaders. “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.”

Of course, that got -- mmm, moderated:

In a press availability on Air Force One, Spicer tried to soften Trump’s comment. Terror attacks had been “under reported,” not “unreported.” He continued, according to the pool report:

“He felt members of the media don’t always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered. Protests will get blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn’t necessarily get the same coverage. He’s doing what he can to protect this nation and protect our people. And that’s why I think sometimes the polls don’t reflect what you see on the media. You see a wide degree of support for the president’s policies to protect this country, to create jobs, to grow the economy. And yet a lot of those stories and success that he’s had – in a mere two and a half weeks in office – aren’t exactly covered to the degree to which they should be.”

And who gets to decide the degree to which they should be covered? Don't tell me -- let me guess!

As it happens, the White House has a list. A long list -- a yuuge list of terrorist attacks that were "not reported/underreported" by the media for probably nefarious reasons. And, funny thing about that list:

There’s a concept in interactions with the press called “working the refs.” The idea is that it’s worth paying attention to trying to shape the coverage you receive before you receive it by offering criticisms that hopefully push the media where you want. Trump’s point about the media not reporting on terror attacks wasn’t necessarily that he thought the media was burying stories — though it very well may have been. Spicer, at least, was smart enough to understand that this was an opportunity to get the media to run with a lengthy list of terror attacks that, he hoped, would reinforce Trump’s broader message that terror attacks were a constant threat that demanded a strong response. Spicer, in other words, hoped to work the refs. . . .

The list was rushed — “attacker” is misspelled repeatedly and there is incorrect information, such as the statement that multiple people were involved in the recent attack at Ohio State University. This wasn’t something that the White House was sitting on, waiting to raise as a legitimate critique of how the media approached an issue central to Trump’s presidency. It was, instead, an attempt to make lemonade.

(I have to admit to a certain amount of sympathy for Spicer: his job is to make an out of control idiot look good. That's gotta be stressful.)

As for the list itself:

The White House released on Monday a list of 78 terrorist attacks that the Trump administration claim were not sufficiently covered by the nation's press. The list, however, included some mass killings that were covered well enough to make their locales into symbols of anger and grief: Orlando and San Bernardino, Nice and Paris in France, and Brussels in Belgium.

Orlando didn't receive enough coverage? Excuse me?

And the list does not include the mass shooting at at African American church by Dylan Roof, or the Ottawa mosque shooting by Alexandre Bissonnette (a big fan of Donald Trump, as it happens).

Lemonade, indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The BBC took that list and notated every item on it. None of them was not reported, and few were "underreported" unless you count complete coverage by Reuters or AP over a span of days as underreporting. And yes, he did leave off the home-grown attackers and their work, which they noted.