NBC Declines To Label Gunmen In Texas Terror Shooting ‘Islamic Extremists’
In covering the failed terrorist attack at a Prophet Mohammad cartoon event in Texas, NBC neglected to describe the two gunmen on Monday evening as “Islamic extremists” or “terrorists” while all three English networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) prominently touted the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) description of AFDI as an “anti-Muslim” or “anti-Islamic” “hate group.”
NBC Nightly News interim anchor Lester Holt declared in a tease that “gunmen” had “opened fire at an anti-Islamist event in Texas” and later before correspondent Jacob Rascone’s report that “[i]t happened at a Dallas suburb where a group the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-Islamic hate group was holding a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.”
On the subject of whether it was a work of terrorism, Holt only went as far as to note that “authorities are investigating it as a possible terror attack.” As for Rascon, the NBC News correspondent continually referred to the terrorists as only “gunmen” or “suspects” and parroted the SPLC’s label from Garland, Texas:
Sunday night’s attack targeted a meeting of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, labeled by some as an anti-Islamic hate group. It sponsored a contest, offering $10,000 for the best cartoon of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, something considered deeply offensive by many Muslims. Despite heightened security at the event, two men in body armor jumped out of their car wielding assault rifles and opened fire. The only thing standing between them and 200 people inside was a traffic officer.
Turning to ABC’s World News Tonight, anchor David Muir led off the broadcast with “fast-moving developments after the terror in Texas” and “deadly shootout” outside “a cartoon competition [and]a provocative one” as “artists [were]drawing the Prophet Muhammad.”
After not doing so on Good Morning America, correspondent Ryan Owens tweaked his report and referred to the Arizona roommates behind the foiled attack as “suspected terrorists armed with assault rifles” who were “outgunned by a traffic cop and his pistol.” More