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Media Bias in Coverage of Terrorism in United States

Introduction

 

In the United States media coverage of violence and terrorism is highly selective and biased.

  • Highlighting violence by persons from Muslim or Arab communities.
  • Overlooking or minimizing violence by persons from right-wing or supermacist movements.
  • Framing violence as primarily caused by mental illness or "alienation" without probing ideological, theological, or socio-political movement factors.

Bigoted suggestions that violence is central to Islamic theology is a core theme of numerous right-wing pundits as detailed in FAIR’s 2008 report on “Smearcasting.”

In fact, there are more incidents of violence in the U.S. perpetrated by domestic right-wing fanatics including white supremacists and Christian anti-abortion activists.

The resources listed on this page document these contentions.

 

Chronology of Right-Wing Violence in the United States

Annual US Government Statistics on Ethnoviolence ("hate crimes")

FAIR’s 2008 report on “Smearcasting.”) {offsite}

Reports From Mother Jones Magazine

Reports by David Neiwert

Reports by Sara Robinson

Reports by Mustafa E. Gurbuz

Reports from Muslim American Advocacy Groups

Anti-Choice Violence and Intimidation

Other Resources

 


 

Right-Wing Violence Eclipses that Perpetrated by Muslims

Overview:

Eric Boehlert,  Another Right-Wing Extremist Terror Arrest; Fox News Not Interested In Assigning Blame, Media Matters, May 7, 2013.

Prompted by the arrest of a Muslim suspect, Fox News has spent weeks demonizing Islam by assigning collective blame, as well as targeting Muslims who travel here to study.  But yet another far-right, anti-government plot to possibly kill law enforcement officials? At Fox News, that's not a story that draws much concern, especially not from its primetime talkers.

It's true Fox has included a number of on-air mentions about the Minnesota terror news during its daytime programming. But what makes Fox's ho-hum coverage noteworthy is the contrast to its interest in making sweeping generalizations about the Islamic community when terror plots have included Muslims Muslim suspects (or, as we saw with the misguided post-Boston obsession with the "Saudi national," Muslim victims).

It was a Fox talker who suggested in the wake of the Boston terror attacks that American mosques be bugged and other Constitutional rights for Muslims be eliminated. And it was on Fox that viewers were recently told, "not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorist are Muslims."

 

Reports From Mother Jones Magazine

Guide to Mass Shootings in America

http://homegrown.newamerica.net/overview_nonjihadists

Reports by David Neiwert

Conservatives are trying to whitewash far-right terrorists out of our memories
April 20, 2009

... it couldn't be clearer that it is concerned almost exclusively with far-right extremists: neo-Nazis, skinheads, anti-abortion bombers, and their assorted fellow travelers. What the teeth-gnashing from the right suggests is that they recognize themselves, and their influence, all too readily in the thugs and terrorists who take their beliefs and twist them into something violent.

Violent Rhetoric and the Mentally Ill
January 16, 2011.

Put simply (and colloquially): There's been a lot of crazy talk from the American Right in recent years. And crazy talk — especially condoned at the highest social levels — has a powerful effect on people who are already crazy.

The Tea Party's Armed Extremists
November 22, 2011

In places like rural Montana, the Tea Party is working hand-in-glove with Patriot movement radicals — many of whom have close ties to white supremacists and anti-government armed militias

Reports by Sara Robinson

The Far Right’s First 100 Days: Shifting Into Overdrive
April 29, 2009

The far right wing has been laying the groundwork for violent action for decades. Long before they turn dangerous, political and religious groups take their first step down that road by adopting a worldview that justifies eventual violent action. The particulars of the narrative vary, but the basic themes are always the same. First: their story is apocalyptic, insisting that the end of the world as we’ve known it is near. Second: it divides the world into a Good-versus-Evil/Us-versus-Them dualism that encourages the group to interpret even small personal, social, or political events as major battles in a Great Cosmic Struggle — a habit of mind that leads the group to demonize anyone who disagrees with them. This struggle also encourages members to invest everyday events with huge existential meaning, and as a result sometimes overreact wildly to very mundane stuff.

State of the Union: A Status Report on the Far Right
January 28, 2010

There are more points of differentiation, but you get the point. There are two groups here: one comprising our perennial crop of evergreen wingnuts, and another that’s only recently decamped from the center right and moved hard right to join them.

Glenn Beck’s Common Nonsense: An Interview With Alex Zaitchik
May 23-24, 2010

America has this long tradition of twisted, odd, widely beloved and yet darkly dangerous right-wing cultural impresarios that pop up out of our landscape like cultural tornadoes, leaving huge swaths of derangement and destruction in their wake

Part One - | - Part Two

Anti-Choice Intimidation, Violence, and Terrorism

NARAL Pro-Choice America
Anti-Choice Violence and Intimidation
January 1, 2013
http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/media/fact-sheets/abortion-anti-choice-violence.pdf

Reports from Muslim American Advocacy Groups

Jessica Huseman
Eric Bolling: 'The Five' Host and His Co-Hosts Promote Profiling
http://www.policymic.com/articles/37803/eric-bolling-the-five-host-and-his-co-hosts-promote-profiling
undated circa may 2013

Shwetika Baijal
7 Worst Islamophobic Reactions to the Boston Bombing
undated circa may 2013
http://www.policymic.com/articles/37123/7-worst-islamophobic-reactions-to-the-boston-bombing

Other Resources


Featured Social Movement Organization

Spirit House Project uses the arts, research, education, action, and spirituality to bring diverse peoples together to work for racial, economic, and social justice, as well as for spiritual maturity.

Featured Physical Archives

Marquette University has acquired a large collection of FBI files on US right-wing organizations and individuals. The files were released under the federal Freedom of Information Act to researcher Ernie Lazar. The Lazar Collection is also ONLINE!

Emory University: Neighbor's Network (Atlanta, Ga.) 1987-1998)

Featured Multimedia

Anti-Nazi lithograph cartoons by a survivor of the the genocide.

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The goal of the website is to provide online linkages to a variety of existing and new transatlantic resources for the study of social movements that seek to expand or restrict access to full democratic human rights for all people. The mission is to illuminate the relationship of hierarchies of race, gender, and class to societal conflicts, especially those involving social movement organizations and their specific ideologies, frames, and narratives.