The press’s determination to gin up criticism of President Donald Trump at every conceivable turn was on clear display yesterday at the Associated Press.
In its timeline coverage of the Paris terrorist attack which left one police officer dead and two seriously wounded, the AP twisted Trump’s comment that it “looks like another terrorist attack.”
Here’s the wire service’s 10:22 p.m. Paris time (4:22 EDT) timeline entry:
The timeline entry is pathetic in its own right.
Trump didn’t “conclude” anything (contrary to what AP illiterately wrote, one doesn’t “conclude” about something which “may” be true), and he had plenty of reason — including what was known at the time, combined with the fact that there had been to that point 20 terrorist attacks killing over 230 in France since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in early 2015 — to make his tentative statement.
Trump did not “call” what was then still being called a Paris shooting a “terrorist attack.” He said it “looks like” one.
Also note that the AP couldn’t even properly copy its own verbiage, which had the entire phrase “looks like another terrorist attack” in quotes, into the picture caption’s headline, where only the word “another” is in quotes. Students in a properly taught Journalism 101 class would get penalized heavily for a stunt like that.
Three minutes later on the timeline — in the immediate aftermath of an attack when reporters should be interested in reporting facts on the ground — the agenda-driven AP took a shot at a two month-old statement by Trump by asking an eyewitness to strike back on their behalf:
A mere 15 minutes later, the next AP timeline entry reported that “French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the attack on police officers on Paris’ famed Champs-Elysees boulevard.” The next timeline entry another 15 minutes later noted that “the assailant … had been flagged as an extremist.”
The AP’s 11:25 p.m. Paris time (5:25 p.m. EDT) entry reported that “French President Francois Hollande says he is convinced the circumstances surrounding the attack on Paris police officers points to a terrorist act.” A mere 20 minutes later, it reported that “The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility,” that it had supported its claim by noting that “the group gave a pseudonym for the shooter indicating he was Belgian” when his name still wasn’t confirmed, which “indicated that the attacker already had ties of some sort to Islamic State extremists.”
Did the wire service circle back and note that Trump’s tentative “looks like” statement about the attack being an act of terrorism was correct?
You’re kidding, right?
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.