CBS News, ever ready to build a narrative around every tragedy, is trying to point out that right-wingers are more dangerous to Americans than Muslims. A report promoted by CBS News today makes that assertion, but it leaves out a major fact that makes all of the difference.
The myth that right-wing extremists are a bigger threat than Islamic extremists has circulated for some time, and it usually requires fuzzy “new” math to actually appear true. CBS News used it in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, when it became clear the person who drive a car through a crowd of protesters was a white supremacist sympathizer.
The assertion by CBS News is that Americans are three times as likely to be involved in a fatal attack from a right-wing extremist than you are a Muslim extremist. The fact is used to defuse the talking point that radical Islamic extremists are this country’s greatest threat. The liberal left can then use it to accuse those who criticize Muslim culture of being Islamophobic. Muslim apologists would rather cherry-pick statistics than address some of the glaring problems with modern Islamic culture. This slice of CBS fake news fits right into their narrative.
Of course, the mere term “right-wing extremists” is often used to group together anyone right of center politically with Nazis and white supremacists. In the aftermath of the Charlottesville domestic terror attack, critics and even some media commentators have accused President Trump of being racist and outright sympathetic to white nationalist and Nazi groups.
To that end, here is the tweet from Norah O’Donnell this morning, attempting to shift the focus to the conservative movement.
Between the end of '01 & Dec. '16 there were nearly 3 times as many fatal attacks by right-wing extremists than Islamist extremists in U.S. pic.twitter.com/VBk7iAJnNc
— Norah O'Donnell🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) August 14, 2017
Take note of the graphic used. Several things stand out.
Note that CBS News chooses to highlight the number of incidents as opposed to people killed, which works out better for their narrative. They can highlight 62 right-wing extremist inspired incidents (73% of the total), compared to 23 Islamic-inspired incidents (27% of the total). That is why CBS can claim that you are three times more likely to die at the hands of a right-winger than an Islamic extremist.
However, look at the number of deaths in total. Islamic extremists still account for the majority of deaths (119-106), even with fewer incidents. In actuality, Islamic attacks tend to be more deadly, with far more casualties.
Perhaps the most glaring problem with the CBS story is the dates. Note that they start counting on September 12, 2001. I’m sure you know why.
By omitting the September 11 attacks, CBS gets to skew the numbers so the impact of Islamic terror attacks do not look as bad.
Even if they wanted to get a post-9/11 look at terror in the United States, it seems callous to dismiss the deaths of thousands just so someone can advance a political narrative.
There are more problems with the statistics CBS cited. It should be noted that the numbers were not compiled by CBS, they are using numbers from the Government Accounting Office and included in a study published by a group called New America.
According to PJ Media, The New America study includes some suspect examples of “right-wing” violence, including a bank robbery. They even include a prison murder by white supremacists, even though they killed a pedophile. Most people would find it hard to consider that murder as an example of “right wing terror.”
New America also managed to not include obvious Islamic-inspired attacks, including the DC sniper case. PJ Media listed these other instances of Islamic domestic terror that are not included in the totals.
In June of 2006 in Denver, a man shot four of his co-workers and a swat team member, killing one. He later claimed he did it because it was “Allah’s choice.”
In December of 2009 in Binghamton, a Saudi Arabian graduate student named Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani killed Richard T. Antoun, a non-Muslim Islamic studies professor who served on al-Zahrani’s dissertation committee, in revenge for “persecuted” Muslims. Prior to the killing one of al-Zahrani’s roommates tried to warn the university administration that he had been acting “like a terrorist.”
In 2012 in Houston, in two separate incidents in January and in November, two people were shot to death by a Muslim extremist for their roles in his daughter’s conversion to Christianity.
In March of 2013 in Ashtabula (Ohio), a Muslim convert walked into a Christian Church during an Easter service and killed his father, claiming it was “the will of Allah.”
In August of 2014 in Richmond (California) killed an Ace Hardware employee by stabbing him seventeen times, claiming he was on a “mission from Allah.”
For CBS fake news, however, doing the math correctly or taking everything into account doesn’t really matter. As long as the lie is repeated, more will believe it, and at some point the truth won’t matter.
What do you think of the latest example of CBS fake news? Let us know in the comments, and in addition, share this on social media.