Trump Falsely Says Media Covers Up Terrorism Attacks

President Trump said in a speech that the "dishonest" media intentionally doesn't report on terrorism. Here's proof that's false.
Posted at 10:31 PM, Feb 06, 2017

"Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland. ... It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many, many cases, the dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that," President Donald Trump said in a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. 

The press doesn't cover up terrorist attacks. But Trump's White House clearly isn't happy with the way the media treats terrorism.

In defense of Trump's comments, the White House published a list of terror attacks that it says were underreported in Western media.

The list includes several misspellings, including the word "attacker" being spelled multiple times without a "c." Also, San Bernardino was misspelled. 

Some of the listed attacks were heavily covered by the media. Others resulted in few or no casualties. And many of the attacks happened overseas.

The U.S. media does have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to international terrorism. FiveThirtyEight researched which terrorist attacks are covered by Western media. It found attacks in affluent and Western countries tend to get more coverage than those in poor and non-Western countries. 

That finding is based on the digital archives of The New York Times, which the post's author used as a proxy for Western media coverage in general.

Let's be clear: Prioritizing which stories to cover is an issue journalists face. But that's a lot different than intentionally ignoring a story, which is what the president first insinuated.

Trump prioritizes his attention to terrorism, as well. He spoke out on Twitter about a nonfatal attack in France, where the only person injured was the Middle-Eastern attacker. 

But Trump was silent after a man shot and killed six people at a mosque.

The mosque shooter, a 27-year old white man, was a vocal supporter of both Trump and France's far-right politician Marine Le Pen. The French politician's visit to Quebec is thought to have inspired the shooter's extremist views.