The Washington Post Tries To Hide A Muslim Attack From Its Readers: What’s Going On Here? Or Rather, What The HELL Is Going On Here?

Now, see, THIS Post has informative headlines...

Now, see, THIS Post has informative headlines…

I have no hidden agenda; I really would like to know.

Sharp-eyed media critic Ian Tuttle noticed how the Washington Post headlined a news story from Detroit in which a Muslim man, Terrence Lavaron Thomas, asked two strangers at a Southfield, Mich., bus stop whether or not they were Muslim and when they answered in the negative, stabbed them with a  knife. This was the headline:

wapo-headline1

What? That suggests the opposite of what happened!  We are told “conservatives” on social media objected. Really? Only conservatives are bothered by incompetent, misleading or intentionally false news reports? Anyway, the Post’s editors said, apparently, “Oh, all right, if you’re going to be all picky about it,” and changed the headline to this…

WaPo Muslim headline 2 - revised

Except that “Are you Muslim? No? THEN DIE, INFIDEL!!!” is not what I or any fair and rational person would call a “discussion.”  Once again those pesky “conservatives”—you know, the ones who don’t appreciate the press lying to them–complained, so again the Post changed the headline:

WaPo Muslim headline3

So now that irrelevant Muslim angle is missing entirely, because this has no possible relationship to  Muslim extremists around the world burning people alive, cutting off the heads of Christians, kidnapping and killing children or any of that nasty stuff.

The story under the headline, however, follows the script laid out by that first misleading headline. Reporter Abby Ohlheiser began her story this way:

A Detroit man stabbed two people at a suburban bus stop after asking his victims whether or not they were Muslim, according to police. Federal authorities are now looking at the case as a potential hate crime, police said on Tuesday.

Both of the victims were standing at the bus stop outside of Detroit with the suspect on Saturday, Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. Several people there “engaged in conversation” until the suspect, identified by Hawkins as 39-year-old Terrence Lavaron Thomas, “asked some of the folks there if they were Muslims.”

You know, I took some journalism courses. The first thing I was taught was that the first sentence needs to include the most important facts of any story. The Washington Post is one or the premiere journalism sources in the nation. Are we to believe that it reasonably believes that in this story, the fact that it was a Muslim asking the question, and that an answer of “No” resulted in the individuals being attacked, isn’t important? (It was revealed in the third paragraph.) Why is the Post intentionally misinforming its readers to the point of endangering them? Remember in “Ghostbusters” when Ernie Hudson reminds Dan Ackroyd…

Isn’t “if somebody asks you at a bus stop if you’re a Muslim, say YES!” something worth knowing?

The standard ethics analysis opening question is “What’s going on here?” and for the life of me, I can’t fathom it. Has the Post been struck incompetent? Are they secretly working for ISIS? Is the Left’s politically correct mania to avoid admitting that it really is Muslims—fine, extremist Muslims, though our President won’t even concede that—so our of control that its media now will lie to make sure nobody thinks ill of this poor, maligned faith that says right in its holy text that its followers should kill the unfaithful?

I thought that the mission of journalism was to tell readers the truth, and what they needed to know, and not what the journalist’s  favorite politicians want them to know so those politicians won’t look like deluded fools. The Post has been practicing journalism since 1877. Surely they have this nuance of their profession mastered by now. So again I ask,

What’s going on here?

I’d appreciate any suggestions.

66 thoughts on “The Washington Post Tries To Hide A Muslim Attack From Its Readers: What’s Going On Here? Or Rather, What The HELL Is Going On Here?

  1. This is interesting. Being from Michigan, I can tell you that Detroit has (or had at least) the largest concentration of Muslims compared to any other US city. So, I actually inferred from the headline that the attacker WAS Muslim. Obviously, the corrected version is better — but I had to go back and read the first headline several times before seeing why you are outraged.

    In any event, this attack, much like the recent one in North Carolina are not a reflection of anti-religious bias. In my opinion, these are just crazy people acting out — not an organized form of terrorism like we have seen in other places.

      • There’e religious bias everywhere, as well as racist, anti-gay, etc. I tend to think that crazy people do these random attacks like this.

          • That includes lone wolves. BUT, in light of last year’s multiple lone wolf Muslim attacks, including a foiled one against the British Royal Family, and the justifiable anger now simmering, the media is going to bend over backwards to avoid the appearance of more. It’s all-important to protect the poor misunderstood Muslims, after all.

              • Beth:
                The reports coming out of NC suggest that there was an on going feud over parking and not specifically because they were Muslim. I find it interesting that some are quick to cite this as an example of anti-Muslim sentiment but then go to great lengths to argue that perpetrators of violence who are Muslim are just nut jobs and not expressing a religious motivation.

                How many lone wolf attackers make up an army of violent extremists?

                • Ha! You missed the meaning of what I’ve been writing completely. I think the NC attack was perpetrated by someone who was unbalanced — religion has nothing to do with it, and we shouldn’t use it as an example of such.

                  • “The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him on the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it’s time to go shopping for a saddle.”

                    It’s statistically significant the number of people who behead people and specifically cite their faith as a reason tend to be Muslim, or people who throw acid in someone’s face, or shoot people for drawing cartoons. How many times do we hear recordings or see video of someone shouting Allah while killing people before we accept that while not all Muslims are extremists, if someone cuts off someone’s head in the name of their god, that person is probably also Muslim?

                    This argument you seem to be making is a “No True Scotsman” fallacy. “No True Muslim kills in the name of Allah.” Who the hell are you to dictate to anyone what religion they think they’re faithful to? Especially when the views they hold are held by significant percentages of the Muslim population.

                    • It is such an example of “No True Scotsman”—and this is Obama’s argument, not just Beth’s—that we should call it “No True Muslim” now. What is meant, I guess, is that no good Muslim is a terrorist. No good German was a Nazi, either. Who the hell were we fighting?

                    • I can’t even follow this line of reasoning. If a deranged individual (not organized movement, like 9/11, the London bus system, Spanish metro, etc.) attacks and kills somebody, the motivation most likely is that the person is insane. There also could be a motivation behind a school shooting (those kids mocked me) or a postal worker (I was never appreciated at work), but those motivations are not the root cause of the attack, the root cause is insanity. The perceived motivation was just the trigger.

                      As Deery mentioned above, it is doubtful that this person was Muslim given that he was intoxicated. I don’t know what a “good” or a “bad” Muslim is, but my colleagues, friends, etc. who are Muslim all have one thing in common — they don’t drink.

                    • Using the same logic of “No muslim drinks” would require “no Christian works on Sunday” or “no Jew eats bacon. Ever.” (poor Jews). We pick and choose from or holy books what we want to abide.

                      “The fact of the matter is that for whatever reason violent extremists tend to gravitate to Islam. Of course there are problems with violence outside Islam… but on a per capita basis, Islam punches above it’s weight class. And if you want to blame every attack ever on mental health issues, the (unscientific, admittedly) conclusion you would have to draw when faced with the real fact of per capita violence blamed on religion is that either the mentally ill are either attracted to Islam, or that Islam fosters an environment that drives people to become mentally ill. I’m not convinced that all violence requires insanity… at least not in the classical sense, but Dogma. These are people who interpreted the Verse of The Sword literally, and while I think they’re misguided, I’m going to give them the agency not to brand them insane for the convenience of my argument.

                    • I wrote that very wrong…

                      “The fact of the matter is that for whatever reason violent extremists tend to gravitate to Islam. Of course there are problems with violence outside Islam… but on a per capita basis, Islam punches above it’s weight class.”

                      Read before posting, edit before posting, read before posting, edit before posting.

                    • For Beth

                      Drinking or non-drinking do not a Muslim make. In my time in the military, having worked with a handful of former Iraqi soldiers who were now in America, it’s a matter of Drinking or non-drinking make a “devout” Muslim.

                    • By Beth’s standard, anyone decrying the “Christianity” of the Abortion Clinic Bombings is wrong. I’d love to find some Bethian quotes from that period of time on that particular topic.

                    • I think a Christian who bombs an abortion clinic is an extremist — they just aren’t as plentiful as Islamic extremists. And if the Christian who does so is part of an organized movement, then I would judge the movement accordingly. If the individual who does so is crazy with or without the Christian identity, then I would just say he or she is crazy.

                      BTW — one can be a devout “extremist” without being insane. I think calling this Detroit guy a Muslim extremist is a stretch — at best — based on the evidence presented.

                    • The difference with a Christian abortion clinic bomber over even a true “lone wolf” Muslim bomber/attacker/etc is that with the former the vast, VAST majority of Christians here and abroad would loudly, LOUDLY, denounce the attack. Pro-Life organizations nationwide would denounce; the Pope would denounce; even the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople might denounce! There would be no reasonable doubt that such an attack was an isolated anomaly. It would be utterly rejected by all mainstream Christians.

                      When Islamic extremists attack, there is no similar worldwide denunciation. The Grand Ayatollah issues no denunciation; the King of Saudi Arabia, one of the credible claimants to the Caliphate, issues no denunciation; not even the Palestinian Authority adequately denounces rockets fired from within its borders. Let’s face it; the media is so saturated with Muslim sympathy, that they are not merely leaving such comments unreported; they are unreported because the they are unmade!

                      I do not for a minute believe that these oppressive governments represent all Muslims; even the majority of Muslims. I hate that peaceful Muslims here and abroad get lumped in with the violent minority (especially when many left to ESCAPE said violence and oppression). I find it especially frustrating that many of these governments were propped by First and Second World nations as part of a global chess game during the Cold War (potentially crowding out moderate factions). However, the deafening silence when Muslims commit violence in the name of Islam makes the claim that these attacks are mere “lone wolves” not credible.

                      These “lone wolves” are motivated to lash out in a manner that they believe will be socially acceptable. Yes, by definition, they must be “unstable” to believe that blowing people up is “socially acceptable”. However, in Nazi Germany, it became socially acceptable to murder Jews; would Jews be slaughtered if the Nazi’s did not implicitly endorse such behavior? In Soviet Russia it became socially acceptable to persecute Christians; would priests have been sent to the Gulags if the authorities did not implicitly endorse such behavior?

                      There is thus a pattern established across cultures of violent behavior spreading when not condemned by credible authorities. Both German and Russians are “White” cultures, yet they devolved into inhuman endorsement of unjustifiable violence. It is thus not racist to observe that when Muslim authority figures do not feel the need to condemn attacks, the unstable among them feel at liberty to attack. Violence following silence is a universal human trait.

                      There are some true lone wolves out there; those who lash out because of rejection or perceived reject from society. The number of these cases is vanishingly small; the motive is almost always a desire to belong.

                      The call for an end to violence must originate from within a community to be credible. Much of the media tends to be liberal, and thus overlaps considerably with atheist or at least secular community; they have no credibility trying to teach what a “Good Muslim” is to those who are religiously observant in anyway. They do have a duty to report the news without bias, even if unfavorable news, so that Muslims and others know what needs to be corrected.

                      When Irish Catholics in New Haven experienced discrimination in the late 1800’s for allegedly being a drunken, slovenly bunch, a young priest among them founded the Knights of Columbus to give direction to the men who worked dangerous jobs, and drank their misery away. The priest, himself of humble origins, had the credibility to engage them, and direct them into civic engagement that actively countered the real behavior behind the stereotypes.

                      Muslims need to similarly engage each other in productive directions, while condemning and rejecting the violent directions. This can only come from within, not from without.

                    • “It is thus not racist to observe that when Muslim authority figures do not feel the need to condemn attacks, the unstable among them feel at liberty to attack. “

                      Nor is it wrong to imply that said leaders quietly approve of the violence.

                  • “I think a Christian who bombs an abortion clinic is an extremist — they just aren’t as plentiful as Islamic extremists.”

                    I think the fundamental difference is that the violence Muslim extremists perpetrate is directly called for in selective readings of their holy books. I don’t know that the Christian bombers can back their actions up with scripture. But that may be quibbling. We agree, at the least that Muslim extremism is by far more common.

                    The other main difference is the type of violence. I think murder is a little more serious than property damage, and while there have been 6 recorded murders in America since 1990 related to abortion clinics (That I found, I accept there might be more) this pales in comparison to the daily Muslim death count (http://thereligionofpeace.com).

                    I cannot divorce the Religion with the actions of it’s adherents when the death count is north of 50 daily.

                    • I urge caution when wading into the theology of other religions. For hundreds of years, Islamic nations were at the forefront of culture and sciences; the religion thus certainly does not inherently promote backwards thinking.

                      The decentral nature of Islam, more than anything, likely allows its image to be so easily used to justify violence. To the outsider, the leadership is very opaque. I spent quite a bit of time trying to untangle how Islam works, and still feel I have only scratched the surface.

                      At its core, Islam is about personal devotion to God. There is no mediator or church (at least in Sunni Islam). One need only formally profess one’s belief in God as taught by his prophet, and one becomes a Muslim. However, through study of scripture and Islamic traditions, one may become a “scholar” and gain influence by peer recognition of one’s knowledge and wisdom. These scholars offer their interpretations of scripture for a given situation, and other Muslims accept or reject their interpretations. (How this translates to the ownership of mosques or the need for a Caliph, I am still unclear…)

                      Peer recognition is at the heart of Islam. It is thus imperative that moderate devotees who see Islam as a “religion of peace” to speak up and explain their reasoning, and bring others into their fold. If the moderates gain the respect of the overwhelming majority, the extremists and/or terrorists loose their credibility; the motivation to impress others with violence diminishes.

                    • Ejercito, you do realize that parroting debunked assertions only makes you look REALLY REALLY stupid, right?

                      This is about the 4th or 5th time you’ve asserted an equivalency here where none exists.

                      That means you look REALLY REALLY stupid.

            • Barack Obama’s Big Lie is not helping. When he says, “We are not at war with Islam” (whoever he means by “We”), he is either being delusional, or lying, or both. “We” who are not Islamic are indeed, in fact, most certainly, at war with Islam, because Islam is at war with all of who (and what) are not Islamic. To assert otherwise is a Big Lie.

  2. Given his name, and appearance, he appears to be African-American. I immediately wondered whether he was a “real” Muslim, or a Nation of Islam Muslim, though I did assume, even from the original headline, that the man was Muslim. I guess the subtlety missed me.Though I guess it’s rather irrelevant either way, as he seems to be your run-of-the-mill deranged individual. It’s not as if he was acting under instructions, or in a conspiracy with someone else.

    • But why all the perambulations to bury the lede, not just in the headlines, but in the story itself? “Muslim Man Stabs strangers after asking “Are you Muslim?”
      “In Detroit, a Muslim man queried strangers at a bus stop regarding their faiths, and stabbed two who told him they were not Muslims.”

      Is that so hard?

      • After reading a little more about this story, I don’t know. The suspect was found a few blocks away drunk, incoherent, and carrying marijuana. While he told police that he was Muslim, they can find no evidence of him attending any mosques or such. It sounds more like he was drunk, high, and crazy than anything else.

          • I think the original headline is the most accurate. At this point, it is not very clear if he really is Muslim, but it is certainly clear that he attacked the victims because the said they were not Muslim. Given the fact that he was both drunk and high, if he were a Muslim, he certainly wasn’t a very devout one.

            • Did I say it’s sinister? I think its inexplicable. “Sloppy writing” that appears to willfully avoid the reason the story is news is just more than typically sloppy. I thought the story meant the opposite of what it was…I assumed it was another “hate crime” with someone getting a “yes” to the question and stabbing them. I think the President’s absurd insistence that religion is irrelevant to the terrorism in Paris, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Nigeria has gone out as the official PC position and the Post is bending itself into pretzel shapes to comply. No? It’s not sinister. It’s stupid. And unfair to the public, who deserves the facts.

            • Did I say it’s sinister? I think its inexplicable. “Sloppy writing” that appears to willfully avoid the reason the story is news is just more than typically sloppy. I thought the story meant the opposite of what it was…I assumed it was another “hate crime” with someone getting a “yes” to the question and stabbing them. I think the President’s absurd insistence that religion is irrelevant to the terrorism in Paris, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Nigeria has gone out as the official PC position and the Post is bending itself into pretzel shapes to comply. No? It’s not sinister. It’s stupid. And unfair to the public, who deserves the facts.

              • Okay. You say it is “inexplicable.” I think it is sloppy writing, because if they had a larger agenda such as you suggest they would have avoided the story entirely.

                • “Sloppy writing” might explain the original headline, but when they STILL can’t hit the target after 2 mulligans, . . . well . . . c’mon!

                  –Dwayne

                  • To modify what you said:

                    I’d say that “sloppy writing” would explain it, if they corrected it properly the 2nd time. “Sloppy writing” loses it’s value as an excuse if further obfuscations are used.

  3. Jack,
    I read the stories you referenced before ever seeing your post and I wasn’t at all confused about who stabbed who or why. There’s no obfuscation, no facts were covered up, the objections seem to be that the wording didn’t highlight the facts some thought were the most important. Or those who are complaining about it are too stupid to read a whopping 300 words.

    Good grief.

    • Well, yeah, Neil, if you read the whole story, of course it was clear. On the other hand, most people don’t–they read headlines, and if the headline is misleading, they might not read it at all. Headline 1 is ambiguous about whether the Muslims are stabbers or stabees; #2 makes it sound like an argument, which it was not, and 3 pretends that Muslims aren’t involved. And the first two paragraphs de-emphasize the essential feature of the story.

      You’re ducking the issue: why was it written that way, and again, what’s so hard about..

      .“Muslim Man Stabs strangers after asking “Are you Muslim?”

      “In Detroit, a Muslim man queried strangers at a bus stop regarding their faiths, and stabbed two who told him they were not Muslims.”

      That’s complete, fair and accurate.

      There’s no justification for “Good Grief”…not when a publication revised a headline three times to avoid the inconvenient details of story—yes, some followers of Islam believe they are supposed to kill non-believers. You really think that’s competent and objective reporting?

      Good grief.

  4. A lot of moral relativism in play here. The Koran teaches violence against “infidels”. The Bible doesn’t. The vast majority of religious based violence against others WORLDWIDE is committed by Moslems against others… ALL others. What about this is so difficult to acknowledge? And why aren’t leftists just a bit disturbed that this is happening on American soil?

      • You’re referring to the conquest of the Canaanites by the Hebrews, of course. Old Testament. Probably 16 centuries before Christ. It’s a history of an ancient, desperate and bloody era and a deed aimed at a single, depraved nation. It has no relevance here. There is no proscribing text in the Bible that demands that Christians slay non-Christians as a basis of their faith.

        • I need to create a numbered list of fallacious comparisons made with the intent to 1) Decrease the apparent bad impact of MODERN endemic Muslim violence 2) Imply some equivalency between modern Christianity and modern Islam based on some evils medieval Christianity or ancient Judhaism engaged

          That way when someone drums out one of the tired memes that has been debunked I can just refer to a number like, “Ah a #2, let me check, yep, still a fallacious comparison”

        • There is a proscribing text in the Bible demanding that Jews slay sodomites. Lev. 20:13

          This does beg a very important question. Why are instances of Jews slaying sodomites relatively rare?

        • There’s not much else the Islam Apologists can say, Tex. When every week brings new examples of utter barbarity, all they’re left with is moral relativism, no matter how weak or deceptive the comparison. Nor can they turn to actual good examples of Moslems, such as the Kurds, President Sisi or King Abdullah. They’re the ones actively fighting against the very people they’ve been apologizing for and the ones who are also showing up the Leader Obama (a big time apologist himself!) as a weak and clueless jerk on the world stage. It must be tough to belong to a political cult that forbids you the use of truth, logic or decency.

  5. This reminds me of the Rotherham child abuse scandals, The West is so…. afraid? perhaps… Of looking like they’re racist that they’ll bend themselves into pretzels to avoid any language that could be seen as intolerant. And maybe The West isn’t the right group of people…. The Media? In a stunning display of white Liberal Guilt?

    For anyone who wasn’t aware, an estimated 1300 children in Rotherham, UK were subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of men of Asian decent (Read: Pakistanis for the most part). Their version of CFS was aware, the police were aware, the government was aware, there were memos detailing how they wanted to deal with the situation in a racially sensitive way (read: they did nothing), police told the girls that they were asking for it, and refused to press charges. In fact, there was a case where a girl was trying to press charges, and her rapist phoned her cell phone and told her to leave the station or her sister would be killed, authorities are almost certain that there was an amount of collusion between the abuse rings and the police. It was…. thinking about it, a genuine Western Rape Culture. And eventually the news got out and there was a collective “What the Fuck?” From the rest of the world, and less corrupt or stupid people took the helm.

  6. It’s noteworthy and obvious that religions EXCEPT Muslim are prominently mentioned when there is an attack, whether lone wolf or not. Just as political orientation is mentioned if a perpetrator is right of center politically, but not so much if from the left.
    Failure to name and recognize an enemy of the state goes all the way to shameful and willful blindness. I used to wonder how regular German citizens could have stood by and allowed fascism to take over. I don’t wonder anymore. We all fear being called a hater.
    And, please don’t tell me I’ve broken Godwin’s law, in this case mentioning fascism is very appropriate.

  7. “Isn’t “if somebody asks you at a bus stop if you’re a Muslim, say YES!” something worth knowing?”

    No. In Texas, if someone asks you at a bus stop if you’re a Muslim, quietly & slowly place your hand on your concealed pistol, look them in the eye, tell them the Truth, bid them a good day, then evaluate the situation from there.

        • Yes.

          Within 21 feet of a texagg who hasn’t drawn his weapon you can rush texagg and tackle him before he draws his gun, which simply means that texagg will still shoot you, just after a scuffle.

          • That’s also known as the “3 step rule”, Findlay. But that was when I was in the Military Police. In some police departments, it’s the SEVEN step rule. The logic is simple. A subject armed with an edged weapon or blunt instrument can close in on you quite rapidly. If someone so armed and communicating deadly intentions gets that close, it’s the equivalent of pulling a firearm. A law enforcement person may then respond accordingly. It should also be noted that, unlike an semi-automatic pistol, a knife has no safety and will not jam or run out of ammunition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.