Here’s something I don’t often say – and may never have ever said: Congratulations to ABC News. As of this writing (just shy of 4:30 PM EST yesterday), they’re the only national news outlet I’ve looked at that’s mentioned the distinct possibility (based on a claim from “a U.S. official briefed on the matter”) that the person who took hostages in a Dallas, Texas area synagogue was “claiming to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui” and was “demanding to have the sister freed.”
According to ABC, here’s who he wanted freed: Someone with “alleged ties to al-Qaida” who was “convicted of assault and attempted murder of a U.S. soldier in 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison.”
The ABC News report must have come out before 3:18 PM EST because it was referenced in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram posting at that time. (As of posting time – Sunday morning – this link and those appearing below have been superseded by updates, so it appears you’ll have to take my word for the following information having been accurate when I grabbed them yesterday at the URLs presented at which they were found then.)
But here’s where I haven’t yet read about the suspect’s possible identity (in the order in which I checked these news sites out):
The Associated Press as of 4:32 had mentioned a Fort Worth Star-Telegram report that “The man, who used profanities, repeatedly mentioned his sister, Islam and that he thought he was going to die….”
Reuters as of 4:47 PM mentioned the Siddiqui angle.
It’s still possible that the reported Siddiqui connection proves to be completely wrong, as it’s officially unconfirmed, or somehow tangential to the hostage-taker’s motives. But can anyone doubt that if any claims of a white supremacist angle or a Trump-supporter angle – as opposed to a Muslim or a jihadist angle – had surfaced that these descriptions would have been shouted from the rooftops, and immediately?
In fact, there can’t be much reasonable doubt that Mainstream Media articles also would have prominently reminded readers of the Biden adminstration’s recent decision to set up a new domestic terrorism unit in the Justice Department, in line with the President’s declaration that “domestic terrorism from white supremacists is the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland.”
(It’s similarly revealing that a President and Vice President quick to jump to racially charged judgment regarding several recent violent incidents – see, e.g., here – were much more cautious this [Sunday] morning. The former simply stated that “There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker.” The latter echoed this reticence practically word-for-word.)
Last Wednesday, Gallup published the results of a poll presenting American respondents’ views of 22 professions, ranking them from most honest and ethical to least. Newspaper and television reporters came in fifteenth and seventeenth, respectively. The early coverage of the Colleyville hostage situation adds to the abundant evidence why.