CNN shamelessly used the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to score a political point by highlighting American death counts at the hands of right-wing terrorists.
CNN political commentator John Avlon gave viewers a “Reality Check” during Wednesday’s “New Day” on how things have changed in the 18 years since the attacks by Islamic terrorists that claimed nearly 3,000 lives, contending that white nationalist terrorists are a larger problem and more dangerous than “jihadist terrorists.”
“Since 9/11, right wing terrorists have killed more people in the United States than jihadist terrorists,” Avlon said in the segment focusing on “America’s 9/11 amnesia.”
Avlon offered the “startling statistic” citing a report published last month by the think-tank New America titled, “Right-Wingers Are America’s Deadliest Terrorists.”
And while Avlon noted examples of recent attacks in which the “terror suspects echoed white supremacist talk,” he failed to mention the figures presented by the report he cited did not include the number of 9/11 victims when making the comparison to the number of deaths at the hands of “right-wing terrorists.”
“After this weekend, right-wing terrorists have killed more people on U.S. soil than jihadis have since 9/11,” the New America report, published Aug. 5, claimed. “So why is the government’s focus still on Islamic radicalism?”
In an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner, Becket Adams noted that “New America’s terrorist activity database, by the way, is headed by its vice president for global studies and fellows, Peter Bergen, who also happens to work as a national security analyst for CNN.”
Avlon noted recent examples of “white nationalist terrorism,” with attackers targeting Latinos, Jews and, in the case of the thwarted attempt by a Coast Guard officer, a plot “to kill Democrats and journalists.”
“There are some folks for who their — for their own political purposes would like to keep the focus on only one form of political violence over another,” Avlon said.
“But that would be unwise because we don’t have the luxury of choosing what threats we face. And there’s a case to be made that these threats actually echo each other,” he added. “They’re weaponized versions of tribalism, motivated by fear and finding identity in their hatred of the other.”
The September 11 attacks “unleashed destructive forces that we’re still wrestling with,” Avlon concluded, though still not addressing the fact that nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives at the hands of the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda.
“That is one hell of a qualifier to say that right-wingers are the deadliest, as long as you don’t count the deadliest,” Becket Adams wrote in his Washington Examiner op-ed, noting the exclusion of deaths from “the deadliest, most catastrophic terrorist attack ever perpetrated on U.S. soil.”
“Avlon’s overall point is confusing enough, and it is not entirely clear why he and his producers thought it would be a good idea to air this comparison of jihadi and right-wing body counts on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which claimed some 3,000 innocent lives,” he wrote.
“Also, I cannot be the only one who caught the irony of Avlon citing a claim that requires the exclusion of the 9/11 death toll during a segment that was supposed to be about ‘9/11 amnesia,'” Adams added.
Avlon’s tone-deaf segment was also slammed by Twitter users.
CNN thought it was a good on 9/11, to run a segment telling everyone the people who murdered 3,000 innocent Americans with hijacked airplanes on 9/11, weren’t actually the real threat. You really love your paycheck @JohnAvlon.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) September 11, 2019
I think @JohnAvlon was making a legit point. Young, lonely white dudes are radicalizing online as young Muslim men have been. But I think it is also something best left to say on 9/12 instead of 9/11.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 11, 2019
Why don’t we ask the FBI and CIA which is worse. There have been over 10,0000 Muslim attacks over the last 10 years. Your a joke if you think a few thousand angry white dudes are the problem compared to hundreds of millions radicalized muslims
— Heath Wester (@bwester167) September 12, 2019
That has to be shopped. It can’t be real. But even as I’m telling myself that, a part of me is thinking “yeah that sounds exactly like CNN.”
— ?ThatChosenOne? (@ThatMichiganGir) September 11, 2019
Wow. Just wow.
— Druw (@chidiscourse23) September 11, 2019
Just when you think CNN host couldn’t be anymore ludicrous they fool you.
— Mike Rodman (@CBXMike) September 11, 2019
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