Written by: Alex Griswold
The Washington Post‘s one-year retrospective of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting omitted any mention of shooter Omar Mateen’s motives and ideology.
“I pledge allegiance to [Islamic State leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him, on behalf of the Islamic State,” Mateen said in a 911 call referring to his assault that left 49 people dead. Mateen also left a Facebook post pledging his allegiance to ISIS.
Despite the Post‘s piece clocking in at over a thousand words, the words “terrorism,” “terror,” “ISIS,” “Islam,” “Muslim” and “al-Baghdadi” never appeared once. The sole reference to “Islamic State” occurs in a photo caption, and never in the body of the piece.
Mateen’s motives are never given, and he is described simply as a “madman with a gun.” In contrast, the New York Times‘ anniversary piece notes that “Omar Mateen, motivated by the Islamic State, randomly riddled clubgoers with bullets from an assault rifle and a pistol.”
Although the Post piece was ignoring the terrorism angle entirely, it did manage to tie the attack to another contentious political issue: guns.
“By the end of the night, more than 1,000 people had gathered to remember what happened last June, when Orlando became the first U.S. city of the summer — before Falcon Heights, Minn., and Baton Rouge and Dallas — to be upended by gun violence,” they report.