STUDY: NBC, CBS Bury Phrase ‘Islamic Extremist’ After Synagogue Attack

The networks covered Malik Faisal Akarm’s hostage taking at Texas synagogue from Saturday to Monday. They mostly avoided phrases like “Islamic extremist,” though they covered details around his demand that Aafia Siddiqui be released from prison. She is a woman deemed ‘Lady al Qaeda’ for attempting to murder U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The networks gave 45 minutes and 7 second to Akram from Saturday night until Monday morning. ABC’s morning and evening shows totaled 20 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS came second with 15 mins and 5 secs, while NBC finished last with 9 mins and 48 seconds. 

NBC’s Today on Sunday opened the show with this: “Searching for answers.” Though this case may not be difficult to find out. This Sunday, Good Morning America, Monday, reporter Mireya Villarreal noted that Akram “appears to have been motivated by his demand to release convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani  neuroscientist serving an 86-year sentence in the Fort Worth area for trying to kill U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.” 


On Monday’s Today, reporter Morgan Chesky related, “Authorities say Authority says Akram’s key demand the release of Aafia Siddiqui, once known as the lady of Al Qaeda, convicted in 2010 of attempted murder of U.S. soldiers and in federal prison 20 miles from the synagogue.” 

CBS Mornings also did not call Akram an Islamic terrorist, but did play a clip from the synagogue’s live stream during the standoff. One fanatic rants. “But Americans don’t give a [bleep] about life unless it’s a [bleep] Jew!” This case clearly shows that motives don’t need to be complicated. 

On Sunday’s Good Morning AmericaBrad Garrett, a former FBI agent, praised the operation which saved all the hostages and also killed Akram. In the process, he uniquely used the phrase “Islamic-type extremist.” 

This was a wonderful story.  These stories don’t always end so well. It can be very dangerous to have an Islamic-type extremist, or anyone who claims to be such, as all of us know. 

In December of that year, networks abandoned a racist, anti-Semitic criminal, who drove his SUV into the parade in Wisconsin, killing six. The networks covered the hostage situation at the synagogue for 45 minutes after it was over in a day-and-a-half. They will continue to update this story with more details as they become available. 

Hyundai, Subaru and Amazon sponsored the allergy to call the hostage situation Muslim terrorism. You can click the links and let them hear your opinion.

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