The MSM Owes Apologies In The Aftermath Of Noor Salman’s Trial

The Noor Salman trial and its conclusion, as recounted in a recent Huffington Post piece, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the MSM and opportunistic Democrat politicos were wrong to rush to judgment against conservatives immediately after the horrific Pulse nightclub murders.

Salman was the wife of Omar Mateen, the ISIS sympathizer who carried out the vicious attack that killed 49 and injured scores more.

Noor Salman
Undated photo of Noor Salman (image via Facebook).

The HuffPo‘s Melissa Jeltsen details information revealed or otherwise confirmed at the trial that contradicts just about every narrative set by progressive politicians and their allies in the mainstream press in the aftermath of the June 2016 massacre:

[Noor]Salman’s trial cast doubt on everything we thought we knew about Mateen. There was no evidence he was a closeted gay man, no evidence that he was ever on Grindr. He looked at porn involving older women, but investigators who scoured Mateen’s electronic devices couldn’t find any internet history related to homosexuality. (There were daily, obsessive searches about ISIS, however.) Mateen had extramarital affairs with women, two of whom testified during the trial about his duplicitous ways.

Mateen may very well have been homophobic. He supported ISIS, after all, and his father, an FBI informant currently under criminal investigation, told NBC that his son once got angry after seeing two men kissing. But whatever his personal feelings, the overwhelming evidence suggests his attack was not motivated by it.

As far as investigators could tell, Mateen had never been to Pulse before, whether as a patron or to case the nightclub. Even prosecutors acknowledged in their closing statement that Pulse was not his original target; it was the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment complex. They presented evidence demonstrating that Mateen chose Pulse randomly less than an hour before the attack. It is not clear he even knew it was a gay bar. A security guard recalled Mateen asking where all the women were, apparently in earnest, in the minutes before he began his slaughter.

As a refresher, let’s take a look back at how the notoriously biased North Carolina political media reacted after the Pulse murders – keep in mind that this was before any investigation had been launched… and even during and after, when it was more than obvious that Mateen was motivated by hatred for America and its attacks on Islamic radicalism, not “anti-LGBT” bias. From a piece I wrote for IJR at the time:

Just two days [after the attack] Charlotte Observer faith and values writer Tim Funk wrote a piece on the tragedy from the perspective of … Republican rhetoric over the state’s controversial HB2 “bathroom bill” and how perhaps it should be “toned down”:

Will the bloody deaths of dozens of people in Orlando’s LGBT community change the politics – or at least the tone of the political rhetoric – in the state that gave the country HB2?

Will the debate about who can use which bathroom seem quaint after chilling narratives out of Orlando about gay men hiding in the bar’s bathroom in hopes of escaping the notice of a gun-wielding terrorist whose father told police he had been outraged at the sight of two men kissing?

And at McCatchy Co.’s Raleigh News and Observer, the editorial board, after blaming the NRA and a “cowardly Congress,” called for a “full repeal” of HB2, using the Orlando murders to insinuate that North Carolina GOP legislators will now bear the blame of deliberately making matters worse for a grieving LGBT community in the aftermath of Saturday’s tragedy:

Now, after the tragedy in Orlando, HB2 looks even more like a gratuitous, cruel slap at gays, lesbians and transgender people. It is all the more embarrassing to North Carolina than it was – and it was plenty embarrassing.***

Both the CO and the Raleigh N&O are owned by McClatchy Company, and the McClatchy DC Bureau was not to be outdone on the issue of finding a supposed “link” between Republican rhetoric and legislation and the Orlando murders. In a piece with the headline, “Hundreds of bills to curb LGBT rights preceded Orlando attack. Is there a link?”, they wrote:

In the six months before the weekend massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, more than 200 bills had been introduced at the state and local levels to restrict the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

While other motives may have inspired the attack, which killed 49 people, advocates say the rate of hate crimes against LGBT people goes up when there is a debate over their rights.

The sponsors of the various bills say they are not intended to promote violence against LGBT people.

“The sponsors of the various bills say they are not intended to promote violence against LGBT people.” And just to “prove” it, they actually asked legislators who promoted such bills if that was their intent.

Seriously.

Not to be outdone, WRAL North Carolina Capitol bureau chief Laura Leslie made her stance very clear on who she blamed for the Orlando murders: GOP politicians and HB2 proponents, in a series of now-deleted Facebook posts, which you can view here. I’ve provided screenshots of a couple of them.

WRAL's Laura Leslie
WRAL’s Laura Leslie – screenshot of deleted post.
WRAL's Laura Leslie
Screenshot of a another deleted post from Laura Leslie.

North Carolina Democratic politicians even got in on the act:

“This is a tragedy that all Americans face, but it was a direct attack on the LGBT community,” said Rep. Chris Sgro, D-Guilford. “The only way that we’re going to stop more attacks like that is to stop having bad policy like HB2, stop having negligent rhetoric like we had around it and combat homophobia and trans-phobia in every walk of life.”

[…]

“The way the events played out, the horrific tragedy in Orlando sort of brought out to me the immediate need to repeal House Bill 2 because it’s sort of a hate-filled, shameful piece of legislation that doesn’t reflect North Carolina values,” said Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford.

Even when it was clear what Mateen’s motivation was, there were still no apologies.

Some of us have been calling for apologies them from the start. Again, and again, and again. And again and again.

Unfortunately, the same journalists, editorial writers, and Democrat politicians who rushed to blame Republicans, conservatives, bathroom bills, and religious freedom legislation post-Pulse attack aren’t rushing to their Facebook pages and news websites to amend or retract their hateful and grossly erroneous comments now that it’s beyond clear from the Noor Salman trial that “anti-LGBT hatred” did not motivate Mateen.

There likely will be no “We Were Wrong” editorials written by the CO, Raleigh N&O, nor McClatchy DC. No “I’m sorry” tweets from Democrat politicos. Because they’d rather be wrong and promote a false narrative in the process rather than do the honorable thing by admitting they made serious mistakes that greatly call their credibility into question.

Oh well.

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