The Corner

WaPo‘s ‘Anti-Muslim’ Hate Crime Headline Hoax

For those wondering how the leftwing media negotiates the common conflict between  acceptable narratives and some semblance of the factual truth, the Washington Post offered a tutorial yesterday in its coverage of a multiple stabbing that took place last weekend in Detroit.

What seems to have happened (police are investigating) is that Terrence Lavaron Thomas, a Muslim, asked strangers at a Southfield, Mich., bus stop whether or not they were Muslim, also. Two of them said that they were not. Thomas proceeded to stab the pair with a three-inch folding knife.

But here was the Post’s initial headline:

Of course, conservatives on Twitter balked, since that seemed to neglect one or two minor details — and, in the course of doing so, completely misrepresent the events in question — so the Post altered the headline:

“Discussion about religious beliefs”? Just your usual ho-hum metropolitan-bus stop theology seminar.

So the Post tried once more — but it was not just “discussion” that suddenly vanished:

Of course, the headline (the third one, that is) is little more informative than the story. Here are Post reporter Abby Ohlheiser’s first two paragraphs:

A Detroit man stabbed two people at a suburban bus stop after asking his victims whether or not they were Muslim, according to police. Federal authorities are now looking at the case as a potential hate crime, police said on Tuesday.

Both of the victims were standing at the bus stop outside of Detroit with the suspect on Saturday, Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. Several people there “engaged in conversation” until the suspect, identified by Hawkins as 39-year-old Terrence Lavaron Thomas, “asked some of the folks there if they were Muslims.”

Some loon out hunting Muslims, obviously – right? It is not until the third paragraph that another possibility is even suggested. And the minor detail that he, himself, is Muslim? Paragraph seven.

The Washington Post: where the only “correct” is politically correct.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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