ABC and CBS Spike Muslim Convert's Politically-Motivated Murder of U.S. Soldier
The networks, which saw the apparently politically-motivated murder
of a Kansas doctor who performed late term abortions as a major story,
haven't been so interested in a Muslim convert who specifically
targeted and shot two Army privates outside a Little Rock recruiting
office, killing one, William Long. None mentioned it on Monday night
and on Tuesday evening, as all aired follow-up pieces on Dr. George
Tiller, only NBC gave it a few seconds.
A Tuesday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette post reported Abdul Hakim Muhammad was "on a mission to 'kill as many people in the Army as he could,' police said" and targeted the "soldiers 'because of what they had done to Muslims in the past.'" (The Little Rock paper noted both victims "had recently completed basic training and had never seen combat.")
Tuesday morning, ABC's Good Morning America ran a full story while CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today aired shorter items, but as noted in an earlier BiasAlert post: "The Today show completely ignored two facts about a man who murdered a soldier at an Army recruiting station in Arkansas: He had just converted to Islam and was being investigated by the FBI for a trip to Yemen. Instead, NBC's Ann Curry, in anchor briefs throughout the show, vaguely explained that Abdulhakim Muhammad was 'upset with the military.'"
After a full story Tuesday evening on the background of the man who murdered Tiller, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams read this shorter item on the Arkansas case:
In Little Rock, Arkansas today, a suspect who was already being watched by the FBI pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in yesterday's shooting at an Army recruiting center. The prosecutors say Abdul Hakim Muhammad, a converted Muslim, admitted shooting 23-year-old private William Long for political and religious reasons. Another soldier was wounded. Investigators are looking at whether Muhammad, who recently was in Yemen and Somalia, was inspired by others, perhaps, to carry out the attack.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center