Donald Trump is still catching flack for saying two weeks ago he saw reports claiming “thousands and thousands” of American Muslims in Jersey City celebrated the attacks on September 11, 2001. Major media outlets–including FOX News–were not only quick to denounce Trump’s claim but also to marginalize the very idea that American Muslims cheered the fall of the World Trade Center in significant numbers.
Trump hasn’t backed down, far from it. He told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, who spent more than half of the interview questioning and even rejecting Trump’s claim on Sunday, that he was not taking back his comments.
“I saw it. So many people saw it … So, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.”
While I stand by my original assertion that Trump was likely exaggerating domestic reports or conflating international reports when he made those claims, the media have undoubtedly engaged in a full blown coverup regarding the rather concerning behavior of many American Muslims. As Paul Sutliff recently reported on PPD, Trump’s larger point is accurate and, indeed, Sutliff went on to list “only a smidgen of the available information” on American Muslims endorsing and supporting acts of terror.
“There is a treasure trove of information supporting this line of argument, which is valid.”
Not according to George Stephanopoulos, who also pressed Trump during the interview that became the basis for so-called “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler’s piece at the leftwing Washington Post. While the article has since been heavily edited and updated since Kessler first wrote it, the four Pinocchios he assigned Trump still stand.
“As I said, the police have said it didn’t happen,” he said during the interview.
However, the FBI confirmed that on September 16, 2001 agents investigated “swarms” of American Muslims cheering the September 11 attacks on a rooftop in Jersey City, N.J. In fact, footage from CBS News shows a report of the very incident, which further degrades the honesty of an already-untrustworthy media Fourth Estate.
Just a couple of blocks away from that Jersey City apartment the F.B.I. raided yesterday and had evidence removed, there is another apartment building, one that investigators told me, quote, was swarming with suspects — suspects who I’m told were cheering on the roof when they saw the planes slam into the Trade Center.
Further, as others have noted, this very incident also appeared in an article in The Washington Post, itself. Mr. Kessler initially (suspiciously) omitted the report from his piece, though it was never retracted. Now, he simply contends it wasn’t “thousands and thousands” while emphasizing the memories of aspiring Democratic politicians.
“There is absolutely no evidence of the celebration cited by Trump,” Kessler wrote.
Then, well, what is this report referring to, exactly? Sure, it isn’t “thousands and thousands,” but it isn’t something to scoff at or dismiss, either?
In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.
If Mr. Trump’s claim is flat-out untrue, then how shall we characterize the media coverage? How shall we characterize Chuck Todd, George Stephanopoulos and Glenn Kessler? Again, it’s likely exaggeration versus a crystal clear denial-like coverup.