The Media’s Willful Blindness
Less than three weeks after shots were fired into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in San Antonio in a “targeted attack,” the Associated Press reported about a woman hurling a Molotov cocktail into the lobby of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices in Oakland Park, Florida.
Law enforcement and government officials do not believe they were coordinated, but they do see the incidents as part of a troubling trend.
“Today’s attempted attack on one of our USCIS facilities using a Molotov cocktail is another example of the use of violence in place of debate by those who oppose the proper application of our immigration laws,” tweeted acting USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli after last Friday’s incident.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs likewise saw the last month’s shooting in San Antonio as unquestionably targeted political violence.
“I don’t think there is a question that they knew which floor the ICE office is on. To fire indiscriminately into any building is not an act of a protest but an act of violence,” he said, adding that there was “no question a very targeted attack.”
Although the events were different in location, the means of attack and specific target, there are similarities. The violence was aimed at immigration-related agencies at a time of increasingly inflammatory rhetoric. That no individuals were hurt was sheer luck. Oh, and most media outlets have ignored or turned a blind eye to the individual incidents, as well as the collective pattern.
The latest incident in Florida, which was captured on surveillance video, involved 35-year-old Cellicia Hunt who was detained at the scene and subsequently charged with maliciously attempting to damage or destroy a government building by fire, according to the AP.
But little else is known about her specific motive, political associations, social media activity or any of the other details that frequently emerge after planned or potentially politically-inspired attacks. For instance, there has been no mention of what happened at Hunt’s scheduled Tuesday appearance in a Ft. Lauderdale federal courtroom.
No lawmakers, including the two Democratic members who represent the district in which the attack took place and in which Hunt resided, have commented. And no reporters have sought them out.
Perhaps, they are too busy ignoring the growing number of anti-immigration enforcement assaults that have occurred in the last two months. Perhaps, they are too focused on not reporting on the equally disturbing criminal trends in the sanctuary county that sits in the backyard of the nation’s capital.
Except for some superb reporting by reporters for the local ABC and Fox affiliates, there has been a national media blackout concerning illegal immigrant crime in Montgomery County, Maryland. This week, authorities in the sanctuary county made their seventh arrest of an illegal alien on charges of rape or sexual assault – since July. Several of the assaults were so depraved and violent that details could not be printed.
It is a reporter’s job to, well, report the facts without concern for political implications or blowback. When members of the press pick one side of a policy issue over another, the truth and transparency will always lose.