As America reacted to Wednesday’s horrific mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, in which 14 people were killed and 17 wounded, some mainstream media were racing to craft their preferred narrative.
That narrative creation process was in high gear throughout the early afternoon, while the situation was still quite “fluid,” as some would say. At about 3:20pm, MSNBC was reporting that a Planned Parenthood clinic was “only a few blocks away.” After Twitter erupted with ridicule once people began checking their Google Maps, Bloomberg Business tweeted at 4:29pm,”San Bernadino [sic] shooting happened less than two miles from a Planned Parenthood health clinic.”
Bloomberg’s “less than” qualifier was “less than” sufficient to convince anyone the attackers were somehow targeting PP. Aren’t all map apps and GPS more accurate than within a two mile radius?
Calls for gun control from President Obama and Hillary Clinton failed to address why San Bernardino’s gun-free zone status did not prevent the shooting.
By mid-afternoon EST, the Liberal narrative had failed, and details were beginning to leak out.
The facts released thus far present a complex scenario with the main suspect, Syed Farook, having possible connections to a person investigated for terrorism a few years ago, and having travelled recently to Saudi Arabia.
RT France was first to report the chief suspect’s name, Syed Farook. NBC followed a few hours later, citing multiple sources. Soon after, the New York Daily News had interviewed Syed Farook’s father, who described the suspect to be a “very religious” Muslim.
Over at CNN, ex-CIA analysts were describing the assault as having “the hallmarks of the sort of attacks you see in the Middle East,” multiple shooters, IEDs, etc.
The Daily Beast seems to be the first news organization to locate and approach the Farook family’s home in Corona CA:
Farook lived at a home with his wife and children in Corona, California. The Daily Beast knocked on the home’s door and was met by a man who said, “My name is Farook.” When asked if he knew Sayed, the man said, “Of course I know him but I have nothing to say.” When asked about Syed being named as a suspect, he said, “I have nothing to say.” […]
Five minutes after he answered the door, Farook got into a white car and drove away, answering questions again with, “I have nothing to say.”
The Daily Beast contacted Farook’s sister, Saira Khan, by phone on Wednesday shortly after the shooting. She said the media was jumping to conclusions on identifying the suspect and said that her brother was at work. Khan said she would try to get in touch with her brother and pass along his contact information.
Some additional pieces to the puzzle have emerged:
CNN reports that Farook had “abruptly left” the holiday event for county employees. And from the Wall Street Journal: “Government records show Mr. Farook, a U.S. citizen, traveled to Saudi Arabia last year.” (Thanks to Breitbart News for these links.)
The NY Times reports on possible international connections:
One senior American official said that Mr. Farook had not been the target of any active terrorism investigation, and he was not someone the bureau had been concerned about before Wednesday’s shooting. Other officials said the F.B.I. was looking into a possible connection between Mr. Farook and at least one person who was investigated for terrorism a few years ago.
There were also accounts by investigators that one of the attackers had recently had a dispute with fellow employees, according to law enforcement officials who did not want to be identified.
Chief Burguan confirmed that someone left the party after a dispute, “but we have no idea if those were the people that came back.”
This last assessment seems at odds with CNN’s reporting cited above.
At the late evening press conference, however, Fox News reports, “I’m now being told…[police] are going on the premise there wasn’t a disagreement…he was there to case the location.”
MSNBC relates a survivor’s account:
The shooters who opened fire in a conference room at a California center for the developmentally disabled Wednesday didn’t say anything before they started spraying the room with bullets, the husband of a woman who was shot but survived said.
Salaheen Kondoker’s wife, Annie, an environmental engineer who works for San Bernardino County, was inside the conference room when gunfire erupted at around 11 a.m. local time.
“They just started shooting … they didn’t yell or say anything beforehand,” Salaheen Kondoker said his wife told him.
News reporting continued late into the evening at a San Bernardino police press conference, with tantalizing bits of evidence being tweeted. From Raheem Kassam at Breitbart:
20-21 officers in shootout with suspects, both dead. First suspect Syed Rizwan Farook, 28. Second is Tashfeen Malik, 27.
“There was a relationship” between Farook and Malik…
“It really looks like we have 2 shooters…”
“We have not ruled out terrorism…”
“Based upon what we’ve seen… how they were equipped… there had to be some level of planning”
Journalist asks if any connection to ISIS: “I’m not gonna weigh in on that one” says police spox
“We have multiple addresses for [the suspects]…”
Did political correctness enable the shooter’s plot to be carried out? Will Carr of Fox News tweeted this:
@KNX1070 reporting a neighbor did not call authorities about suspicious activity bc she did not want to racially profile
CAIR steps in
Once Syed Farook’s name was released as one of the suspects, CAIR-LA immediately scheduled a press conference. The full text of CAIR-National’s press release can be read here. The key statement reads:
“We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence.”
Breitbart reports Farook’s family was “in shock”:
At the CAIR press conference, Syed Farook’s brother-in-law Farhan Khan is present and delivers a statement. “I have no idea why he would he do something like this. I have absolutely no idea. I am in shock myself.” Khan does not answer questions from reporters. Executive Director of CAIR-LA says “We unequivocally condemn the horrific act that happened today.”
The reaction of some to the CAIR presser is that it seemed odd:
toddstarnes: Not quite what to make of that CAIR presser….Odd.