STUDY: Networks ‘Search for Answers’ in Synagogue Attack, Avoid Muslim Terrorist Term

Scott Whitlock | January 17, 2022
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[See NewsBusters for the full story.] From Saturday night through Monday morning, the networks extensively covered Malik Faisal Akram taking hostages at a Texas synagogue. They mostly avoided phrases like “Islamic extremist,” though they covered details around his demand that Aafia Siddiqui be released from prison. Referred to as “Lady al Qaeda,” he's serving a long sentence for attempting to murder U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

From Saturday night through Monday morning, the networks devoted 45 minutes and seven seconds to Akram. ABC’s morning and evening shows totaled 20 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS came in second with 15 minutes and five seconds and NBC was last with nine minutes and 48 seconds. NBC’s Sunday Today opened the show with this: “Searching for answers.” Though this case may not be difficult to find out. On ABC's Good Morning America, Monday, reporter Mireya Villarreal noted that Akram “appears to have been motivated by his demand to release convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani  neuroscientist serving an 86-year sentence in the Fort Worth area for trying to kill U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.” 

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