President Donald Trump told an audience of military soldiers in Tampa, Florida today that the media is not covering acts of terrorism anymore. "They have their reasons, and you understand that," Trump said. The White House released a list of 78 terror attacks that the president was referring to that the media "downplayed" or did not report on. The list includes the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, the Paris attacks, the Nice truck attack and more.
Anderson Cooper took issue with Trump's accusation that the news media didn't cover acts of terrorism and took the personal privilege to show footage of himself covering the acts of terrorism.
"Not only did we cover many of the attacks on that list, we covered them heavily," Cooper began. "I know, because I was on the ground reporting a number of them. CNN was on the ground in Ottawa, Canada, when a gunman killed someone at the tomb of the unknown soldier. I was in Orlando, I flew there right after the news broke. December 2015, that was on the list, San Bernardino. I was there, 14 people killed and 21 wounded in coordinated attacks. This was a month after I reported on the carnage in Paris, where terrorists killed 130 people and wounded many others. To be sure, this program did not cover each and every incident on the list, however other programs, as well as CNN International, covered most if not all of them, most of them exhaustively."
Political commentator Ryan Lizza wondered why the White House seems so obsessed about getting people to focus on terrorist attacks.
Democratic consultant Maria Cardona speculated that it could be part of Trump's strategy to gin up fear among Americans about possible terrorist attacks again.
"I think he wants to blame the media or blame the judge to have everybody talking about terrorism so that there is a reason that the judiciary will give him standing to pass what he wants to pass," Cardona said.
Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis noted that that cable news often plays up terrorist attacks because they have 24 hours of air time to fill. He even quoted the old newspaper adage "if it bleeds it leads" as evidence.
See the full exchange below: