Trump says media failed covering St. Cloud mall attack

EMT workers move an empty stretcher near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center in St. Cloud. Dave Schwarz | St. Cloud Times

President Trump said on Monday he thinks the news media have failed at reporting terrorist attacks.

Speaking to troops at an Air Force base in Florida, the president said news organizations “have their reasons, and you understand that.”

A reporter followed up later in the day and asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer for examples of a terrorist attack the news media has not reported on. Spicer promised to provide a list.

Here’s the list:

The St. Cloud, Minn., mall stabbing is on the list of purportedly underreported terror attacks.

Here’s what happened there: Dahir Adan, carrying a knife and dressed in a security uniform, attacked 10 people at the Crossroads Center shopping mall.

An off-duty cop fatally shot him, and the FBI investigated the whole thing.

MPR News reporters and dozens of other local and international journalists spent a great deal of reporting on the incident and its fallout.

Here are some headlines:

‘Hero’ cop stops knife-wielding attacker’s rampage at St. Cloud mall

St. Cloud chief: ‘Lone attacker’ drove mall stabbing rampage

FBI takes lead on St. Cloud mall stabbing investigation

‘This is what St. Cloud looks like’: Students rally for unity after mall stabbing

St. Cloud mall attacker buried; family demands thorough probe

After a week, more questions, few answers in St. Cloud mall attack

And that wraps most of MPR News’ first-week stories. We kept on the story after that too.

Spicer did add a little explanation of Trump’s remarks: “[The president] felt members of the media don’t always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered. Protests will get blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn’t necessarily get the same coverage.”

The Trump administration has admonished the Fourth Estate for many months, often for reasons that don’t square with the facts.

Last week, top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway cited a 2011 “massacre” in Bowling Green, Kentucky. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”

That’s because it never happened.

News organizations overall tend to give significant attention to terrorism, especially when an attack happens, both domestic and foreign. The Associated Press, for example, is working in 263 locations around the world.

Forty-eight journalists were killed last year while doing their jobs, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Most of them were covering politics.