Editor's note: The following column originally appeared on The Resurgent website. It is reprinted with permission.
In the first 48 hours since the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11, the public has seen wall-to-wall media coverage of the events.
The false narrative emerging from the media seeks to make a few points, all of which are red herrings and straw men designed to take attention from the truth.
• The shooter, Omar Mateen, was homophobic because he hated gays.
• Mateen was unstable because he was mean and beat his wife
• Mateen had too much unfettered access to guns
• Mateen was not religiously motivated
Story after story references these points, and they quote each other liberally (take the pun as you wish). Fox News and other media outlets reported comments by a coworker at security firm G4S who called him "toxic" and "unhinged." The Times of London quoted CNN, about his first wife, "He was mentally unstable and mentally ill." Anti-gun New York Daily News quoted NBC News, who spoke to Mateen's father Seddique Matteen, who insisted the rampage had nothing to do with religion.
The Washington Post also did a story on Seddique Mateen defending his son.
“He had a child and a wife, and was very dignified, meaning he had respect for his parents,” Seddique Mateen wrote, standing in front of the flag of his apparent birthplace, Afghanistan. “I don’t know what caused him to shoot last night.”
The shooter's father has close connections with his native Afghanistan, and has traveled back there as recently as 2014, even interviewing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, according to the Washington Post. He made a series of Youtube videos praising the Taliban and railing against the U.S.
The Boston Globe appears to be at a complete loss as to Mateen's motive for the killings, because there's no actual proof (besides the killer's own words pledging allegiance is ISIS) he was tied to any jihadist causes.
While Mateen claimed allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, no evidence had emerged by late Sunday pointing to actual ties to terrorist groups or a significant association with jihadist causes.
Yes, they actually wrote that. Apparently a confession isn't evidence to them.
We can either accept the media narrative, that some unknown complex mix of motives drove this mentally ill man to buy readily available assault weapons and kill people he simply hated for no reason, or we can apply Occam's Razor--the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
•The Quran teaches that homosexuality is wrong and punishable by death (not just "God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality. This, is not for the servants" of God, which Seddique Mateen said). In some Sharia-law Muslim countries, it actually is punished by death. Certainly ISIS punishes homosexuality by death.
• Many Muslim men are brought up and taught to beat their wives--that this is the correct way to administer discipline in the home. This kind of behavior is common in the Islamic world, where women are not valued as anything more than property.
• Mateen had a clean record, worked as a security guard, kept himself in excellent physical condition, and trained for his jihad. This was not a crime of opportunity, or of passion. It was a planned operation. The "mentally ill" narrative offers no hard evidence at this point. He bought weapons because, despite the FBI having investigated him, nothing of concern was noted that would prevent him from doing so. This is a failure of the intelligence and law enforcement system, not our Second Amendment rights.
• The attack was absolutely religiously motivated. You didn't see Mateen attacking the Orlando Islamic Center, the mosque he attended, because he didn't like the people there. You didn't see the people with whom he worshipped calling the FBI or the local authorities to report Mateen acting weird or talking about killing people.
The simplest explanation is that Mateen was a radicalized Muslim, who moved easily with other radicalized Muslims, some of whom are probably living their lives in Orlando. Only now would the FBI be interviewing those people and find connections.
The press is weaving a false narrative to fashion a complex explanation for a simple problem. We have a cancer of radical Islam growing in America. Political correctness, the inability of our president to accept the problem because of his beliefs about Islam being a religion of peace, and impossible restrictions placed on federal, state and local law enforcement have made this crime possible.
Our government is ignoring the cancer and it will continue to grow, as long as the country keeps buying the media's spin.
Steve Berman is a Georgia-based software entrepreneur and blogger who writes at The Resurgent, Erick Erickson’s home on the web. Follow him on Twitter @lifeofgrace224.