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CNN’s John Avlon faced a lot of backlash on social media after a bizarre segment where he tried to compare the attack on 9/11 to the threat of “right wing terrorism,” on the anniversary of the horrible attack.
“Here’s a startling statistic. Since 9/11, right wing terrorists have killed more people in the United States than jihadist terrorists,” Avlon said during the segment entitled “Reality Check.”
“There are some folks for who their, for their own political purposes would like to keep the focus on only one form of political violence over another, but that would be unwise because we don’t have the luxury of choosing which threats we face. And there’s a case to be made that these threats actually echo each other,” he continued.
“As our colleague Jim Sciutto and others have argued, they’re weaponized versions of tribalism, motivated by fear and finding identity in their hatred of the other,” Avlon said.
“To mark the 18th anniversary of 9/11 is to reflect on how we’re all the children of 9/11. That attack unleashed destructive forces that we’re still wrestling with,” Avlon concluded. “But to truly learn the lessons of 9/11 is to resolve not to let hate win, or fear define us.”
Many critics on social media replied that it was tone-deaf to try to twist the meaning of the 9/11 attacks on a different kind of terrorism altogether.
“I think @JohnAvlon was making a legit point,” responded talk show host Erick Erickson. “Young, lonely white dudes are radicalizing online as young Muslim men have been. But I think it is also something best left to say on 9/12 instead of 9/11.”
“CNN thought it was a good on 9/11, to run a segment telling everyone the people who murdered 3,000 innocent Americans with hijacked airplanes on 9/11, weren’t actually the real threat,” said Stephen Miller.
Becket Adams opined at the Washington Examiner that the statistical comparison ignored the deaths from 9/11, ironically.
“That is one hell of a qualifier to say that right-wingers are the deadliest, as long as you don’t count the deadliest,” Adams wrote.
” I cannot be the only one who caught the irony of Avlon citing a claim that requires the exclusion of the 9/11 death toll during a segment that was supposed to be about ‘9/11 amnesia,'” he added later.
Here’s the video segment from CNN: