CBS News Host Norah O'Donnell Pushes Fake 'Right-Wing' Terrorism Stats

UPDATED: Additional information below.

Fake statistics die hard, especially when they’re being pushed by the so-called “real news” cartel.

Take, for instance, CBS News host Norah O’Donnell, who claimed on Twitter earlier today that so-called “right wing” terrorism is a greater threat than Islamic terrorism:


The first clue that you’re being manipulated? O’Donnell begins counting terror incidents AFTER the 9/11 attacks, the most lethal terror attack in modern history. Understandably, people grinding an agenda to push “right wing” terrorism as some great threat to Americans HAVE TO exclude 9/11 to make such a point.

Also, note that O’Donnell refers only to the number of incidents — not how lethal they were.

Why is that? Because Norah O’Donnell is trying to avoid having to say this: Since 9/11, Islamic terrorists have killed CONSIDERABLY MORE than “right wing” terrorists.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s the data taken this morning from the New America website:

Jihadist: 95 killed.

“Far Right Wing”: 67 killed.

The only way to conjure up a “right wing” terrorism bogeyman is to count “by fatal incident,” and not by the actual number of people killed.

That being said, as I noted here at PJ Media more than a year ago, there are serious issues with how New American counts acts of terrorism:


Since when are bank robberies acts of terrorism? They aren’t, unless you’re trying to inflate your “right wing” terror stats to mislead the public for political motives.

I also noted that — in addition to 9/11 — several Islamic terror attacks are simply left out of their count, such as the D.C. sniper case.

As Florida State professor Andrew Holt observed regarding incidents left out of the New America data set:

In June of 2006 in Denver, a man shot four of his co-workers and a swat team member, killing one. He later claimed he did it because it was “Allah’s choice.”

In December of 2009 in Binghamton, a Saudi Arabian graduate student named Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani killed Richard T. Antoun, a non-Muslim Islamic studies professor who served on al-Zahrani’s dissertation committee, in revenge for “persecuted” Muslims. Prior to the killing one of al-Zahrani’s roommates tried to warn the university administration that he had been acting “like a terrorist.”

In 2012 in Houston, in two separate incidents in January and in November, two people were shot to death by a Muslim extremist for their roles in his daughter’s conversion to Christianity.

In March of 2013 in Ashtabula (Ohio), a Muslim convert walked into a Christian Church during an Easter service and killed his father, claiming it was “the will of Allah.”

In August of 2014 in Richmond (California) killed an Ace Hardware employee by stabbing him seventeen times, claiming he was on a “mission from Allah.”


I cite the New America data here only because the New York Times used it as their source when they began floating this bogus narrative two years ago. O’Donnell doesn’t identify a source for her claim (NOTE: see update below), but she most likely is pointing to data from a recent GAO report that others have been hyping:

One of the issues with this GAO dataset is that it includes highly suspect incidents. For example, it counts four attacks where neo-Nazis killed pedophiles in prison as terrorist attacks:

How is that “domestic terrorism”? It’s anybody’s guess.

The fact is that federal law has a precise definition of terrorism:

And it’s unlikely that these four instances of neo-Nazis killing pedophiles even remotely meets the definition of “domestic terrorism.” No one was apparently charged with terrorism in these cases.

By Norah O’Donnell’s reckoning, these four incidents count FOUR TIMES as much as the ISIS-inspired Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando last year that killed 49 — the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11.

I noted here last month the difficulties, and frankly irrelevancy, of determining the scope of the terror threat by counting incidents. By this measure, an ecoterrorist blowing up a mailbox in rural Tennessee is given the exact same weight as 3000 people killed on 9/11:


Fake statistics die just as hard as fake news. CBS viewers should beware.


O’Donnell later clarified that it was the GAO dataset I identified that she was citing:

As I noted above, a number of these so-called “right wing” terror cases never involved terrorism charges, nor would ever meet the federal law definition of domestic terrorism. Some of the cases identified as “right wing,” such as the Austin, TX suicide flight attack on the IRS building, would hardly be classified as such.

But remarkably, in her video segment on these statistics, as seen in the screenshot below, even the problematic GAO data she cites shows that Islamic terrorism still kills more than “right wing” terrorism:

This demonstrates the bizarre methodology being pushed by the media in determining terror threats “by incident”: Islamic terrorists — even according to their own data — are killing more than all the claimed “right wing” cases.

The Heritage Foundation “terror tracker” identifies *96* Islamic terror events/plots since 9/11.


The Muslim community in America represents less than one percent of the U.S. population. But even excluding the 3,000 deaths on 9/11, Islamic terrorism is still the most lethal terror threat to Americans. No amount of statistical sleight-of-hand can change that fact.


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