Home HuffPost pushed back against charges of its “Disney-ification” of Noor Salman

HuffPost pushed back against charges of its “Disney-ification” of Noor Salman


By Jon Sutz

Since the beginning of the trial of Noor Salman, who was indicted for helping her husband, Omar Mateen, to plan and execute his ISIS-inspired jihadist attack on the Pulse nightclub, I noticed how HuffPost was using a cartoon image of her that made it appear she was a Disney character. Note the resemblance of the image used in HuffPost’s front page headline, above, to “Jane,” from Disney’s “Tarzan”:

As the trial unfolded in early 2018, HuffPost’s defense of Salman — while insisting it is a completely nonpartisan, objective newspaper — became more egregious, especially considering it kept using the same, cartoon-ish figure of her.

After the case was handed to the jury on March 28, HuffPost’s “news” articles regarding the case became more strident, and gave credibility to the her defense attorneys’ claim that she was a “scapegoated victim… of gender Islamophobia.”  HuffPost did this while knowing that she had signed a confession — which it featured  in its stories, but never made a headline, itself.

Ultimately, she was acquitted, because even though the jurors reportedly believed she knew Mateen was going to mount a jihadist attack, she did nothing to alert authorities, or to do anything to stop it, the prosecution failed to prove to the jury’s satisfaction that she knew of this specific attack, or to knock down other mitigating factors.

After the verdict, HuffPost ran a series of top-of-the-front page splash headlines, effectively celebrating Salman’s acquittal, and again claiming she was a “victim” of “scapegoating,” based in “gender Islamophobia.”

I then sent the screencaps I had accumulated of HuffPost’s front page stories regarding Salman’s trial, along with a small collection of female Disney characters, whom I contend the illustrations HuffPost chose to use bear a striking similarity, to Oleg Atbashian, the creator of the liberty-oriented satire site The People’s Cube.

Oleg agreed with my assessment, and quickly turned these raw materials into a satirical photo-essay that mocked HuffPost’s editorial decisions regarding the Salman trial:

HuffPost Disney-fication of Noor Salman by The People’s Cube 31Mar18

I then posted the link to Oleg’s article on Facebook and Twitter.  Soon after, I was alerted that the HuffPost “journalist” behind these articles posted a rebuttal to me on Twitter.  The following is the entire sequence, in order, of her comments, and my replies.

This is where it started: