Pulse Nightclub Attack Revisited: The Myth that won’t Die – Part III of III


Source: By I.W. Quinn, February 1, 2024

What we got wrong in the Pulse Nightclub Massacre of 2016

You can’t kill the myth: Omar Mateen, a 29 year old practicing Muslim, specifically targeted the Pulse Nightclub for mass murder on June 12, 2016 because of his hatred for gays. As Pulse famously catered to the Orlando gay community, the massacre was a hate crime against the LGBT protected class.

This false narrative permeates the perception of the public to this day, even after detailed facts have been revealed.  What is true is that it was the deadliest terror attack since the September 11th and the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The initial sketchy reports contained only a glimpse of the deadly horror.  Terror attack.  Gay nightclub.  Muslim perpetrator.  During those initial hours, that was all we knew.

A shock for Orlando and for our entire nation, the massacre quickly became an unprecedented opportunity for political rhetoric and photo ops.

As Anderson Cooper on CNN aggressively interviewed Pam Bondi on June 14th, challenging her support for LGBT rights, the Pulse Massacre was the top story of the day.  Tags at the bottom of the screen reflected hurried reporting and unverified tidbits viewed by millions.  “Club Goer:  Gunman Used Gay Dating App Recently” and “Source: Gunman Cased Disney and Gay Club in Early June.”

Barak Obama seized the moment to declare that “this was an attack on the LGBT community, and (that) hatred towards people because of sexual orientation is a betrayal of what’s best in us.”

Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, referring to LGBT people, stated that it is such “a cruel irony that a community defined almost exclusively by whom they love is so often a target of hate.”

Hillary Clinton, capitalizing on the tragedy by even making a trek to Orlando and pairing it with her presidential campaign, spoke of the massacre as, “an act of hate” (that Mateen) “attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month.”  Speaking directly to the LGBT community, she promised, “We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear.  Hate has absolutely no place in America.”

Even the United Nations Security Council joined in, issuing a condemning statement against “targeting persons as a result of their sexual orientation.”

With zero evidence backing any of these political media statements, the Islamic terror massacre was easily transformed into a gay agenda issue.  Liberal political staffers wrote speeches and liberal politicians, aided by the media, created the narrative.  Lost in the rush to decry this barbaric act of violence and to blame it on the low hanging fruit of the marginalized LGBT community, are actual facts:  Omar Mateen was motivated to commit this horrific act of terrorism by his disdain for U.S. policy in the Middle East, and was justified by his seventh century Islamic ideology.

A narrative over time becomes hardened into a model.  Francisco Gil-White, historian and journalist, theorizes on his website Management of Reality, that most models for our understanding of significant events are created by politicians and the media.  As in the Pulse massacre, individual experience is limited.  Not many of us were present at the time of the slaughter, so we depend upon all aspects of the media for our information. According to Gil-White’s paradigm, if there are loose ends to a model, then the observer is obligated to revisit it and re-evaluate why certain factors don’t fit.  Either the model needs to be adjusted, or if it is too skewed and completely off, then needs to be replaced.

Because Mateen performed a Google search for “Orlando Downtown Nightclubs” not “Orlando Gay Nightclubs,” because he uttered surprise to discover mostly men in the club, and because the other venues he cased were not gay establishments, according to Gil-White’s guideline, there were loose ends that didn’t fit the model.  It becomes the responsibility of the observer to identify what doesn’t fit, engage in critical thinking, and explore the adjustment or replacement needed for the media-generated model.

The facts surrounding the terror assault, most of which were confirmed at his wife’s trial, belie the model that the LGBT community was targeted.  Omar Mateen, a second generation Afghan immigrant and son of Mir Seddique Mateen, who had once served as an FBI informant, drove from Fort Pierce to Orlando carrying a SIG Saur MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9 mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.  As evidenced by 911 calls he made from inside the nightclub during the attack, he was outraged by the U.S. position on Iraq and Syria and by the killing of Abu Waheeb.  Intent on creating a media frenzy over the U.S. interference in the region, he was determined to commit a major act of terror.

He had previously cased several venues including Disney Springs, and determined that their security was too tight.  In his Google search of “Orlando downtown nightclubs” he stumbled upon Pulse.  This seemed worthy of checking out.  The location was good, just south of downtown and away from the bicycled cops and serious law enforcement oversight of the central clubs.   He parked his rental van next door at the automotive shop and strode across the dark lot.  There he discovered a lone guard at the entrance, confirming his suspicion that security could be easily overpowered.  He called his wife, instructing her to watch the news.  When he entered the darkened noise-filled bar, he inquired, “Where are all the women?”, but was not disappointed in the unimpeded killing field.  Shot after deafening shot, he mowed down over 100 innocent young people.  While inside, he made several 911 calls, protesting the US interventions in Iraq and Syria and declaring his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  He demanded that the negotiator working with him relay to the U.S. authorities that the bombing must stop. He was clearly on a suicide mission.  It was only when heavily armed law enforcement bulldozed through the north wall and Mateen charged them in his final desperate act of vengeance, that his barbaric, bloody Islamic massacre came to an end.

Although the overwhelmed hospital personnel refused to include Mateen among the dead victims, the Islamic community buried him respectfully in the Muslim Cemetery of South Florida near Hialeah Gardens.

The factual details of Mateen’s Islamic terror rampage are well documented in his wife’s trial, but much was known by the media well before.  Early news reports reflected portions of facts, but then went silent, presumably in an effort to prevent tainting the upcoming trial.

The early narrative that Mateen intentionally targeted the gay community was created by politicians, their speech writers, and the media, and through time solidified into a myth. In truth, the Pulse Nightclub was a random find, and the horrible massacre could have occurred almost anywhere in the high profile area of Central Florida.

There is a seed of truth in a myth, making counter facts more difficult to identify.  The seed of truth in the Pulse massacre is that the nightclub was indeed a popular gay establishment.  The terror attack was perpetrated by a second generation Middle Eastern immigrant who adhered to the Islamic faith.  Islam, particularly as practiced in the Middle East, is known to take a violent stance against someone thought to be gay.

Liberal politicians and the media seized upon the LGBT angle that served their liberal cause, ignoring the truth that Mateen’s deadly attack was predicated on his hatred for the United States and acted out through his anti-Western Islamic ideology.

The myth lives on.  Although the media eventually acknowledged Mateen’s hatred for the U.S. and his barbarian terrorist mindset, the public has been saturated by the false model-turned-myth for so long and for so often that it cannot be extinguished, so continues to reside under the surface with the public knowing better but behaving as though it is true.


Journalist, Glenn Greenwald warns us that by promoting a false narrative and obscuring the truth, both the legitimacy of the narrative being falsely promoted and the importance of the facts surrounding the mischaracterized event are weakened.

Our country is in a dangerously different place now that Biden has ushered in millions of illegal aliens by intentionally creating an unprecedented sieve of a  border.  Only a few years ago it was thought by terror experts that the second generation Muslim immigrants were among the highest risk for terrorist activity.  Now the danger has extended to millions of unvetted illegals, a percentage of whom fail to share our values and who have likely come for nefarious intentions.  Sleeper cells are reportedly already in place, waiting to seize the precise moment to create many more Pulse massacres, wreaking many times more havoc than the little Pulse slaughter that took out a mere 100 young people and wreaked havoc in a normal little community that will never be the same again.