MSNBC's Kornacki Found Muslims In NYC Were Assaulted After 9/11, But No News Reports Of Muslim Celebrations

Steve Kornacki Debunks Right-Wing Claims That Muslim Celebrations Were Widely Reported Finding One Right-Wing Example Was Actually A Hate Crime

From the December 1 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show:

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STEVE KORNACKI: Giuliani offered a specific anecdote. He talked about a candy store owner in New York City who, according to Giuliani, he and his family had been celebrating a local group of teenagers were upset when they saw this. They came over and they basically beat the guy up. And Giuliani said this in a way that made it sound like the guy had it coming. So I thought that was curious. So we went and we looked at all the news stories we could find from September 2001 in New York City. We found one story -- a series of stories about one incident involving a candy store owner who a group of teenagers thought to be Muslim. There was a reporter who happened to be interviewing this candy store owner as this happened. The reporter was interviewing him, he said a group of five teenagers showed up, they asked the guy if he was a Muslim. He said the guy barely spoke any English, didn't seem to understand what was happening. Next thing you knew, they knocked him out cold.

RACHEL MADDOW: The teenagers attacked the store owner?

KORNACKI: Attacked him in front of a reporter. Knocked him out. His dentures were broken in half. There was blood on the floor. The teenagers fled. According to the reporter, they were never caught, they were never taken into custody, there were no charges ever pressed. The reporter told me he was absolutely certain that this store owner had not been celebrating or expressing any kind of glee about 9/11. Now, when we asked Giuliani's people, we went to Giuliani's office and we said look, this is the only incident we can find that remotely matches what you're describing on the air, is this the incident? They said no, it's not this incident. We said, OK, what incident are you talking about.

MADDOW: It's a different candy store incident.

KORNACKI: We got a vague response from them that basically said he must have been told something orally.


KORNACKI: And The interesting thing we found tracking that down and in looking [for] all of the key word searches we were doing in newspaper databases, we found several stories from right after 9/11 in New York City -- around New York City-- more than we found stories about Muslims in the street celebrating, we saw stories of people targeted because they were Muslims or because they were suspected of being Muslim. 


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