Right-wing media misspells ‘suspected terrorist’ as ‘jobless lone wolf’ and ‘father of four’

Suspected Finsbury Park mosque attacker is 'a complex individual'

Image: Robin Sones

The front pages of today’s newspapers are an object lesson in the preferential treatment given to white terror suspects in the aftermath of an attack.

Since Darren Osborne was named as the suspect in the Finsbury Park mosque attack, the right-wing press has scrambled to humanise him, focusing on the details and difficulties of his life rather than the brutality of the attack, or Osborne’s reported lack of remorse.

The Times has been particularly singled out for criticism over its splash, which describes Osborne as a ‘jobless lone wolf’, referencing his reported mental health problems in the sub-heading.

However, the Sun, Mail and Express also emphasise that the suspected attacker was a ‘father of four’.

Meanwhile, Telegraph article headlined ‘Who is Darren Osborne?’ begins:

“The father of four suspected of mowing down a group of worshippers outside a London mosque was a ‘complex’ and ‘troubled’ individual known for ‘flipping his lid’ when he drank too much, it has been claimed, as his mother said he is ‘no terrorist’.”

The article extensively quotes members of Osborne’s family, who deny that he has any history of racism or expressing anti-Muslim sentiments.

The Telegraph prioritises accounts of neighbours who described Osborne as ‘a ‘family man’ who was heard singing in his kitchen with his children on Sunday afternoon, just hours before he is alleged to have driven to London.’ Lower billing is given to those who report hearing the alleged attacker shout at his wife.

Last night, hundreds of people gathered for a solidarity vigil at the scene of the attack.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.