It took two whole days after police stopped a masked, black-clad gunman from entering a Dayton, Ohio, bar, ending his killing spree at nine dead and 27 injured, for the mainstream media to admit what independent reporters and astute social media users had known for over 24 hours already: the killer was an Antifa-supporting left-wing extremist.
Compare that to how the liberal press eagerly covered the El Paso, Texas, Walmart shooting that began just hours earlier. By Saturday afternoon, before the 21 victims’ bodies were even cold, every news headline and cable news chyron in the country blared the fact that the terrorist who murdered them was a white nationalist militant.
By Sunday, the same liberal reporters were pumping out pieces about who was really to blame: President Donald Trump and Fox News.
“[I]f Mr. Trump did not originally inspire the gunman, he has brought into the mainstream polarizing ideas,” The New York Times wrote, dismissing the killer’s own statement that Trump did no such thing. “The suspect wrote that his views ‘predate Trump,’ as if anticipating the political debate that would follow the blood bath.” In other words, The New York Times interpreted the killer’s explicit statement that his actions were not motivated by Trump as conclusive evidence that his actions were, in fact, motivated by Trump.
By Monday morning, liberal talking heads were ranting about how anyone who has even made a political donation to Donald Trump is, in effect, a terrorist sympathizer “financing white supremacy.” Democratic politicians such as Senator Elizabeth Warren jumped on the bandwagon, accusing conservative media of being — at a minimum — complicit in white nationalist terror.
All the while, right under their noses, was the fact that a left-wing killer — one who openly and explicitly supported Warren’s presidential campaign — had done exactly the same thing in Dayton. The only difference was that the Dayton Police Department’s heroism stopped the attack before the tragic death toll could reach as high as that of El Paso.
The evidence that the liberal media ignored was not trivial. This was not a borderline case, but a clear-cut instance of violent political extremism.
The killer had been ranting about the president for years, going back to the 2016 election. He called the Trump administration “racist” and retweeted content calling it part of “a global fascist movement,” closely echoing the rhetoric of Democrats and the mainstream media.
He regularly retweeted and “liked” Antifa accounts. The Dayton shooter’s Twitter account also described ICE agents as “monsters,” urged people to slash their tires, and even retweeted accounts that “doxxed” their home addresses and praised the Antifa terrorist who attacked a Tacoma, Washington ICE facility with firebombs last month.
Most disturbingly, however, the Dayton killer’s Antifa ideology was explicitly linked to his terrorism. He tweeted “machine-gun all fash” and “kill all fascists.” Then, in the final hours before he began his rampage, he started liking and retweeting the skewed liberal coverage of the El Paso shooting.
And still, CNN had the gall to “report” that “the writings did not indicate any racial or political motive, sources said.”
President Trump, when he addressed the nation Monday, had the decency to leave out any trace of “whataboutism,” recognizing that one terrorist mass murder does not “cancel out” the other. Political violence is political violence — a scourge this country cannot afford to tolerate no matter the context.
That’s why the president unreservedly — yet again — condemned bigotry, hatred, and racism, and it’s also why he proposed new efforts to combat radicalization and give authorities the power to intervene before these sorts of attacks begin.
As the mainstream media glossed over the substance of President Trump’s remarks to fixate on a one-word slip of the tongue, they continued to ignore the revelations about the Dayton shooter, letting the news cycle pass and setting their chosen narrative in stone.
The blatantly politicized coverage of last weekend’s twin shootings shouldn’t surprise anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the contemporary mainstream media. This behavior has been going on for years, and it’s only getting worse.
If journalists are really concerned about anyone encouraging political violence, they should look to their own news rooms and editorial boards, where there's a real problem with reporting and headline writing. The role those play must be a part of our national debate in addressing this scourge.
As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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