On February 12, 2013, Christopher Dorner, a former police officer, committed a string of murders around Los Angeles. The multiple killings spurred a days-long manhunt that ended with his suicide in a cabin. Previously Dorner had sent a manifesto to Anderson Cooper of CNN, whom he praised, along with several other CNN and MSNBC personalities. “Willie Geist, you’re a talented and charismatic journalist,” he proclaimed.
“Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Pat Harvey, Brian Williams, Soledad O’Brien, Wolf Blitzer, Meredith Viera, Tavis Smiley, and Anderson Cooper, keep up the great work and follow Cronkite’s lead. I hold many of you in the same regard as Tom Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings.” he wrote.
He even went on to praise then-Vice President Joe Biden: “Mr. Vice President, do your due diligence when formulating a concise and permanent national AWB plan. Future generations of Americans depend on your plan and advisement to the president. I’ve always been a fan of yours and consider you one of the few genuine and charismatic politicians. Damn, sounds like an oxymoron calling you an honest politician. It’s the truth.”
Dorner praised CNN legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin as well, saying, “Jeffrey Toobin and David Gergen, you are political geniuses and modern scholars. Hopefully Toobin is nominated for the Supreme Court and implements some damn common sense and reasoning instead of partisan bickering. But in true Toobin fashion, we all know he would not accept the nomination.” He went on to cite several other celebrities and politicians, including then-President Barack Obama.
Yet there was no collective media outrage over Dorner’s praise, like we’ve seen directed at Republicans following a mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store. Now, there is a full court press, with members of Congress singled out alongside Fox News and Tucker Carlson. But we’ve seen this game before.
In 2011, a paranoid schizophrenic approached a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store and opened fire. One of the victims of the shooting was Representative Gabby Giffords, who survived her injuries but was severely incapacitated. No sooner were the bodies cleared from the parking lot than Democrats and the media turned their attention to Sarah Palin and a map she’d sent out with targets drawn on congressional districts, which they insinuated inspired the shooter.
Under threat of litigation from Palin, corrections were later issued, after it was learned the shooter had no political motivations. But it didn’t matter. The New York Times several years later would repeat the lie.
Tucker Carlson is not once mentioned in the Buffalo shooter’s manifesto. Instead, Payton Gendron slanders Fox News as being run by corporate globalist Jews, whom he says are instituting the “Great Replacement,” the conspiracy theory that a secret powerful cabal is purposefully importing immigrants to replace white Christians.
Then there’s James Hodgkinson. On June 14, 2017, Hodgkinson opened fire at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where several Republican members of Congress were practicing for their annual congressional baseball game.
Hodgkinson had previously worked as a presidential campaign volunteer for Senator Bernie Sanders and left behind an extensive social media history. He’d previously posted, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.,” the kind of rhetoric featured nightly on MSNBC. He called Republicans “the Taliban of the USA,” echoing MSNBC host Joy Reid. His favorite television program, listed on his Facebook profile, was The Rachel Maddow Show.
There were, of course, no calls by the mainstream media for Maddow or Reid to answer for Hodgkinson’s actions. Senator Sanders was allowed to wash his hands of the connection.
The current blame being directed at Carlson and Fox by other media outlets is thus almost 100 percent performative, with the purpose of removing a competitor from cable news. It’s a call for censorship, nothing more.