"Police line do not cross" yellow plastic tape marks the boundary to a restricted area in a city downtown at night with street light, where police forces are investigating crimes or accidents and performing their duties. Outdoor crime scene. Defocused background. Copy space on image top side.
I was very surprised to see this as a headline story on CNN’s web page this morning:
A Twitter account that appears to belong to Dayton mass shooter [NAME REDACTED] retweeted extreme left-wing and anti-police posts, as well as tweets supporting Antifa, or anti-fascist, protesters.
The most recent tweet on the. . .account was on August 3, the day of the shooting, when he retweeted a post saying, “Millenials have a message for the Joe Biden generation: hurry up and die.”
The user’s Twitter bio reads: “he/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / I’m going to hell and I’m not coming back.” One tweet used the hashtag #HailSatan.
Still, contrary to the explicit anti-immigrant purpose of the El Paso shooting, police do not know what motivated Betts to open fire early Sunday morning in a popular nightlife district in downtown Dayton.
The story, which is no longer at the top of CNN’s page, predictably sparked outrage from some quarters of the left—typified by the Daily Beast’s Justin Miller, who went into full meltdown mode:
Of course, “zero relevancy” only seems to apply to certain mass shooters, depending on their political point of view. Or, as Stephen Miller succinctly put it:
You don’t even need to speculate to know that this is true. When a shooter killed multiple people in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2012, the news media immediately began poring through social media posts trying to find information on the suspect—including ABC’s Brian Ross, who mistakenly identified the man as a Tea Party member and speculated whether that had something to do with his motive. This, even though the Aurora Shooter—like the shooter in Dayton—left no manifesto.
Don’t misunderstand: I’m not raising this point to imply that the mass murderer in Dayton was motivated by his leftist views. And I’m not saying that the El Paso killer wasn’t motivated by a hatred of immigrants. I’m just pointing out that the media applies different standards—and different levels of outrage—depending upon whether or not a mass shooting can be used to advance their preferred political narrative.
In El Paso, the media cynically decided that the murders would be useful to squelch debate over illegal immigration and cast Donald Trump as the cause—essentially branding anyone who supports the President and his stance on border enforcement as a white supremacist, which the media believes will help Democrats win in 2020. In Dayton, on the other hand, the politics of the killer don’t fit their caricature of the right-wing, white nationalist mass murderer—and so they de-emphasize his politics, if they mention it at all.
For the media to squeal when others point that out, however, is disingenuous in the extreme. It would be a different story if they weren’t always in a rush to cite how conservative rhetoric is to blame for mass shootings; but given their obvious proclivities, if we were to apply the same standards to Dayton as the media has to other shootings, shouldn’t Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders be made to take their share of responsibility for the carnage?
In a fair and just circumstance, the answer would be absolutely not. The fault for violence always lies with the perpetrator, and the perpetrator alone. But circumstances are rarely fair and just—and a large reason for that is the skewed and biased way with which the mainstream media presents stories like this. It’s also why we, as a nation, can’t have an honest debate on how to prevent these horrific crimes, because that would require giving up the narrative in favor of the greater good.
And as long as the media value the narrative more than human lives, that’s not going to happen.
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