Opinion

Media Calls The New Zealand Shooter 'Right-Wing'

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Posted: Mar 18, 2019 12:01 AM
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Media Calls The New Zealand Shooter 'Right-Wing'

Source: AP Photo/Mark Baker

The Washington Post called the New Zealand mosque shooting “one of the worst cases of right-wing terrorism in years.” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the killer "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist."

“The person giving a sign of allegiance to President Trump is the killer here,” said CNN’s John Berman. “He called him a symbol of white identity. The language he uses in this manifesto is all about invaders. It is all about invaders, similar to the killer at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and language President Trump used in a campaign ad before the midterm election. The word invader means something to people around the world.”

But CNN and the rest of the media have been extremely selective and misleading in their presentation of the killer’s manifesto.

To say that the killer gave his “allegiance to President Trump” is absurd. Under the headline “Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?”, Berman writes “As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.”

He frequently uses the term invader, but his reason was an environmentalist one. “The environment is being destroyed by over population.” Did he hate minorities? He certainly did: “We Europeans are one of the groups that are not over populating the world. The invaders are the ones over populating the world. Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment.” 

You certainly won’t find any of the media, including CNN, blaming environmentalists for the carnage at the mosques.

Trump’s views on immigration couldn’t be more different from the shooter’s. The killer doesn’t want any immigration, whereas Trump supports letting in unprecedented numbers of people through merit-based immigration.

The shooter wrote: “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.” And the political figure with whom he most closely identifies? England’s Sir Oswald Mosley, who self-identified as a member of the “left” and proponent of “European Socialism.”  

Ever encountered a right-winger who pontificates about the need for minimum wage increases and “furthering the unionization of workers”? Or who denounces “the ever increasing wealth of the 1% that exploit the people for their own benefit.” He goes on to declare that “conservatism is dead” and “global capitalist markets are the enemy of racial autonomists.” He called himself an “Eco-fascist.”

The media also conveniently ignores what the killer hoped to accomplish by his attack. He did it to help achieve “the removal of gun rights” for New Zealanders and Americans. And within a day, politicians in both countries were doing what he wanted. The New Zealand government has already promised a complete ban on semi-automatic guns. American gun control advocates such as Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, quickly applauded the move and suggested that it is a model for United States lawmakers. 

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Of course, this isn’t the first time that mass public shooters have supported gun control. The Columbine school killers were also gun control advocates.

No one has talked about how the New Zealand massacre or the previous day’s school shooting in Suzano, Brazil might have been different if people had been able to protect themselves. Brazil has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, with less than one percent of adults possessing a license to own a gun (most are police officers). In New Zealand, just 250,000 (6.56%) out of 3.81 million adults have such licenses. The very strict laws didn’t stop either of these attacks.

The media wants to classify anyone who is racist as a “right-winger.” Environmentalist, socialists, and virulent anti-capitalists can’t be racists, right? Unfortunately, Americans might come to believe that if the media continues to be such a biased filter of the news.

John Lott is the President of the Crime Prevention Research Center and a former chief economist at the US Sentencing Commission.