CNN has had a rough couple of weeks with what seemed like endless trip ups in their reporting. They had a shoddy Russia-Trump story that had to be retracted, which led to the resignations of three reporters. Then, Project Veritas exposed the network’s anti-Trump bias, along with why they keep peddling the Russian collusions story: they know it’s “mostly bulls**t,” but it’s great for ratings. Then, President Trump tweets a WWE meme showing him beating up Vince McMahon, who had the CNN logo superimposed on his face. Trump was a guest on the wrestling program in years past. The network finds the Reddit user who created it and threatens to dox him unless he stops posting material CNN deems inappropriate. This person is not someone to defend. He’s admitted to posting racist material, though CNN stepped in it with the veiled threat to expose this person. Alas, they can breathe easy, as The Washington Post apparently said to CNN, “hold my beer” concerning journalistic malpractice.
The publication posted a story that tried to blame a right-wing radio host for the attempted mass assassination of GOP lawmakers in Alexandria last month, or at least claim he might have been an influence. James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter and avowed leftist, opened fire on Republican congressmen practicing for the annual charity baseball game on June 14. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was hit in the hip. Scalise was on the verge of death when he arrived at the hospital. He recently underwent surgery to manage an infection. So, what caused Hodgkinson to commit this heinous act? For The Post’s Peter Holley, it was right wing radio that was to blame for this left wing activist’s activities. The host, Bob Romanik, is stationed in Belleville, Illinois, Hodgkinson’s hometown, but we don’t know if the would-be assassin actually listened. Again, it’s one of those figures who really shouldn’t be on the “must defend” list, as Romanik also uses racist language during his broadcasts, but to suggest a left winger was influenced by a right winger, even though it’s unknown if he was a listener, and then infer that all right-leaning media is somehow to blame for his actions is just absurd (via WaPo):
It’s not yet 11 a.m., and Bob Romanik, sitting behind the microphone at his radio station in a rundown strip mall in the middle of America, already has said the “n-word” out loud — and on air — at least a dozen times.
Romanik is a surly 68-year-old former East St. Louis street cop. He hates Black Lives Matter and talks proudly about his Caucasian heritage to anyone who will listen. And do they listen. His controversy-courting radio program — he’s the self-styled “Grim Reaper of Radio” on KQQZ 1190 AM — reaches across this region, in and around Belleville, Ill.
The suburban community about 20 miles east of St. Louis drew attention in recent weeks because it was the hometown of James T. Hodgkinson, the out-of-work politically frustrated home inspector who up and left, drove a van to the Washington area, and then shot four people at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria.
Despite being a die-hard supporter of President Trump who has perfected the art of the dire populist message, many of Romanik’s biggest fans in southern Illinois are disgruntled Democrats like Hodgkinson.
Here’s Holley’s June 18 piece, where he mentions that Hodgkinson is a Sanders supporter after around 18 paragraphs:
The national landscape is dotted with communities relabeled by an act of gun violence in their midst: Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando. But Hodgkinson, the shooter from Belleville, might represent something different: a moment when a small-town American, fueled by radical partisanship and economic frustration, turned his weaponry on Washington.
If the roles were reversed, and a Trump supporter opened fire on Democrats, we would still be talking about this story with an intense fervor, blaming rhetoric, lax gun laws, the White House, and any other facet of conservative America because those who do not hold the views of the America’s newsrooms are bigoted Neanderthals. Liberals don’t care that scores of Obama supporters—millions actually—voted for Trump or they just don’t know. Either way, the Democratic Party has gone so far beyond the mainstream that their allies in the media blaming conservative media, or saying that played a part in the attempted massacre, is just emblematic of why the media’s trust has plummeted. The shooter was a leftist. That’s a fact. There’s no hiding that, but the Left buries that fact in their reports. In CBS News’s Scott Pelley’s case, it was conservatives’ own rhetoric that may have caused this shooting to be self-inflicted. I don’t necessarily agree that the media is the opposition party or the enemy—but this surely feeds into that narrative.
Oh yes—The Washington Post took some harsh criticism for this story and its shaky premise.
The left is incapable of processing the world unless all evil emanates from the right. https://t.co/ixbdbNHOn9— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) July 8, 2017
WaPo's Peter Holley couldn't even find someone to say the Alexandria shooter was a listener, but ran the piece anyway. Asshole.— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 9, 2017
What's the point of this? The shooter hated Trump and there's no indication in the story he listened to this pro-Trump host. https://t.co/7mb4nLIjT6— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) July 8, 2017
But none of those listeners tried to kill lawmakers.— Tasha Stevens (@tstevensradio) July 8, 2017
Revision of year: WP suggests, without evidence, Alexandria shooter was inspired by right-wing bigoted radio talker. https://t.co/97tHJDrofH— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 8, 2017