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Tipsheet

LA Times Sure Picked a Curious Way to Cover Murder Plot Against Justice Kavanaugh

AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File

As Townhall has covered extensively, last Wednesday, 26-year-old-Nicholas John Roske was arrested for wanting to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh. We've also highlighted numerous examples of how the mainstream media has buried coverage of the murder plot. Bill Maher had a particularly candid take, as Matt noted. A worthy mention when it comes to such coverage comes from the Los Angeles Times. 

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On Saturday, Twitter recommended checking out a piece by Matt Hamilton and Christian Martinez, "A California man’s journey to kill Justice Kavanaugh ended with a desperate plea, feds say." The piece was written up on Friday, the same day reports came out of the 911 call that the suspect made. 

The piece, which is close to 1,200 words, reads almost like a profile of Roske. In addition to stressing Roske's need for psychiatric help, as admitted by the suspect himself and others, Hamilton and Martinez include this:

By his own account, Roske never lived anywhere else but California — save for a brief stint in Seattle.

Born in 1996 to Colleen, a special education teacher, and Vernon, an insurance representative, he spent much of his early years in the San Fernando Valley.

For a time Roske was home-schooled, an education that was supplemented with programs at Shepherd’s Community Church, a nondenominational Christian church on Saticoy Street in Canoga Park, according to a fellow classmate there.

At the church, Roske was part of the youth group, Awana, where he and other kids would memorize Bible verses and play games, the former classmate recalled.

By 2009, the Roske family — including Nicholas and his younger sister — had decamped Encino for a three-bedroom home in Simi Valley with a view of the Santa Susana Mountains.

He ran cross-country at Simi Valley High School, donning the Pioneers’ maroon and gold as he raced against peers in Calabasas and Chatsworth.

After graduating high school in 2014, a district official confirmed, he took classes at Moorpark Community College. He spent his final two years of undergraduate studies at Cal State Northridge, according to a spokeswoman for the university. Roske majored in philosophy and graduated in 2018.

“He was a philosophy major and I studied political science, and we would shoot ideas back and forth,” former high school and college classmate Kenny Vergini told the New York Post. “He was [a] really smart guy. … But he never did anything or said anything that really stood out.”

What followed after college is unclear. An online resume showed just one job — office manager at a pest control firm in Simi Valley, a position he quit last year.

Nor did Roske express any specific political views. When he registered to vote in 2022, he did not affiliate with a political party, according to records reviewed by The Times.

...

“He’s a good kid,” Roske’s grandfather, Dan Shannon, told KCBS-TV Channel 2. He said the allegations were “extremely” out of character.

“We’re in crisis right now, so we don’t know,” Shannon said.

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There's also only brief mentions of Kavanaugh himself, you know, Roske's intended victim. Even then, though, it's still about Roske. "To Roske, slaying Kavanaugh — then himself — was a means to give his own life purpose, according to the affidavit’s summary of his interview," the piece reads at one particularly chilling point. 

People took notice over Twitter, calling out the Los Angeles Times for how it handled the coverage.

When it comes to covering the murder plot itself, the outlet did have a piece by Nathan Solis, but it wasn't exactly front page news. They also published an opinion piece from Michael Hiltzik, who used the disturbing incident as an excuse to discuss gun control by writing that "The threat to Justice Kavanaugh reveals a path to a gun control deal."

After mentioning Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) insistence that the House pass legislation to better protect the justices, which already passed by unanimous consent in the Senate, Hiltzik wrote:

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Sounds pretty urgent. The only reason we can imagine for any further delay is that House members were tied up during the day Wednesday taking testimony from survivors of and witnesses to the May 24 Uvalde, Texas, school massacre, in which an 18-year-old gunman slaughtered 19 schoolchildren and two adults as law enforcement officers stood uselessly nearby.

Hiltzik must not be imagining very hard, then. He's either being ignorant or dishonest in that he fails to mention how House Democrats have held up the bill by trying to protect the person who leaked the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, revealing that the Court looks to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Since the leak there has been an uptick in vandalism and even violence against pro-life organizations, as well as protests outside the homes of conservative justices, as radicals look to intimidate them. It also allegedly angered Roske enough to want to kill the justice. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who could have hardly seemed more dismissive about the situation if she tried as evidenced by her remarks and lack of urgency at last Thursday's press conference, indicated that they will take up the bill this week

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