Sharpton Repeats Debunked Claims Hate Crimes Spiked After Trump Rallies

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Over the weekend, MSNBC host Al Sharpton repeated a study highlighted last March by the Washington Post that made the claim that during the 2016 presidential race, there was an increase in hate crimes in counties that held Donald Trump rallies, even though the findings were discredited as misleading last September by another study published by Reason magazine. MSNBC host Yasmin Vossoughian also cited the flawed study again on last Thursday's First Look show.

A number of MSNBC hosts -- including Chris Hayes, Stephanie Ruhle, Mika Brzezinski, and Joe Scarborough -- ran with the study last year before it was debunked, and it was also cited on CNN's New Day show and on PBS's Amanpour & Co.

On Saturday's PoliticsNation show, Sharpton brought up the study during a segment in which he tried to blame President Trump for recent increases in anti-Semitic attacks, Sharpton began his commentary for the show's "Memo to the President" segment:

AL SHARPTON: In this week's "Memo to the President," I want to address the rising tide of hate in the country and the President's complicity in that trend. One week ago, five Jewish people were stabbed as they gathered to celebrate Hanukkah. The suspect's family says he has mental health issues, but he also has a history of seeking out anti-Semitic and bigoted material online, and has been charged with attempted murder and federal hate crimes. Yet another act of hate committed during the three-year spike that has taken place since you took office, Mr. President.

He then added: "And you might be asking yourself, 'How is that my fault?' And I'd love to tell you. Let's start with the fact that counties across the country that hosted one of your election rallies in 2016 saw a whopping 226 percent increase in hate crimes. Coincidence? It sees like maybe your audiences are responding to your hateful rhetoric."

That's right -- Al Sharpton is lecturing about inflammatory rhetoric leading to violence.

The MSNBC host then showed viewers clips of President Trump making a number of controversial comments both during the campaign and after his election.

On Sunday's show, as he had the Anti-Defamation League leader Jonathan Greenblatt as a guest, Sharpton brought up the study again:

SHARPTON: When you looked at the study of where the Washington Post said the counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes. Now, no one is saying that he went and personally incited incidents, but if the climate coming out of your rallies increased this in counties, shouldn't that be of concern of how he talks and what he says because you can't be part of setting a climate that people with mental issues or other issues or just haters feel like they can somehow exercise the hate.

It's like they never noticed Reason magazine published a study finding that the original study was very misleading and did not indicate any more link with Trump rallies and hate crimes as compared to Hillary Clinton rallies and hate crimes.

Below are relevant transcripts from 2019 touting the debunked study on several shows on MSNBC, CNN, and PBS:

HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS'S AMANPOUR & CO. (APRIL 4, 2019): The Washington Post -- they went and looked at a bunch of different counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally, and they saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that didn't have such a rally. Obviously, that's not causation, but is there something where -- obviously, the campaign is not strategically picking out people or counties, I should say, that have increased numbers of hateful people. Is there a correlation between the messages that are being sent and received?


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ALL IN (APRIL 16): The counties that hosted a Trump rally in 2016 saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes. That is a real study, by the way, she's citing -- one that says something truly unnerving about how this President's rhetoric is received by some of his most ardent supporters.


MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC MORNING JOE (AUGUST 5, 2019): A study by the Washington Post found that counties that had hosted a Trump 2016 campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Okay, lets stop right there for a second. Let's read that again. Victoria, counties that hosted 2016 Trump rallies saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes, Victoria. Time and again, people have warned that there are consequences to the words the President of the United States uses.


JOHN AVLON, CNN'S NEW DAY (AUGUST 5, 2019): The Washington Post found that counties that hosted a Trump rally in 2016 saw a stunning 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC'S ALL IN (AUGUST 5, 2019): But the pattern laid out before us repeated over and over again and requires willful obtuseness to ignore -- a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Texas, found counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally


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