NY Times Gives Beto, Other Dems Room to Blame 'Racist' Trump Rhetoric for El Paso Killings

August 5th, 2019 2:03 PM

The New York Times’s lead story Monday morning was of course the mass murder of 29 people in two mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. The second paragraph cast some blame at “angry words directed at immigrants...by right-wing pundits and President Trump.”

The theme of Monday’s paper was to tie President Trump to the El Paso mass murderer, whose alleged manifesto claimed his attack was “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Also on Monday’s front page, Peter Baker and Michael Shear’s “news analysis” made clear who they thought shared the blame: “In Texas Gunman’s Manifesto, An Echo of Trump’s Language." The jump-page text box: “Democratic hopefuls said the president bore at least some blame” (click “expand”):

The suspect wrote that his views “predate Trump,” as if anticipating the political debate that would follow the blood bath. But if Mr. Trump did not originally inspire the gunman, he has brought into the mainstream polarizing ideas and people once consigned to the fringes of American society.

While other leaders have expressed concern about border security and the costs of illegal immigration, Mr. Trump has filled his public speeches and Twitter feed with sometimes false, fear-stoking language even as he welcomed to the White House a corps of hard-liners, demonizers and conspiracy theorists shunned by past presidents of both parties. Because of this, Mr. Trump is ill equipped to provide the kind of unifying, healing force that other presidents projected in times of national tragedy.


“I’m saying that President Trump has a lot to do with what happened in El Paso yesterday,” Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate who represented El Paso in Congress, said on “Face the Nation” on CBS. Mr. O’Rourke said Mr. Trump “sows the kind of fear, the kind of reaction that we saw in El Paso yesterday.”

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said it was outrageous to hold Mr. Trump responsible for the acts of a madman or suggest the president sympathized with white supremacists.

The Times also played language police:

He uses the word “aliens” to refer to immigrants long after it was deemed dehumanizing even by other Republicans. And his language about immigration is suffused in anger: In El Paso earlier this year, he demanded that Democrats help him “deport criminal aliens and keep the coyotes and traffickers and drug dealers the hell out of our country.”

The reporters also gave credence to the discredited “hate-group monitor" (also known as a fundraising mill targeting gullible liberals) the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Along the way, Mr. Trump has empowered groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has been designated a hate group by the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center. He has become a reliable megaphone for anti-immigrant screeds carried by Breitbart News and Lou Dobbs on the Fox Business Network.

Jennifer Medina and Matt Stevens surveyed Democratic candidates running against Trump in 2020 for “Mass Killers Emboldened By Rhetoric of President, Some Candidates Say.” (A sentiment evidently shared by at least "some" New York Times reporters.) They handed flailing Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke and several other Democratic opportunists a microphone to blame Trump (click “expand”):

Democratic candidates for president on Sunday reacted strongly to two mass shootings that killed at least 29 people, calling on Congress to act decisively on gun control while denouncing a culture of hatred and white nationalism that some said emanated from the Trump White House.

Speaking to CBS News early Sunday, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas said President Trump had “a lot to do with what happened in El Paso yesterday,” arguing that Mr. Trump’s remarks about immigrants and asylum seekers was responsible for having sown “the kind of fear, the kind of reaction that we saw in El Paso yesterday.”


Later, Mr. O’Rourke was approached by the parents of Joaquin Oliver, a student who was killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting in 2018. They had come to El Paso so that they could go to Juarez to speak with migrants who are stuck in shelters there. It was their way of honoring their son on what would have been his 19th birthday.

Mr. Oliver spoke to Mr. O’Rourke at length, pleading with him to ensure that lawmakers find a way to curb gun violence.

Like Mr. O’Rourke, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey put the blame for the shootings on the president, saying, “Donald Trump is responsible for this.”


The acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, called the shootings “a serious problem” on ABC, but denied that the president was to blame and rejected the idea that he had not taken seriously the threat of white nationalism.

“They are sick, sick people and the president knows that,” Mr. Mulvaney said, referring to the attackers. “I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president.”


Mr. O’Rourke was unequivocal in his condemnation of Mr. Trump, calling him “racist.”