CNN’s Stelter Blames ‘Right-Wing Message Boards’ for Synagogue Shooting

What makes tragic shootings like the one at Chabad of Poway on Saturday even worse was how predictable the liberal media were when it came to politicizing it. During Sunday’s so-called Reliable Sources on CNN, host Brian Stelter teased his coverage of the attack by wondering if it was “another case of a killer radicalized on right-wing message boards”. Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik went so far as to claim President Trump had opened “the Gates of Hell”.

When Stelter finally got around to talking about the attack, he never explained how the website “8chan” was anything more than a den of anonymous trolls. He never described their political beliefs or how the website fit in on the right. He only talked about what the attacker posted there (click “expand”):

But what he did before allegedly entering the synagogue is he post to his friends on a website called 8 Chan. He said, “it's been real, dudes, thanks for everything. What I've learned here is priceless.” Think about that, “what I learned here on this website is priceless”. Then he posted a link to his manifesto and he also posted a link to his Facebook page, He said he was going to live stream whatever happened next.

The first person to reply to the threat 8 Chan said, “get the high score”, which meant kill lots of people. Now there is no evidence he actually did live stream on Facebook, thankfully apparently that didn't work but the manifesto is out there. There is yet more evidence, this is another case of a suspect radicalized by what he sees on the internet.

So, thinking about this spasm of hate crimes, each of the stories is distinct. It has to be studied individually. But all of them are linked.

It should go without saying that “8chan” does not represent any part of the conservative movement, the Republican Party, or the right in general. But, as Stelter would say, it’s worth noting anyway because we have to reject the lies, misinformation, and gaslighting by those who seek division.

 

 

In another case of this, Stelter tried to link the car attack in Sunnyvale, California on Tuesday with this supposed rise in white extremism. The only problem? The suspect in that attack was black.

The first panelist Stelter called on was Zurawik, who decried how low our national discourse had fallen. “[T]he level of hateful rhetoric that's out there and that it’s not enough to be someone's opponent intellectually but they’re scum and you have to destroy them. That fills the air,” he lamented.

Almost immediately after complaining about people describing their political opponents in extreme terms, Zurawik cranked the hyperbole up to 11:

Look, we've always been a violent society. America's history is founded on violence but the underbelly was generally tamped down. We got some with McCarthy, we got some of it with George Wallace, but this era we're in with Donald Trump, it’s like the Gates of Hell have been opened and these people get a pass to come on out and do it in public.

Seems like Zurawik was one of those filling the air with “hateful rhetoric”.

A short time later, Stelter turned to Elaina Plott, the White House correspondent for The Atlantic, and she claimed Trump wasn’t saying anything against these kinds of attacks:

What’s difficult is that, yes, we're having this conversation right here Sunday morning but unfortunately, the leader of the free world doesn't want to have that conversation. And I think when the president, you know, the most visible person representing this country does not feel the urgency of this question and how to understand this, I mean, the commission you’re talking about-- Do you think Donald Trump is going to start that? I mean, absolutely not. That's what – But that’s what a leader should be doing in these moments and we don't hear anything from him about it.

Except that the President condemned the attack and anti-Semitism as a whole at a rally in Wisconsin Saturday night.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
April 28, 2019
11:00:29 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: There’s a lot more to report this hour as well, including the spasm of hate crimes. Is this another case of a killer radicalized on right-wing message boards? We’ll get into that.

(…)

STELTER: Right now a 13-year-old girl from Sunnydale is in a coma suffering from severe brain trauma because a driver plowed into her and seven other people on Tuesday. It was on Friday when we found out the police believe this is a hate crime. The driver apparently thought the people in the crowd were Muslim so he attacked them. This story has not received enough attention and that is partly because the hate crime link was only publicized three days later. There has been attention this weekend and this story is not happening in a vacuum. Day after day we are seeing stories about people of faith and places of worship being target.

A case and point, on Saturday, as you’ve heard, a gunman entered a synagogue near San Diego and opened fire killing one and injuring three. This appears to be another case of another hate-filled loner who found community in his online bigotry. Then his online life, his online hate became real-world action.

Now, we're not going to show you his so-called manifesto, which is really just a ridiculous letter, a hateful screed. But what he did before allegedly entering the synagogue is he post to his friends on a website called 8 Chan. He said, “it's been real, dudes, thanks for everything. What I've learned here is priceless.” Think about that, “what I learned here on this website is priceless”. Then he posted a link to his manifesto and he also posted a link to his Facebook page, He said he was going to live stream whatever happened next.

The first person to reply to the threat 8 Chan said, “get the high score”, which meant kill lots of people. Now there is no evidence he actually did live stream on Facebook, thankfully apparently that didn't work but the manifesto is out there. There is yet more evidence, this is another case of a suspect radicalized by what he sees on the internet.

So, thinking about this spasm of hate crimes, each of the stories is distinct. It has to be studied individually. But all of them are linked. (…)

Thinking about the manifesto, the press has come a long way, we very infrequently mention the names of the men – almost always men – who are committing these crimes. We rarely quote from the language they publish online but it is important to recognize he was inspired, it seems, by the New Zealand killer, that there are links between these attacks.

DAVID ZURAWIK: Well, one thing, again, this -- There are so many things and at this stage in my career I'm surprised at how many things we're only learning how to cover because life in some ways has become so violent and helter-skelter in this era. And I think we are doing better in terms of not publicizing names, not publicizing crazy manifestos, not in any way making this person such a person more popular a figure.

But, I think, there are so many forces at play here Brian. You know, one of the things we talked about was, look, these religious sites are soft spots in terms of protection, number one. Number two, they are a community group and you mentioned “loner”. Sometimes that makes people angry. But the main thing here I think that's going on is, we have technology that allows this kind of cyber community in one sense.

And, it's what Karen said, we can't deny it. I mean, the level of hateful rhetoric that's out there and that it’s not enough to be someone's opponent intellectually but they’re scum and you have to destroy them. That fills the air.

Look, we've always been a violent society. America's history is founded on violence but the underbelly was generally tamped down. We got some with McCarthy, we got some of it with George Wallace, but this era we're in with Donald Trump, it’s like the Gates of Hell have been opened and these people get a pass to come on out and do it in public.

(…)

ELAINA PLOTT: What’s difficult is that, yes, we're having this conversation right here Sunday morning but unfortunately, the leader of the free world doesn't want to have that conversation. And I think when the president, you know, the most visible person representing this country does not feel the urgency of this question and how to understand this, I mean, the commission you’re talking about-- Do you think Donald Trump is going to start that? I mean, absolutely not. That's what – But that’s what a leader should be doing in these moments and we don't hear anything from him about it.

(…)

NB Daily Double Standards Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Religion Judaism Cable Television CNN Reliable Sources Video Brian Stelter David Zurawik Donald Trump

Sponsored Links