One of the two shooters at a high school in Colorado hated Christians, Republicans and praised Barack Obama. Yet none of the networks have, so far, covered his angry social media posts. This is in contrast to other occasions when they have tried to pin violence on conservative ideology.
Fox News, however, looked at possible motives. Reporter Trace Gallagher on Wednesday explained, “The older suspect is identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson. Well known on social media for being pro-Obama, anti-Trump, and for lashing out at Christians because he claims they, quote, ‘hate gays.’”
He added, “A friend says he thought Erickson was just messing around with his social media comments but that maybe he was offering hints.” That unidentified student claimed that the shooter’s online presence “caused a lot of harm and sadness.”
The Washington Examiner reported on Thursday night:
The social media posts by a suspect in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Colorado included opposition to "Christians who hate gays," criticism of President Trump, and support for the left-wing Occupy Democrats.
On his now-deleted Facebook account, Devon Erickson, 18, posted: "You know what I hate? All these Christians who hate gays, yet in the bible, it says in Deuteronomy 17:12-13, if someone doesn’t do what their priest tells them to do, they are supposed to die. It has plenty of crazy stuff like that. But all they get out of it is ‘ewwwwww gays.'"
In 2016, Erickson shared a video of late-night host Seth Meyers criticizing President Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election, and had shared an Occupy Democrats post that praised President Barack Obama.
So far, none of the network lead evening or morning shows have covered this angle. On Friday’s Today, reporter Gadi Schwartz hinted at the shooter’s rage: “Some students angry over red flags the older suspect seemed to have waved in their faces. Described as a bully to some younger student who they say often joked about shooting up the school.” Co-host Craig Melvin noted, “We're hearing from students who now claim that red flags were missed.”
On Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King focused on other issues that might have been ignored: “We're learning more today about a stark warning to a Colorado charter school months before the deadly shooting....The school received a letter back in December warning of violence and bullying at the school.”
When ABC thought a conservative might have been involved in a shooting, the network didn’t hesitate. On July 20, 2012, Brian Ross went on Good Morning America to smear the Tea Party as connected to a movie theater shooting in Colorado: “There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well. Talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this the same Jim Holmes.” It wasn’t.
In 2017, a man attempted mass murder of Republican Congressmen at a softball game, seriously wounding Representative Steve Scalise. CBS’s 60 Minutes skimped on the conservative hatred from shooter James Hodgkinson. The program never mentioned his support for Bernie Sanders. In 2011, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman didn't wait for information in the shooting of Gabby Giffords. He blamed conservatives.