A man with a long-standing beef against the Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper Capital Gazette entered the paper’s headquarters with a shotgun and murdered five staffers. It represents the deadliest attack on U.S. reporters in modern history.
Before learning about the suspect’s mental issues and his long-standing feud with the newspaper, some in the media blamed President Donald Trump. After all, critics said, Trump routinely denounces “fake news” as an existential threat to our republic. Connect the dots, they said. Blame Trump! CNN aired a montage of Trump’s attacks on the media. Rob Cox, a Reuters editor, tweeted: “This is what happens when @RealDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President.” Another reporter, who later resigned, even falsely tweeted that the shooter was wearing a MAGA cap. How do you get that wrong?
How dare the President call out the anti-Republican media for its decades of biased reporting? Pew Research, in 2013, found that only 7 percent of reporters called themselves Republican. How dare Trump attack The New York Times, which has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate since 1956? How dare Trump go after The Washington Post, which has never endorsed a Republican presidential candidate. And how dare Trump refer to CNN — one of whose “news” anchors, Don Lemon, has called Trump “a racist” — as fake news.
Did the media hold President Barack Obama responsible for the murders of 10 cops in Dallas, Baton Rouge and New York City, all at the hands of black men apparently incited by their belief that cops murder blacks without consequence? After all, Obama frequently criticized the police and bemoaned America’s racism as “part of our DNA.”
President Obama’s anti-cop rhetoric started right after he took office. Obama’s friend, a black Harvard professor, was arrested in his home. Professor Henry Louis Gates, back from a trip, couldn’t open his front door and reportedly asked his driver to help. A neighbor, observing two people trying to force open the front door of Gates’ home, called 911. But when the cops arrived and asked Gates to exit the home so he could determine its ownership, Gates mouthed off and was briefly arrested. Obama said, “The Cambridge police acted stupidly.” The Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association and the Cambridge Police commissioner insisted the officer followed protocol. Obama’s statement infuriated officers all across the country and set up a template for the Obama administration: Cops engage in unlawful anti-black racial profiling.
Obama and his attorney general also offered verbal support to the so-called Black Lives Matter movement that argues, without facts, that blacks are regularly and illegally profiled by an institutionally, systemically and structurally “racist” criminal justice system. It did not help that during the first six years of the Obama administration, the anti-police incendiary Rev. Al Sharpton, according to The Washington Post, visited the White House 72 times. What kind of message did that send to the police?
When a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, shot and killed a black 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin, President Obama promptly sided with the deceased teen, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” A jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and one juror later said that during the deliberations, race never came up.
Then there’s Ferguson. A grim President Obama, at an address before the United Nations, said: “In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions.”
But the Ferguson grand jury did not indict the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, and a Department of Justice report exonerated the cop. Contrary to the lies told by his friend who witnessed the shooting, Michael Brown did not have his hands up when the officer shot and killed him. Brown, did not say, “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” Yet before the investigation even began, Obama’s BFF, Sharpton, took to the streets of Ferguson yelling, “No justice, no peace.”
The DOJ’s investigation of Ferguson’s nearly all-white police department criticized its alleged “institutional racism.” But its actual findings do not support that conclusion. Ferguson, the investigation noted, is 67 percent black, but 85 percent of its traffic stops involve black drivers. To the DOJ, this 18-point statistical imbalance equals systemic racism. But in New York City, where the department consists mostly officers of color, 55 percent of traffic stops involve a black driver in a city with a 25 percent black population. This is a 30-point statistical imbalance. Wouldn’t this make the NYPD even more “institutionally racist” than the Ferguson PD?
Trump, say the media, has created an atmosphere that puts reporters in danger. Obama often unfairly criticized the police. But the media did not blame Obama for the murder of officers by angry black men consumed with the wrongheaded belief that blacks are victimized by the “institutional racism” of the criminal justice system.
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.