After two stories about terrorism in two weeks – one, a nutcase sending pipe bombs to various Democratic figures, and the other, a white supremacist murdering 11 Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh – the media narrative has been set: this is all about rhetoric. Inflammatory rhetoric must be to blame for radicalization, the argument goes. Furthermore, the only true inflammatory rhetoric is rhetoric emanating from the mouth of President Trump and his allies. Thus, the execrable Paul Krugman writes in The New York Times:
All of these hate crimes seem clearly linked to the climate of paranoia and racism deliberately fostered by Donald Trump and his allies in Congress and the media. … There’s a straight line from Fox News coverage of the caravan to the Tree of Life massacre.
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