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SHAPIRO: The Media Have A Double Standard For Tragedy
Flowers and mementos are seen at a makeshift memorial outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 20 people dead, on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

On Monday’s episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” Ben Shapiro expresses disillusionment with the media’s double standard on whose words bear responsibility after a tragedy. Video and partial transcript below:

Now the media response to this has just been insane, almost fully insane. So, let’s start with Reza Aslan. So, if the idea here is that we all need to come out and condemn white supremacy, then when people do it, wouldn’t you be happy? Well, Reza Aslan was a former CNN commentator; he did some documentaries with CNN. Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “We need to come together, America. Finger-pointing, name-calling & screaming with your keyboards is easy, yet … It solves not a single problem, saves not a single life. Working as one to understand depraved evil and to eradicate hate is everyone’s duty. Unity. Let’s do this.”

Reza Aslan immediately responded. “You are the depraved evil we need to eradicate.”

So, (according to Reza Aslan,) Kellyanne Conway is the depraved evil we need to eradicate. And as you’ll see, the bleed-over from “Trump’s rhetoric is bad and harmful,” to “everybody on the Right is responsible for this and everyone I disagree with is a terrorist inspirer,” was very quick from the media, very, very fast. Reza Aslan then tweeted out, “After today there is no longer any room for nuance. The president is a white nationalist terror leader.” He’s a really bad white nationalist terror leader, considering that he came out today and gave a full speech about how evil white supremacy is. Very bad in his job.

Reza Aslan says, “His supporters — all of them — are by definition white nationalist terrorist supporters. The MAGA hat is a KKK hood, and this evil, racist scourge must be eradicated from society.”

Obviously, he’s either insane or he’s wildly intellectually dishonest. I think that it is the latter because I don’t think that Aslan is insane. But the notion that every single person in the United States who voted for Trump or plans on voting for him in 2020 backs racist shootings in an El Paso Walmart is patently disgusting and ridiculous. And this was the line from a lot of folks in the media yesterday. And again, they’re applying standards that they would never apply to folks on their own side of the aisle. So, here’s Anderson Cooper suggesting, well, you know, white supremacists are copying Trump’s words; that means that Trump is responsible.

COOPER: The alleged killer — who, as always, we’re not naming — traveled more than 600 miles from his home near Dallas, Texas, to a city that’s more than 80 percent Hispanic. His name is on a hate-filled manifesto posted on [a] web site 8chan shortly before the killing began. It is hard to ignore the fact that they echo, sometimes even using the exact same language as Trump, some of the themes of this president: of a nation under siege, being invaded, [and] facing an infestation. These are the president’s words and they can’t be denied.

Okay, so if the standard is that there is an evil person, who went and did an evil thing, and was quoting other people, and they’re responsible for his evil, then maybe we should talk about that ICE attack that happened a couple of weeks ago where a person attempted to attack an ICE facility while quoting Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and calling it a concentration camp. Oh, we didn’t do any media coverage of that. I wonder why; I wonder why. Again, there is no common standard.

It’s not what-aboutism; what-aboutism is where you say that the rhetoric is good. I’ve said the rhetoric is bad all the way through here. And I’ve been condemning Trump’s rhetoric on a wide variety of scores for years. It’s not about that, I’ve been condemning AOC’s rhetoric, Sanders’ rhetoric, and a lot of this kind of stuff. But I also have a common standard, which is that AOC, Bernie Sanders, Obama, and Trump are not responsible for the actions of evil outliers, who go and do evil things that the people who said stuff never would have approved in the first place, obviously. But the media don’t hold that same standard. They don’t. At all.

ABC News did the same thing. They had a panel yesterday in which everybody sort of suggested that Trump has to answer for the mass shootings. Again, same people, nothing when it was Obama and when it was Dallas police officers being gunned down in the streets. Then it was Obama does not have to answer for anything. Then it was, we have a systemic problem of violence and distrust between blacks and whites, problems with law enforcement and all the rest. A lack of a consistent standard is one of the things that raises the temperature. It’s not just that the media are wrong here, it’s that if they’re talking about raising the level of tension in the country. It is true that the media raised the level of attention with the double standards — with attempts to lump in everybody who they don’t like — with people who commit acts of heinous evil. Here’s ABC doing this:

Dan Harris: Is it fair John, to tie the president to this violence?

Jon Karl: Well Dan, whether or not it’s fair, he’s going to have to answer those questions. The bottom line is this president has had a rhetoric on immigration and on immigrants that has been deeply divisive.

So, I love this. Whether it’s fair or not, he’s going to have to answer those questions. Well, really? Because who’s asking them, would that be you? Because it seems to me that you should answer the question as to whether it’s fair, before you say, “Well, regardless, he’s gonna have to answer those questions.” Bernie Sanders did not have to answer questions and neither did Obama. If you want to ask those questions, fine, but they need to be evenly applied, otherwise there’s no standard. And this undermines trust in the media and undermines trust in each other. It means that we on the Right believe that you guys are being cynical. That you don’t actually wish to wipe out white supremacism nearly as much as you wish to lump in people on the Right with white supremacists, so that you can come after everybody on the Right. And I think there’s fairly good evidence that there are members of the Left who are cynically using this for that purpose, which makes me sad. We’re all on the same god-bleep page. We should be on the same page. This is not difficult.

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