It’s been a well-established fact that James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois was influenced by Trump-hating liberal ideology when he opened fire last month on a group of congressional Republicans at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia while they practiced for the annual Republican versus Democrat baseball game.
However, that didn’t stop The Washington Post from publishing a story that tried to connect the killer to a right-wing radio host.
On the day of the shooting, it was immediately reported that Hodgkinson was an ultra-progressive Democrat who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during last year’s election. The man’s social media postings also showed that he harbored a deep hatred for President Donald Trump and Republicans. Investigators concluded that these factors motivated Hodgkinson to commit the heinous act of hunting down Republican lawmakers.
In its story titled, “In Alexandria shooter’s hometown, rage-filled radio host channels middle America’s inner frustration,” the Post on Saturday now claims that Hodgkinson was partly inspired by pro-Trump, right-wing radio host Bob Romanik.
The hit piece portrayed the local Belleville radio host as a racist, pro-Trump supporter who blames crime on black people. In their efforts to include “disenfranchised Democrats” in Romanik’s radio audience, along with Republicans and white people, the Post story pointed to remarks Romanik recently made.
“I can’t say for sure if this Hodgkinson guy listened to me, but he probably did,” Romanik said, according to the Post. “If people would be honest about what drove Hodgkinson to the point of violence, you’d probably see a lot of people right on the same page with him all over the country. But around here, for sure.”
Already outraged by “fake news” stories, Twitter users went after the Post for pushing a blatantly false narrative.
Days after the attack, while Scalise was still in the hospital fighting for his life, the New York Times also atempted to play the same kind of game by minimizing the role that Democratic politics played in Hodgkinson’s motives.
Devoted Bernie supporter shoots up baseball field of Republicans. Washington Post blames pro Trump talk radio in his hometown for it pic.twitter.com/59HEvgBXZY
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 8, 2017
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