After the mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday that killed 22 and injured dozens more, a great deal of mainstream media attention has been given to 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D).
O’Rourke is a former Congressman who represented parts of El Paso, and so from that perspective it’s understandable that the media would want to get his thoughts on the tragedy, how he plans on helping his community heal and go forward, etc. But what they – and he – have done in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy is to use this crisis to repeatedly and unjustly accuse Republicans of being responsible for the massacre, and the President of being a white supremacist in chief.
On top of that, the mainstream media – and O’Rourke – both are reacting with outrage that Trump hasn’t sat back and remained quiet after watching media outlet after media outlet, Democrat after Democrat (including Beto), stand before the cameras and angrily tell the President to “tone down the rhetoric” and “stay the hell out of El Paso” – while then promptly accusing him of “having blood on his hands” and being a “white supremacist” who “wants” Latino Americans to be killed.
A perfect example of this is a news segment I wrote about this morning. MSNBC‘s Jacob Soboroff noted early in an interview that the El Paso community was “surprisingly positive” during Trump’s Wednesday visit “given the way that the president has talked about Latinos.”
It’s what he said later in his report that I wanted to focus on in this piece because it gets to the heart of the left and media’s disingenuous nature when it comes to criticizing Trump.
Instead of reporting from a straight-news perspective, Soboroff played the role of partisan commentator, dishonestly framing Trump’s recent tweet criticizing O’Rourke:
Host Ali Veshi: “Jacob, President Trump went after Beto O’Rourke on Twitter. You spoke to O’Rourke about that earlier today. What was his reaction?”
Soboroff: “Well let’s just think about that for a minute, Ali. In advance of leaving to Dayton, OH and to here in El Paso to commemorate 31 lives lost in mass murder of the course of the weekend, the President chose to spend his time this morning on Twitter attacking former Congressman Beto O’Rourke because of his name and because of his rally sizes here in El Paso.”
Watch this part of the segment below, which begins at the 4:35 mark:
.@jacobsoboroff reports from El Paso, TX, where he says the general sentiment is that "not only is it time to stand up to the president of the United States, but to stop, reflect and remember… it is almost that they do not care that the president is coming." pic.twitter.com/6wxqlvbSlb
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 7, 2019
Beto’s response was to suggest Trump was trying to “intimidate” El Paso’s immigrant community:
Beto O'Rourke on why he responded to Pres. Trump's tweets: "[Pres. Trump] is trying to intimidate this community, make us afraid of one another … and we will not stand down." pic.twitter.com/6IYemzKP33
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 7, 2019
Here’s what they left out: Beto has spent nearly every waking minute since the mass shooting fanning the flames, accusing Trump of being a racist who is directly responsible for the actions of the deranged gunman. Literally every time he’s been in front of the camera he says things like this while in the same breath suggesting campaigning is the last thing on his mind. It’s a lie.
I don’t doubt that his grief over what happened to his community is genuine, but I also don’t doubt that he is making matters worse playing politics and fanning racial flames against Trump. Case in point:
Beto earlier today: “no part of me right now is thinking about politics.. all of me is with and thinking about this community.”
Also Beto earlier today: “Trump is a white supremacist,” “Trump is responsible for the shooting,” “Trump invited violence.” pic.twitter.com/mBy6cH3pEF
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) August 8, 2019
Also, as Brit Hume points out:
Right. He put it on pause so that he could remain in El Paso, which just happens to be where the national spotlight is shining brightest. Oh, and he used that spotlight to attack Trump as responsible for the massacre. But of course he’s not campaigning. Not at all. https://t.co/ocO3tMVqta
— Brit Hume (@brithume) August 8, 2019
Of course Trump is going to respond to being called a white supremacist and terrorist enabler. O’Rourke and the media know this, and yet they act like Trump is attacking him for no reason at a time he and his community are grieving, and at a time when he has put his campaign “on pause” (except he hasn’t).
Some well-meaning people, including our own Joe Cunningham, believe that Trump needs to be the adult in the room in situations like this, but that’s not the kind of President he’ll ever be. I don’t speak for Trump or any other Republican, but from studying him over the last few years, I suspect his mindset is that, hey, these Democrats, journalists, and commentators are using this tragedy to smear me in the worst possible way, to call me a murderer, a racist who wants certain segments of American society wiped out. I’m not going to sit by and let those accusations go unchallenged.
I have to admit, if I was in the same situation I’d have a hard time sitting back and being the bigger person, too. History has shown us time and time again that the left will shamelessly use tragedies to on one hand call for “unity” and then on the other accuse their political opposition for being “directly responsible” for the tragedy. That’s not a pill most of us being blamed are okay with obediently swallowing.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –