Week In Review: A Tale of Two Shootings
Mass shootings in Colorado and California this week, brought out the worst in wingnuts this week, and reminded us that our biggest terrorist threats still come from right here at home.
When Robert Dear opened fire in a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic the day after Thanksgiving, conservatives were characteristically quiet, for the most part. Republican presidential candidate were almost completely silent.
Despite the fact that Dear had targeted Planned Parenthood for his killing spree, right-wingers took comfort that it was too soon to say if their summer-long campaign of innuendo and invective against Planned Parenthood — fueled by deceptively edited “sting” videos and debunked claims that the organization sold fetal tissue to researchers for profit — had inspired yet another act of violence against Planned Parenthood. And when it was finally reported that Dear uttered, “no more baby parts” as he was being arrested, was described by his ex-wife as opposed to abortion, and once vandalized an abortion clinic, right-wingers still sought to blame everyone but the shooter.
- Even while Dear was still in the building, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) slammed Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains CEO Vicki Cowart, who said the clinic may have been targeted by an extremist.
- GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) claimed that Dear was actually a “transgendered leftist activist,” based on a story whipped up by right-wing blogs, stemming from a simple typo on Dear’s voter registration.
- In a Facebook post following the shooting, Colorado Republican state Rep. JoAnn Windholz pointed the finger of blame at Planned Parenthood , in a Facebook post that read in part, “The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves.. Windholz later told the Colorado Independent, ”Planned Parenthood has no shame. These facts and overall mission of the abortion industry would easily send anyone over the hill who wasn’t rational." So now it’s Planned Parenthood’s fault for driving Dear around the bend?
- Fox New host Bill O’Reilly told his viewers that Planned Parenthood “deserved much of the harsh criticism directed toward it.”
- Radio host Bryan Fischer floated his own theory that Dear may have been “tanked up on pot” during the shooting. Fischer further speculated that Colorado’s legalization of marijuana played a role, and that maybe Dear moved there because he was a “pot smoking nutcase.”
- After Dear’s own words and his past made it clear where his inspiration came from, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros whined that liberals were “indicting an entire religion” of “Christian white Republicans.”
When reports came in Wednesday of anther shooting in San Bernardino, California, the predictable offering of “thoughts and prayers” via social media started before we even knew how many victims or shooters there were.
Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 2, 2015
Praying for those impacted by the shooting in California today.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) December 2, 2015
My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino.
— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) December 2, 2015
My thoughts are w/ our fellow Californians in San Bernardino where police are responding to an active shooter scene. https://t.co/R8qbdpFrYx
— Jerry McNerney (@RepMcNerney) December 2, 2015
But this time, people weren’t having it, and pushed back.
Top 10 recipients of money from pro-gun groups in 2016: pic.twitter.com/OMHxjG9API
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 3, 2015
Your "thoughts" should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your "prayers" should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015
— KHARY PENEBAKER (@kharyp) December 4, 2015
How many more innocent people must be shot and killed by madmen before we do something about gun violence?
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) December 2, 2015
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 3, 2015
— KHARY PENEBAKER (@kharyp) December 3, 2015
— Intersection (@IntersectionTNR) December 3, 2015
— DuneMyThing™ (@Kris_Sacrebleu) December 3, 2015
— DuneMyThing™ (@Kris_Sacrebleu) December 3, 2015
— Joe Koss (@joekoss) December 3, 2015
— Michael Edgecomb (@TheEdgePHX) December 3, 2015
The rest of the right wing response to San Bernardino was about as unhinged as you might expect.
- The gang at “Fox and Friends” swore that prayer is more effective than gun control, and suggested that if you disagree “you’re lining up with terrorists,” and “trying to take God away.”
- Appearing on “Fox and Friends,” Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) complained that “the left” never talks bout “bomb control.”
- Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio pleaded with the 250,000 gun owners in Arizona to start shooting already: “I’m just talking about the areas where you have large crowds and someone pulls out the gun and starts shooting. Maybe somebody with a concealed weapon takes the guy down,” Arpaio told reporters on Tuesday.
- Fox analyst Peter Johnson, Jr., asked if the San Bernardino shooting is “a literal war on Christmas.”
- GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee blamed the San Bernardino shooting on “a mentally unstable person” and “a gun free zone.”
- Later, on Breitbart’s Sirius XM radio show, Huckabee tied the San Bernardino shooting to the Syrian refugee issue, saying that he would “put an absolute moratorium” on Syrian refugees since “we just don’t know, we’re getting people shot up in San Bernardino, California.”
- Fox News Medical “expert” Keith Ablow advised viewers “if somebody named ‘Syed’ leaves your party” to “call the cops.”
- Fox contributor and forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner suggested that “the state of feminism in Muslim countries” was to blame for the San Bernardino shooting, because the female suspect left her 6-month-old baby behind.
Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:
- He just can’t help it. Donald Trumps speech to a Republican Jewish forum dissolved into a series of offensive stereotypes about Jews.
- No wonder Glenn Beck has concluded that Trumps campaign is part of a pot to elect Hillary Clinton.
- James Dobson found it hard to explain to televangelist Andrew Womack why gay people should’t shouldn’t be stoned to death.
- New York paster James David Manning, of Atlah Worldwide Church, yelled “nigger faggots” at “Love Not Hate” protesters outside his church. The demonstration drew over 100 people to protest the church’s demonization of LGBT people.
- The Thanksgiving cooking segment on “Fox and Friends” was going nicely, until host Briane Kilmeade asked his co-host Harris Faulkner — who is African-American — if she served Kool-Aid with her meals.
- Fox News host Steve Doocy made a fool of himself, insisting that global temperatures have “stabilized or gown down a little bit.” If fell to fellow host Geraldo Rivera to straighten Doocy out.
- Televangelist Jim Bakker revealed that witches — you read that right, witches — were to blame for televangelists’ scandals.
- When Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich wants to confront her white privilege, she goes to the tanning salon.
- Anti-gay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’ lawyers want to make her Time magazines Person of the Year.