Yesterday, a deranged man went to the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, and opened fire on workers at the newspaper. According to recent reports, he killed five and shot a total of seven people, before the police stopped his violence.
Even as the shooting was happening, leftist media personalities were looking for somewhere to place the blame. Rob Cox, the Global Editor for Thomson Reuters’ Breakingviews vertical, decided, even though he had no reason to believe this, the shooting was Donald Trump’s fault. Apparently, Trump’s exposure of the Fake News was enough justification for lying and slandering the President. He stated that the victims’ “blood was on his hands,” (meaning Trump). Then, after the facts were exposed, blamed his ‘experiences’ at Sandy Hook for his unjustifiable outburst.
Following the shooting, and with no evidence to back up his claims, Cox tweeted that the shooting was due to President Trump calling journalists the “enemy of the people,” which isn’t quite what the 45th President said in the first place.
He went on to tell the President that the blood of those slain was on his hands, and that he should save his “thought and prayers” for his own “empty soul.”
As the reality of the shooting came out, however, and as criticism against him mounted, Cox deleted that tweet, and acknowledged that he “jumped to a conclusion,” which seems like an understatement and doesn’t speak well of his journalistic integrity (assuming he has any).
He went on to say that it was wrong to vilify any category of people, including conservatives, and that doing so could incite violence.
Cox also said that the shooting hit close to home for him, because he’s a journalist.
A few hours later, he even wrote four more tweets, apologizing for the response, and trying to excuse it because he was part of the community at Newtown, Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook shooting took place.
A Twitter account matching that name contained literally years of messages insulting, belittling, and otherwise railing against the Gazette.
There was also an unreported opinion from 2015, filed in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, in which Ramos pleaded guilty to criminal harassment in July 2011.
The story investigated and reported on claims by a woman who said that Ramos harassed her online for months, and even went so far as to call her employer and try to get her fired.
Eventually, the woman went to the police, who charged him.
Several months after he was convicted, the aforementioned Twitter account began ranting about the new agency.
In July 2012, Ramos filed a suit against the newsgroup for defaming him. The initial suit was a whopping four paragraphs long, though several months later he updated his claim with a 22-page document.
A few months after the lawsuit was filed, a judge dismissed the case, pointing out that there was no evidence whatsoever that the paper had defamed him. In fact, his court filing failed to even allege that the Gazette had lied in their article, making the filing baseless.
In the dismissal, Judge Maureen M. Lamasney said as much.
It seems much more likely that this long-running vendetta with the newspaper in question played a large role in the shooting, instead of Donald Trump’s words calling media outlets that spread “fake news” an enemy of the people.
Of course, if Cox is still interested in calling people out for conduct that might well lead to real violence, there’s always time for him to write a bit about Maxine Waters telling her supporters that they should harass members of the Trump administration.
That seems like a real threat, and one that could even strike at people whose only crime is being part of a government leftists don’t like.
Perhaps, instead, Cox should shelve his irrational fears, and remember the basics of journalism. Things like not making definitive statements without evidence, or waiting for a story to develop.
It’s interesting to see the kind of employees that Reuters, one of the top news agencies in the United States and the world, has, and how willing they are to engage in partisan political hackery while maintaining a thin veneer of credibility.