For months, the media has relentlessly pushed the story that Trump and his campaign have shady connections to Russia.
The left hung on every word, and believed the scandal would finish Trump for good.
But no one expected the story would take this deadly turn.
James T. Hodgkinson stalked Republican members of Congress at their practice for a charity baseball game.
He unleashed a hailstorm of 50 bullets and wounded five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
What motivated Hodgkinson to such madness?
He was a leftist who believed Trump was a Russian plant and needed to be held accountable.
His insane beliefs were fed by a daily diet of media outlets promoting this conspiracy theory.
Hodgkinson was a fan of the Rachel Maddow show.
Her program is a nightly hotbed of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories.
And while Maddow in no way bears personal responsibility for inciting the attack, her show provided a forum for unsubstantiated claims that the Trump campaign and the Russians were engaged in some sort of shady business.
Critics claim this fact-free conspiracy stoked the delusions of a madman like Hodgkinson.
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 15, 2017
left unmentioned in the NYT piece:
1. Hodgkinson’s history of domestic violence
2. Hodgkinson’s obsession with Trump as pro-Russia “traitor”
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) June 15, 2017
For months, media outlets pushed the Russia story without any evidence coming to light that proved Trump or his associates colluded with the Russians.
In fact, James Comey’s testimony confirmed that on three occasions he told Trump that he wasn’t under investigation.
That alone blew the collusion theory to smithereens.
If Trump was never under investigation, that meant no evidence existed he colluded with the Russians.
But that never mattered to the press.
They looked for any advantage they could gain in their fight against Trump.
Now there are real world consequences to giving airtime to such nonsense.
Some people buy into it and take it too far.
Clearly, Rachel Maddow is not to blame for the attempted assassination of Congressional Republicans by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter.
But it’s hard to deny the influence of the media’s over-the-top sensationalizing of the Trump- Russia story in adding fuel to the paranoid delusions of individuals like Hodgkinson.
The media needs to take responsibility and accurately report that there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, and stop pretending that the proof that will guarantee Trump’s downfall is lurking around the corner.