Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh used his show Wednesday not only to discuss the shooting at a gathering of Republican congressmen in Virginia, but also to discuss CNN’s coverage of the alleged gunman.
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., has been identified as the alleged shooter who wounded five people — including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. — before being shot and killed by Capitol Police.
Hodgkinson showed up with an assault rifle at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., where a group of GOP congressmen were holding a practice for Thursday’s annual baseball game against Democratic congressmen. A witness alleged that Hodgkinson asked prior to the shooting if the people practicing were Republicans or Democrats.
As more news about the alleged shooter’s anti-Trump and anti-Republican social media posts has surfaced, Limbaugh said CNN’s coverage of Hodgkinson mentioned very little of it.
“CNN is not very interested in who this guy is,” Limbaugh said. “They will show his driver’s license and picture, occasionally, but any history of the guy’s deep devotion to various media celebrities, various media broadcasts, publications, his tweet history and all of that that we’ve shared with you, CNN viewers are not getting. CNN viewers are actually being given a high dose of the Republicans and Democrats coming together on the House floor today after the event. “
Limbaugh said the lack of information being given by the network about Hodgkinson, other than a brief mention that he once volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders during Sanders’ presidential campaign in Iowa, is not a surprise.
“It’s not curious at all that CNN would basically want to say, ‘Hey, the guy that did the shooting? No big deal! It’s how we’re coming together that matters,’” Limbaugh said. “It’s not a shock to me.”
But Limbaugh said that if today’s situation were reversed, and a Republican supporter shot at Democratic congressmen, the coverage would be completely different.
“You know, you look at it the other way around. I don’t even want to allude to the possibility. I don’t even want to put it out there. But if you did a 180 on this and everything happened the opposite of the way it did, the only thing you’d be seeing on CNN is a never-ending profile of the shooter as negative and penetrating as they could make it,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh later played a sound bite of an unidentified acquaintance of Hodgkinson who tried to make sense of why he turned to violence.
“I just want to let people know that he wasn’t evil, that he was, I guess, tired of some of the politics going on,” the man said.
Limbaugh said that statement is a subtle jab at Republicans, and specifically at President Donald Trump.
“This is what his buddy is saying: ‘Hey, I knew the guy, and he’s not a fruitcake. I knew the guy, and he was not a Looney Toon. I knew the guy, and he wasn’t insane or any of that. He just got tired of some of the politics going on. He was not an evil guy,’” Limbaugh said.
“Translation: ‘Hey, he’s a mainstream leftist. Don’t mischaracterize my friend! He just reached his limit.’ Limit of what? What’s Trump actually done to hurt any of these people? What has Trump done that harms these people? The answer is zilch, zero, nada.”
Limbaugh said the ferocity with which anti-Trump messages have flooded the media, from celebrities to political pundits to media analysts, ultimately leads to violence.
“This is what happens with raw, undiluted hatred,” Limbaugh said. “No human being or group of people can go through life constantly enraged and boiling over. It’s not possible. There has to be a breaking point.”
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