On the evening of December 13, in which 18-year-old Karl Pierson entered Arapahoe High School and shot two students, The Denver Post published a description of the teen as a “very opinionated socialist.” However, by the next day, the description merely read that he was “very opinionated.” The word “socialist” was scrubbed without explanation.
The story written for the Post by Zahira Torres and Yesenia Robles initially buried the fact that the young man was identified as a socialist in the 13th paragraph.
In the first paragraph the paper noted that Pierson was “outspoken about politics,” and in the third quoted a friend who said that the shooter “had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff.”
But readers had to wait until the 13th paragraph to read what direction those outspoken political views took.
That paragraph originally read: “Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated Socialist.”
But by Saturday morning, the Post had quietly sent the word “socialist” down the Internet memory hole. The revised paragraph simply reported that Pierson was very opinionated.
The new paragraph read: “Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.”
One key word was lopped off and the story has no notification that an edit had occurred.
The paper went on, though, to reprint some of Pierson’s more hate-filled invectives. The young man disliked famed Scottish Enlightenment philosopher and capitalist icon, economist Adam Smith, and was particularly hateful toward Republicans. He also identified himself as a “Keynesian,” the economists that today’s left-wing champions.
The paper wrote:
Pierson also appears to mock Republicans on another Facebook post, writing ‘you republicans are so cute’ and posting an image that reads: ‘The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ’em Die, Climate Change: Let ’em Die, Gun Violence: Let ’em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ’em Die, More War: Let ’em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?’
As it turned out, the same young man who excoriated Republicans for a “let ’em die” attitude on gun violence turned into a perpetrator of such violence.