When Vester Lee Flanagan murdered a reporter (Alison Parker) and her cameraman (Adam Ward) on live television on Wednesday, Breitbart News provided its readers with live updates in a post with a headline that read, “RACE MURDER IN VIRGINIA: BLACK REPORTER SUSPECTED OF EXECUTING WHITE COLLEAGUES – ON LIVE TELEVISION!”
There was nothing factually wrong with the headline. And Breitbart News put up the headline, which was approved by Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow and Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, after Flanagan started sending out Tweets that implied there may have been a racial motivation for the attacks. Flanagan (or Bryce Williams, which was his on-air name) alleged that one of his victims, reporter Alison Parker, “made racist comments.” He wondered on Twitter, “they hired her after that???” Flanagan is black. Ward and Parker were white.
But the mainstream press, left-wing writers, and the usual suspects on the right who love being liked by the liberals went apoplectic.
“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15,” he reportedly wrote in his manifesto. “What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”
According to ABC, which received Flanagan’s manifesto, Flanagan also said that the Charleston “church shooting was the tipping point…but my anger has been building steadily…I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!”
“As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” Flanagan wrote.
ABC also noted that in his manifesto, Flanagan says he “has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work,” been “attacked by black men and white females,” and “talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man.”
The same cast of characters in the mainstream media and on the right who always look for any excuse to attack Breitbart News, though, spent the day accusing Breitbart News of race-baiting.
Left-wing Media Matters sent out a press release that accused Breitbart News of reacting to the “shooting with a race-baiting article authored by editor-at-large John Nolte.”
New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait said he was “too angry to be tweeting about these racist demagogues at Breitbart but I can’t contain myself right now.”
“These are sick, hateful, twisted people who exploit our worst impulses, and they have real influence,” Chait added.
I’m too angry to be tweeting about these racist demagogues at Breitbart but I can’t contain myself right now. pic.twitter.com/Jz3zTTr6HF
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) August 26, 2015
These are sick, hateful, twisted people who exploit our worst impulses, and they have real influence.
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) August 26, 2015
Business Insider’s Hunter Walker Tweeted, “So, can all of us political folks stop pretending that Breitbart has any place in the mainstream discourse now?”
Vox’s Max Fisher wondered, “at what point do we stop pretending breitbart is anything other than a white supremacist hate site?”
David Waldman of the Daily Kos Tweeted: “Hmm. Horrible, horrible story happening here, on every possible level. How can I, as a Breitbart employee, possibly make this worse? Hmm.”
Jamelle Bouie of Slate Tweeted of Nolte: “*thinks to himself* i should definitely post my story about the scary BLACK murderer.”
Nevada political reporter John Ralston, who slavishly seeks attention from the mainstream media, loves being patted on the head by them, and mimics those in the mainstream press who believe they are the oh-so-wise adults while voters are stupid children, quickly piled on, Tweeting, “For the love of God.” Ralston also agreed with a Twitter user who said that Breitbart News is the “bottomest of bottom-dwelling publications”
The Texas Observer‘s Christopher Hooks Tweeted, “Breitbart Seems Cool.” He also re-Tweeted a user who Tweeted to Breitbart News, “fuuuuuuuuck yoooooou.”
The usual suspects and perpetual backstabbers on the right who look for any excuse to go after Breitbart News joined left-wing writers and their allies in the mainstream press in attacking Breitbart News’s headline. David Fredosso, of the Washington Examiner, Tweeted, “AYFKM [Are you f**king kidding me].”
Rare.us’s entertainment editor accused Breitbart News of sinking to a new low with its headline.
And Redstate’s Ben Howe, who also has looked for any excuse to attack Breitbart News after Nolte called him out for selling out conservatives in order to get patted on the head by left-wing Buzzfeed, Tweeted, “This goes beyond jumping the shark. What you’re witnessing here is jamming spiked cleats into the brain of the shark.” Nolte has called Howe out for being a mercenary who sells his services to various politicians.
Howe claimed that Breitbart News put up its headline without knowing all of the facts before he showed how ignorant he was of the facts on Twitter. Howe revealed that he was unaware of Flanagan’s social media posts and thought Flanagan was a “disgruntled boyfriend.” A Twitter user responded to Howe and wrote, “I follow many reporters and didn’t see disgruntled boyfriend. They were reporting his SM [social media] posts about racial resentment.”
Howe, clearly out of the loop and not in a position to say Breitbart News did not have all of the facts, claimed that “at the time it was being reported that he was a disgruntled boyfriend.” “Is that not still the case?” he asked, even though no outlet or reporter definitively reported that Flanagan was a disgruntled ex-boyfriend.
This goes beyond jumping the shark. What you’re witnessing here is jamming spiked cleats into the brain of the shark. pic.twitter.com/odIu1zdIMs
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) August 26, 2015
Back on the left, Huffington Post’s Elise Foley accused Breitbart News of “race-baiting.” Foley’s left-wing publication did not even publish the photo of the murderer. Little Green Football’s Charles Johnson Tweeted that Breitbart News “goes full-on Stormfront.”
And on and on it went.
At the end of the evening, the Drudge Report led its website with the headline, “Killer Wanted ‘Race War.'”