Beto O’Rourke is back in his hometown of El Paso after the horrific, politically and racially motived mass shooting at a crowded Walmart filled with families shopping back-to-school sales. Thus far, 22 people have died and another 24 people were injured. It all happened in minutes. The suspect told authorities his goal was to "shoot as many Mexicans as possible." He was apprehended and awaits charges.
The shooter published a manifesto that contained references to “fake news” and “invasion” from Mexico, directly quoting Donald Trump’s language over the last several years. An uncomfortable pattern has emerged—Donald Trump says something overtly racist and then media outlets and pundits break it down into infotainment, asking if the thing Donald Trump said was really racist or not? Instead of calling Trump’s words and actions what they are, they reach for new terms like “racially tinged” or “It gives cover to racists.” And Beto O’Rourke has had enough. Yesterday he had a viral moment where he said, "Members of the media, what the fuck?"
Today, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, O’Rourke delivered a message to Cuomo and the rest of the media, noting that they are indeed part of the problem.
To O’Rourke’s point, just last night, a sneak preview of today’s New York Times was trending on Twitter because of their absurd headline, which read, “Trump urges unity vs. racism.” The NYT used the front page of their newspaper to cut and paste from Trump’s prepared speech as their headline rather than the true message from Trump, delivered via Twitter only hours before his speech, which doubled down on rhetoric and essentially said if the fake news would report on him and his agenda properly, these shootings would die down.
Here’s the tweet that preceded his prepared speech.
This pattern has got to end. It is far beyond time for the media to quit tiptoeing around the racism of Donald Trump and his supporters. It’s the only way this tragic chapter of American history comes to an end.