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A SHOOTING IN TEXAS
On Sunday, November 5, 2017, twenty-six people were shot to death in a Baptist church in Texas. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the shooting had nothing to do with religious beliefs or race. However in the brief time between when the BREAKING news was first tweeted and local officials began providing more details, conservative, right-wing propagandists began incorrectly suggesting that the attack was the work of “liberals, Muslims, Antifa” and others.
Mike Cernovich, right-wing media personality began speculating that the shooting was “‘an Antifa (anti-fascist) terror attack on a mostly white church.’”Subsequently a pro-Trump figure, Jack Posobiec, shared what appears to be a fake news post which read “‘Go after the heart of the far-right: conservative churches.’”Then a twitter user, “Mustachio” shared what he claimed was video of the shooter, which was in fact, faked. Mustachio also provided the hoax-name “Samir -al-Hajeed” and claimed the shooter was a “Muslim convert.” This tweet was then cited by at least one right-wing news site called Freedom Daily.
When authorities identified the shooter as Devin Patrick Kelley, others started going to his Facebook site and saw that the shooter had liked something called “Together We Rise” and other sites. Conspiracy theorists then implied the shooter was a supporter of Bernie Sanders. Then the shooter’s LinkedIn site was visited. They saw that the shooter had chosen some pre-selected causes from a drop-down menu – “Social Action,” “Environment,” “Civil Rights” and others. The propaganda artists thought this was adequate reason to suggest that the shooter was a “liberal.” Third, the fake news website, YourNewsWire (Snopes), tweeted out an article claiming the shooter had connections to Antifa. This article also claimed that the shooter “‘vowed to start a civil war by targeting white conservative churches.’” There were lots of intermediary steps; but the end result was that by the following day, hundreds of thousands of users across various social platforms had shared the fake news. And if this wasn’t bad enough, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh weighed in that the shooting and an attack on Senator Rand Paul were evidence that “Terrorists come straight from the Democratic party.”
No wonder we have to take back the word liberal (see my post before this one) from those in our country who would like nothing better than to tarnish it! No wonder some U.S. citizens are horrifically misinformed. In our day and age, disinformation is rampant. There are multiple right-wing media sources, like the ones listed above, here to mislead people and stoke fear! And we must not forget two prominent right-wing propaganda sources – Breitbart and Fox News! We also can’t forget that President Trump, himself, is little more than a pathological liar. Where will all this end? God help us all!
Huffington Post article link here.