A CNN special report Tuesday morning drew a line between the anti-immigrant rhetoric by President Donald Trump and conservative news networks, hyping the “invasion” of Central American migrants, and Saturday’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
CNN media critic Brian Stelter was careful not to blame the likes of Fox News for the actions of shooter Robert Bowers, but the connection was made plain.
Showing clips from various shows including hosts Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Lou Dobbs, Stelter explained that the term “invasion” was in constant use on the conservative network about the caravan that still sits almost 1,000 miles away from the U.S. border.
“The Pittsburgh shooting suspect’s hatred of Jews merged with his hatred of immigrants to deadly results,” Stelter reported. “He called migrants ‘invaders,’ using the same dehumanizing language that has been saturating rightwing radio and TV.”
Stelter showcased numerous clips from Fox News and Fox Business, which used a form of the word “invasion” more than 60 and 75 times, respectively, in the past two weeks.
“We may never know where the suspect heard these words or why he believed them, but we do know that the hate crime coincided with the rise in hateful language, from the Infowars fringe to Fox’s primetime lineup,” Stelter said.
Stelter pointed out that, before the horrific synagogue shooting, Bowers commented online: “I have noticed a change in people saying ‘illegals’ that now say ‘invaders.’ I like that.”