For 8 years the media waited, seemingly hoping and praying that their charge of violent domestic Conservative terrorism would be proven true. Every time there was a mass shooting, the media had what seemed to be pre-written stories about the TEA Party bogeyman ready to go. When James Holmes, a radicalized leftist, walked into a movie theater and shot it up, the media had a 52 year old TEA Party member named Jim Holmes up on the screen within hours.
Now we finally have that guy. Hodgkinson was a frequent protester who was politically active, hated the President, planned out an assault, carefully picked his targets, and did it with clear mainstream partisan political motives. He wasn’t a fringe character acting on conspiracy theories. He wasn’t living in a cabin in the woods with a scraggly beard talking to the trees. He wasn’t even a religious extremist. James Hodgkinson was a campaign volunteer who in posts and letters clearly articulated the views of his party.
He was everything the media was hoping for. The only problem is Obama is no longer the President. Hodgkinson wasn’t a TEA Party protester carrying his 2nd amendment and anti-big government views to their final conclusion. He was a 99%er fed on the left’s rhetoric about Trump being a traitor and the rich seeking to harm the poor. When the left says Republicans want dirty air and dirty water, when they have commercials where Republicans rob Grandma or push her off a cliff, when they argue that Republican policies will result in the deaths of women and children or destroy our planet, apparently their followers listen.
Bernie Sanders just four days before the shooting was in Chicago calling for political revolution against Trump. He accused Trump of engineering policies that would kill women and children. He called Trump a liar. He announced that Trump would not be allowed to get away with it. Four days later, Hodgkinson walked onto a softball field with a rifle and a handgun and carried out “justice” and “resistance” against GOP congressmen.
As of this post, the shooting has happened three days ago. Surely James Hodgkinson is still in the news cycle being analyzed and discussed at length, right? Wouldn’t his ghost haunt the headlines for at least a week? A politically motivated shooting by a mainstream protester. Surely this is as newsworthy now as it would have been for the last 8 years, right?
CNN.Com has plenty of space for headlines. Hodgkinson isn’t there. Of the entire front page, there is a story about Rand Paul on the baseball field and a story about one of the Capitol police officers throwing out the first pitch. Headlines that are more important than discovering what made Hodgkinson tick? “Watch Newt Gingrich Contradict Himself”. “How NBC Botched the Megyn Kelly Rollout”. “State Budget Puts Powerball in Jeopardy”.
NBCNews does a little better, including a link to a US News report that the “Baseball Practice Gunman Had List of GOP Lawmaker’s Names”. One other headline says “Guns Recovered in Virginia Shooting Appear Legally Bought”. I would assume that’s about Hodgkinson. The Washington Post offered a biography of Hodgkinson after the shooting suggesting that he had no idea who was on the practice field, despite eye witness accounts that he verified it was the GOP practice team before opening fire and had a list of targets.
Don’t hold your breath. Will we find out if Hodgkinson was in the audience earlier this week when Sanders called for revolution? Will we find out what his duties were with the Sanders campaign? Is it possible Hodgkinson was ever paid by the DNC to show up at a Trump rally? Don’t expect the same sort of media curiosity you might have seen if Obama was President and James Hodgkinson was a TEA Party activist.