The Washington Post published a much mocked piece last week that tried to connect a rabid right wing radio host with the rabid left wing political activist who shot up the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia last month.
It didn’t make sense. The radio host, an ex-cop named Bob Romanik, is about as far right as it gets. “He hates Black Lives Matter and talks proudly about his Caucasian heritage to anyone who will listen,” the newspaper reported.
That certainly was not the outlook of James Hodgkinson, the out of work home inspector who left home to go to Washington, D.C. for political activism and ended up shooting four people at that baseball practice field.
Yet the newspaper claimed that Hodgkinson undoubtedly listened to Romance. How did they know? Romantik said so.
“Despite being a die-hard supporter of President Trump who has perfected the art of the dire populist message, many of Romanik’s biggest fans in southern Illinois are disgruntled Democrats like Hodgkinson.” the newspaper said.
What? Left wingers with violent tendencies are now moved to shoot Republicans because a far right radio host has incited them to violence?
“I can’t say for sure if this Hodgkinson guy listened to me, but he probably did,” Romanik said in an interview, the Post reported. “If people would be honest about what drove Hodgkinson to the point of violence, you’d probably see a lot of people right on the same page with him all over the country. But around here, for sure.”
I’ve seen newspaper reporters claim that right wing radio hosts like Alex Jones have incited people to either actual violence or at the least rhetorical violence.
But I’ve never seen a reporter tell me with a straight face that left wingers take their marching orders from right wing talk show hosts.
That’s not only new. It doesn’t make sense.
But in the effort to tar Republicans for anything, especially right wing Republicans, a liberal theory explaining liberal political violence evidently doesn’t need to make sense.
The accusation is enough.