Right wing media distortions help inflame violent extremists.
The horrific mass murder of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue and the mail bombs sent to several Democratic Party leaders, including ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, were the deranged acts of single individuals with warped, deluded views of the world. However, it is not going too far to say that these men’s delusions were likely multiplied by the irresponsible mix of paranoia, rage, fear and conspiratorial thinking that is broadcast day after day by the right wing media.
Typical of this was the assertion by several Fox News analysts that the letter bombs were a hoax perpetrated by liberals. Some, but not all, of these so-called “conservative” pundits retracted that assertion once the FBI arrested a suspect in Florida. That suspect, Cesar Sayoc, turned out to be a devoted consumer of right wing “fake news,” as evidenced by the propaganda plastered all over the windows of his van and the content of his social media posts. He acted alone, but Sayoc is just one of millions of Americans who have adopted a distorted, dark view of American life and politics after immersing themselves in the lies and distortions being fed them by the likes of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones.
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