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Friend of Charleston Victim: Fox News ‘Hate Speech’ a Potential Influence

rutherfordTodd Rutherford, a South Carolina state legislator and a friend of one of the victims, spoke out on CNN this afternoon about how “the rhetoric in South Carolina, the rhetoric nationwide, has led people to believe… that it’s okay to walk into a church and take nine lives.”

Rutherford spoke to Jake Tapper about the Charleston church shooting and the death of his friend Reverend Clementa Pinckney.

He said that South Carolina is part of the problem because there’s no hate crimes law and the Confederate flag flies at the capitol. Rutherford referred to networks using “coded language” before calling out one network in particular:

“[The gunman] hears that because he watches the news and he watches things like Fox News, where they talk about things that they call news, but they’re really not. They use that coded language, they use hate speech, they talk about the president as if he’s not the president, they talk about churchgoers that they’re not really churchgoers. And that’s what this young man acted on. That’s why you can walk into a church and treat people like animals when they’re really human beings.”

Watch the video below, via CNN:

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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