NY Times Analysis Finds Ties Between El Paso Killer’s Rhetoric and Conservative Media


The NY Times has published a damning report which compares the specific language left in a manifesto by the El Paso assailant who shot and killed 22 Wal-Mart shoppers, with messaging on illegal immigration policies be numerous voices from conservative media.

The extensive article and video montage was reported by Jeremy W. Peters, Michael M. Grynbaum, Keith Collins, Rich Harris, and Rumsey Taylor. The nut of the report:

There is a striking degree of overlap between the words of right-wing media personalities and the language used by the Texas man who confessed to killing 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso this month. In a 2,300-word screed posted on the website 8chan, the killer wrote that he was “simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

It remains unclear what, or who, ultimately shaped the views of the white, 21-year-old gunman, or whether he was aware of the media commentary. But his post contains numerous references to “invasion” and cultural “replacement” — ideas that, until recently, were relegated to the fringes of the nationalist right.

An extensive New York Times review of popular right-wing media platforms found hundreds of examples of language, ideas and ideologies that overlapped with the mass killer’s written statement — a shared vocabulary of intolerance that stokes fears centered on immigrants of color. The programs, on television and radio, reach an audience of millions.

Frequent guest Jerem Peters appeared on Morning Joe Monday morning to explain and discuss the report that is most damning to many Fox News primetime hosts as well as many conservative media stars such as Rush Limbaugh and Sinclair’s Boris Epshtyn.

The segment opened with a montage of conservative media using words like “invasion” to describe illegal immigration, which was a central theme in the El Paso’s manifesto:

> We’re being invaded.
>> The invasion of illegal immigrants.
>> The fact of the matter is that this is an attempted invasion of our country.
>> We have all of these minors from Central America flooding the border.
>> Multiculturalism isn’t real. This is destroying one culture and replacing it with a new, a foreign culture.
>> This is not migrants coming in to the country. This is nothing short of an invasion.
>> Democrats who want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens.
>> This is a government sanctioned invasion of our country.

Mike Barnicle asked about the “very short timeline between that language ..and Tweets from the president of the United States directly reflecting the language.”

Peters noted that “it’s not a one-way street here. Sometimes the president’s words and form, the Fox News hosts words inform the president and he repeats them. The result is this really toxic political discourse we have where it’s now become normal to refer to immigrants, migrants, as invaders, as some type of hostile enemy force that needs to be taken out and stopped at the border or in the words of one pundit maybe even shot. And how routine this has become. ”

Watch the segment above via MSNBC.

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