MSNBC Slimes Fox’s Coverage of Shootings, Ignores Red Flag Law Failures

Political News

On Wednesday night’s episode of MSNBC’s All In, host Chris Hayes and leftist journalist Aaron Rupar admonished Fox News for not covering the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois in the manner they demand. To Hayes and Rupar, if you don’t cover mass shootings from the leftist gun control perspective, you aren’t covering the story properly. Any solution other than gun control is inadequate according to them. 

“There is a ritual that is set in on the right in the wake of the horrifying and regular spectacle of mass gun violence. In the aftermath, Republicans and right-wing media have a series of decisions to make about what to do to take attention away from what is the most obvious source of the problem” Hayes proclaimed.

“A country with more guns per capita than any country on Earth, and the killing machine that fired the bullets. And they are always, I have to give them credit, up for the challenge.” Hayes fails to realize that the United States has had a long history of gun ownership, and throughout our over 200-year history, we didn’t have this crisis of mass shootings until the last decade. 

Turning to Rupar, Hayes said “there are some stories that the right-wing media will just ignore, and then there are some that they will spin. And they don’t seem to ignore mass shootings.” “I’m curious what your sort of research says about the degree to which they address it and why this is something they just don’t pretend isn’t happening,” Hayes asked. 

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Rupar was forced to admit that “last night Fox News did not ignore the shooting.” He then added that “in the moments leading up to me joining you, I was watching the close tonight to their primetime lineup to see how if at all they talked about the shooting. And through about the halfway point of Tucker Carlson’s show, it had not been mentioned once, across both Jesse Watters’ Show and then Tucker’s following it.”  

After complaining that Fox didn’t mention the shooting in Highland Park during the time Rupar was watching, he complained about the way the network covered the tragedy: “instead of talking about guns, in one hour we had Tucker Carlson talking about how basically nagging women are to blame for shootings of this sort. And two hours later we had Laura Ingraham talking about marijuana use.” 

Later on in the segment, Rupar kvetched that the red flag laws on the books in Illinois didn’t prevent the shooter from purchasing and owning a weapon: “There was no usage of the red flag law that’s on the books in Illinois at any point to intervene and to try to get guns out of this guy’s hands.”

Despite that admission, he demanded that “we should be talking about red flag laws and implementing them in states that don’t have them and encouraging people to utilize them.” 

As always, the solution to leftist policy failures is more of the same. Double down and when it continues to backfire, blame conservatives and Fox News for pointing out how the left’s agenda has failed. 

This segment was made possible by Sleep Number and Prevagen. Their information is linked so you can let them know about the kind of programming they fund. 

To read the transcript of this segment click “expand”: 

MSNBC’s All In
July 6, 2022
8:53:38 p.m. Eastern 

CHRIS HAYES: There is a ritual that is set in on the right in the wake of the horrifying and regular spectacle of mass gun violence. In the aftermath, Republicans and right-wing media have a series of decisions to make about what to do to take attention away from what is the most obvious source of the problem. A country with more guns per capita than any country on Earth, and the killing machine that fired the bullets. And they are always, I have to give them credit, up for the challenge. 

(…)

HAYES: Ah yes! It’s the nagging women to blame. All that is ridiculous of course. They blame just about everything on earth except the guy’s easy access to a gun. But maybe it is understandable that Fox News and especially Tucker Carlson would want to distract from the issue. You may recall that it was just a month ago that a mass murderer in a Buffalo grocery store was literally spewing Tucker Carlson’s racist replacement theory before he went and killed ten people. 

So all sorts of things contribute to the radicalization of these young men. The common thread is that every one of them was able to legally purchase an assault rifle and use it to mow down innocent men, women, and children. Journalist Aaron Rupar has been tracking Fox News in his Substack newsletter Public Notice and he joins me now. 

Aaron, it’s always striking to me — well there’s two things. One is there are some stories that the right-wing media will just ignore, and then there are some that they will spin. And they don’t seem to ignore mass shootings. And I’m curious what your sort of research says about the degree to which they address it and why this is something they just don’t pretend isn’t happening. 

AARON RUPAR: Yeah well, thanks for having me on Chris. Yeah and you’re right, last night fast Fox News did not ignore the shooting. Although in the moments leading up to me joining you, I was watching the close tonight to their primetime lineup to see how if at all they talked about the shooting. And through about the halfway point of Tucker Carlson’s show, it had not been mentioned once, across both Jesse Watters’ Show and then Tucker’s following it. 

So last night of course as your montage there depicted there was a lot of talk about the shooting, but instead of talking about guns, in one hour we had Tucker Carlson talking about how basically nagging women are to blame for shootings of this sort. And two hours later we had Laura Ingraham talking about marijuana use. Despite the idea that marijuana use leads to violent crime being widely debunked. And so it seems like they are interested in engaging with these stories to the extent that it can confirm their priors and of course one of the bedrock assumptions on the right at this point at least a section of the right is that guns are never the problem, that the problem is anything but guns, and that you would never really acknowledge that guns might be the problem because that’s a concession to libs that will not be made. So yes you’re right that this was not a story that Fox ignored. I think it would be kind of impossible to pretend to be a news channel and ignore a story like this that obviously had the nation’s attention over the holiday weekend, but again notably tonight it seems like it was radio silence and then kind of on to other topics. 

HAYES: There’s also a sort of coordination thing that happens. I have watched many iterations of this. The violent video games theory which was thrown out. It really does seem like it’s a desperate attempt. The mental health stuff, and particularly I have seen in right-wing corners focusing specifically on SSRIs which is a form of pharmaceutical for people suffering from anxiety and depression and other things. That seems like something they’ve been sort of focusing on, but it does seem also desperate. Like we saw after Uvalde this insane and almost like darkly comical fixation with doors, but it also seems like there is a real throwing things against the wall to see what sticks response.  

RUPAR: You know there absolutely is. I did a big Q & A on my newsletter today Public Notice with Mark Follman who was the national affairs editor for Mother Jones, he is a big proponent of these red flag laws that were incentivized by the bipartisan gun bill that was recently passed. 

But the problem with this Highland Park situation is that despite the fact that there are numerous red flags in the shooter’s background including threatening to kill his family and having the cops called to deal with that situation, his father ended up sponsoring him for a gun permit. There was no usage of the red flag law that’s on the books in Illinois at any point to intervene and to try to get guns out of this guy’s hands. 

And so that’s really the core problem that the right is talking about. Is that yes, mental health as a problem but then we should be talking about red flag laws and implementing them in states that don’t have them and encouraging people to utilize them. But instead, you’re right, it’s absolutely throwing things against the wall. It’s marijuana, it’s violent video games. 

But at no point do these people question the fact that Iceland consumes the most antidepressants per capita of any country, they don’t have a gun violence problem there. Canada smokes way more marijuana than America does, and they don’t have gun violence like we do here. So you don’t have to be an investigative journalist to debunk these claims.

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