Conservative pundit and full-time Trump-lackey Sean Hannity made a perfect ass of himself on his radio show Thursday afternoon (according to an audio file and transcript of his show provided by Media Matters), drawing a connection, seemingly out of thin air, between Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and the shooting at the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis, Maryland earlier in the day that left five dead and two injured.
Though, at the time, the shooter's name and possible motive had not yet been released and truly only a few details about the incident had been known or released at that time, Hannity took it upon himself to draw a correlation between comments made by Rep. Waters regarding the public need to hold conservative lawmakers accountable for their actions and an otherwise unrelated shooting at a Maryland newspaper.
The incendiary accusations against Waters happened during Premiere Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show, where Hannity, during a breaking news segment on the shooting, suddenly segued into what can only be seen as shade and low-key blame being shouldered onto Rep. Waters and "the rhetoric" for the "something horrible" that Hannity says he had been "saying now for days...was going to happen."
You can listen to the audio for yourself or read the transcript provided below:
By the way, we're getting some breaking news that there was a shooting at the, it's called Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, The Baltimore Sun is now reporting. We have multiple deaths also being reported, and the sheriff is saying that multiple fatalities in a newsroom shooting. Oh, good grief. So scary. The suspect though has been apprehended according to the sheriff. And we'll continue to follow that story. It's so sad that there are so many sick, demented, and evil people in this world. It really is sad. You know imagine you go to work and this is what you're dealing with today, some crazy person comes in -- and I'm not turning this into a gun debate, I know that's where the media will be in 30 seconds from now. That's not it. You know, as I've always said, I mean honestly -- I've been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really [Rep.] Maxine [Waters]? You want people to create -- "call your friends, get in their faces," and Obama said that too. "Get in their faces, call them out, call your friends, get protesters, follow them into restaurants and shopping malls," and wherever else she said.
That something horrible, by the way appears by Hannity's choice of words to be the Capital Gazette shooting—except—that it's not.
In fact, as it turns out, the suspect in the Capital Gazette shooting has now been identified by senior law enforcement officials to CNBC, as Jarrod Ramos, 38, who appears to have had a negative history with the paper, even suing them back in 2012 for defamation with regards to a story they did. It's a case he officially lost back in 2015.
Of the case, CNBC said:
According to a legal document, the article contended that Ramos had harassed a woman on Facebook and that he had pleaded guilty to criminal harassment. The court agreed that the contents of the article were accurate and based on public records, the document showed.
People quickly took issue with Hannity's misrepresentation of the facts:
She asked for people to make noise, protest, let people know they don't line what they are doing. She did not say go shoot anyone and she never said the Media is The Enemy like Trump has over and over.— kj martin = not offended just pissed off (@martin_kj) June 28, 2018
Unfortunately most Trump supporters take a meme as truth because the words are smaller, there are pictures and there are no paragraphs to confuse them.— Brenda Townsend (@BrendaMorTown) June 29, 2018
Some were quick to point out that there was someone on the conservative side who fit Hannity's description a bit better in the rhetoric department:
Just yesterday Trump Supporter and former senior editor for Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos said:— Resist (@JenJc77) June 28, 2018
“I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight."
Today a shooter guns down journalists in Annapolis, Maryland.
This argument makes no logical sense. Here's the many logical flaws:— Don Flower III (@DonFlowerIII) June 28, 2018
A) Maxine did not direct violence in her speech
B) Maxine did not reference journalists. She referenced Trump admin officials
C) Milo Y did however suggest to mob journalists just yesterday
Two days ago: neo-Nazi and popular Republican fascist Milo Yiannopoulos called for journalists to be gunned down.— PapaNez (@NezPapa) June 28, 2018
In the end, some folks figure the best way to deal with a lying bully is to take away their platform:
Did you know that there’s an active campaign to get Sean Hannity’s advertisers to stop supporting him. Many have already left, but you know who hasn’t?— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) June 28, 2018
These companies still financially support Hannity:@ADT@LifeOnPurple (Purple Mattress)@Overstock@Progressive @zoho