President Donald Trump seemingly placed some of the blame on the media for a spate of recent mass shootings that left dozens dead and many more injured over the weekend.
Two shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, the other in Dayton, Ohio, saw a number of people shot and killed by gunmen. In the former’s case, the shooter had been a noted fan of the president’s on social media.
In a manifesto largely believed to have been written by him, the shooter denied Trump was the instigator of his beliefs, but quoted the president’s anti-immigrant rhetoric in many passages for why he committed the murders, the New York Times reported.
Many on social media have pointed to the language of the shooter mirroring the president’s, but Trump himself took to Twitter on Monday morning to offer his own two cents on the matter, writing that he believed the media deserved blame.
Trump didn’t directly state that he was discussing the mass shootings, but it was deeply implied that his tweet addressed the issue.
“The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country,” Trump wrote. “Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years.”
The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
Trump added that, unless media start to be “balanced and unbiased,” he believed “these terrible problems will only get worse!”
It’s a line of attack that echoed similar sentiments that Trump made late last year. After a would-be assailant attempted to send pipe bombs to many prominent Democratic leaders (as well as several non-Democratic opponents to Trump), the president blasted the media for suggested his rhetoric played a role in the matter. The person who had sent the bombs was a fanatical Trump supporter.
“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump wrote in a separate tweet in late October, PBS NewsHour reported. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”
Trump also disparaged a reporter shortly after, in November, who had asked a question about his rhetoric and it’s possible links to violent actions by some of his most extremist of supporters.
Trump points to a reporter and says "you're creating violence by your questions. You are creating violence."
"The fake news is creating violence…if the media would write correctly and write accurately and write fairly, you'd have a lot less violence in the country."
This dude pic.twitter.com/oEuoM7hFEg
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) November 2, 2018
“The fake news is creating violence…if the media would write correctly and write accurately and write fairly, you’d have a lot less violence in the country,” Trump said at that time.
Trump frequently cites “fake news” in many of his criticisms, though the term as he uses it largely means media he believes unfairly paints him in a negative light, even if the reporting they’ve done has been factual.