Salon goes full James Gunn aka Crazy

James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director, completely lost his twitter loving mind after the Capitol Gazette shooting. So much so that it caught the attention of PJ Media.

Gunn regularly tweets that the Steele Dossier has essentially been confirmed so he’s not exactly a beacon of Twittery light. But now he’s basically decided that Trump was to blame for the horrify murders of these journalists. Because he had just called journalists the enemy of the people earlier that week. How are these things connected? Well the Capitol Gazette Obviously employs Journalists…

The truth is they aren’t connected, at least not in the triggering way that Gunn wants. Trump says horrible things about the media all the time. If there was a connection between the Capitol Gazette shooter and Trump’s rhetoric it seems like this would have happened before now. And the object of ire would’ve more likely been the New York Times or Washington Post. Their Op Ed pages are regularly ridiculed by saner conservatives than Trump (who is not actually conservative).

The shooter went after the Capitol Gazette because he had a grudge against the paper dating back many years. Anyone with access to google can figure this out. But what precipitated this event of violence? Nothing needed to trigger him. Humans are complex and make free choices for any number of reasons. But in this case there does seem to be a triggering event. It just wasn’t Trump.

Shockingly Salon managed to find the most likely answer

“On Tuesday, Peroutka, an Anne Arundel County councilman, was defeated for re-election, losing in the Republican primary to a female challenger. That may not be coincidental, Hutson suspects.”

And why should that have mattered? According to Salon:

“Ramos tweeted about only two political figures, Trump and Michael Peroutka.”

The connections to both are tenuous. But the Peroutka connections carry a lot more weight than the Trump one. His solitary tweet related to the President happened in 2015:

“Referring to @realDonaldTrump as ‘unqualified’ @capgaznews could end badly (again).”

Where he then linked to an article about a major lawsuit brought by Trump, as it usually is for defamation. This makes perfect sense within the shooter’s worldview. His grudge against the Gazette had to do with a failed defamation lawsuit. He brought defamation charges against one of their writers and lost.

Clearly this one tweet pertains to that. The shooter’s defamation case ended up being a lost cause and he was able to vicariously live through Trump’s lawsuits.

He also tweeted about Charlie Hebdo. The uniting theme here should be obvious: repercussions for perceived defamation. But that isn’t really what Salon wants their readership to take away from this. It’s entirely nested in anti Trumpism. They want you to think that Trump invited this event:

“So what happened this past week?” Hutson asked. “On June 25, Trump — at his South Carolina rally — pointed to members of the media, and called them the enemy of the people. This is a phrase that throughout history has been used by autocrats to incite violence,” from ancient Rome to the French Revolution to Nazi Germany.”

But this is completely undermined by everything else in the piece. The data is there linking the shooting much more to Peroutka’s loss but they need it to be about Trump. And even without the tweet they most likely would’ve made it abort Trump anyway.

The left’s rhetoric is far more inciting of this sort of behavior, with the kind of completely irresponsible journalism on display from Salon being something they revel in. See this piece from The Federalist about some recent warfare imagery in leftist politics. The most high profile example of this recently being Maxine Waters call for the public harassment of anyone working with the Trump presidency.

And what about the rhetoric surrounding the Congressional baseball shooting last year?

8 days before that horrific assasination attempt HuffPo claimed that violent opposition to Trump was a logical response. But this argument wasn’t made via some cold rational choice calculus. HuffPo considered this a good thing. Something that could save our counrty. Because to them Trump was the real face of “conservatism” finally revealed:

“Trump doesn’t exist in a vacuum. He’s the natural consequence of, among other things, Republicans longstanding embrace of racism, perpetual attacks on the credibility of media, scientists, and the federal government, defunding public education, railing against so-called PC culture, and using immigrants as scape goats. Defeating these systems of power and their underlying apparatuses — think tanks, conservative radio, Fox News, the Tea Party, etc. — is a much longer-term and more demanding task than assuring Trump isn’t elected. Taking on the attitudes that drive them is even more difficult. Assuming anti-Trump protests should be strictly focused on electoral politics and not these broader goals would be a detrimental oversight. Understanding European anti-fascists use of violent tactics to shut down large rallies from White Supremacists can be illustrative here. Because while Trump isn’t leading full bore White Supremacist rallies, there is value in making it clear that even his fascism-lite has no place in civilized society. And whether his candidacy represents how fascism comes to the US or he’s simply opened the door to it is immaterial. Either should be stopped post haste.“

If Trump caused the Capitol Gazette shooting then the left caused an assassination attempt on US leadership. But the truth is no one can make anyone do these things. Humans have souls capable of making decisions. We are not merely matter in motion. We bear God’s image. Trump is irresponsible with this language. So is the media. And of course none of this helps. But denigrating human nature to the kind of thing that can’t make choices only makes all this nonsense worse. We have to return to civility before its too late.

Educator, podcaster, & writer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store