We keep talking about the dangerous rhetoric that is being thrown around by Donald Trump, those in his administration and the right-wing media that supports and enables them—but we keep getting shut down and told that we are the ones with the real problem, not them.
Even as they deny peddling propaganda, playing dirty politics and telling outright lies, they continue to give us examples that prove they are doing exactly that, and our job here at The Root is to lay those out for you.
Sean Hannity is the latest example of the crazy, dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric that is going to get someone killed. On Thursday, mere moments after learning of the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Hannity laid the blame for the incident at the feet of California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.
In a clip shared by Media Matters, Hannity can be heard telling radio listeners of his Sean Hannity Show: “By the way, we’re getting some breaking news that there was a shooting at the, it’s called Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., 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.”
Hannity goes on to say that the suspect has been apprehended; then he says he will follow the story and keep listeners updated. He then laments the “many sick, demented and evil people in this world” and calls the situation sad. He says that he is not going to turn it into a gun debate, which he knows the media is going to do “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,” Hannity says.
“Really, Maxine?” he then asks, referring to Waters. “You want people to create—‘Call your friends, get in their faces,’ and [Barack] 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.”
In that moment, Hannity did something that Trump has also done, and that is falsely accuse Waters of inciting violence simply because she encouraged people to confront Trump-administration officials about their politics and policies.
We all know Waters was referring to a verbal confrontation, but as is their way, the other side spins that into something more sinister to make it look bad to their base.
“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!” the president tweeted Monday.
Should his tweet be considered a veiled threat and a call for violence against the congresswoman?
Waters specifically clarified her remarks with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Monday night, saying, “I did not call for harm for anybody; the president lied again.”
What both Hannity and Trump are doing is incendiary and dangerous to the congresswoman and our country. They know they are lying and misrepresenting the facts, and they don’t care. Whatever is going to get their base rabid and foaming at the mouth works for them and their agenda.
And that’s all they care about.
Be aware of this and call it out when you see it. Because it’s going to keep happening.