Never mind that the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, IL was committed by a white Trump fan. On Fox News, it was the fault of the “defund the police mantra” promoted by Black Lives Matter.
The spokesperson for this propaganda effort was Black conservative Gianno Caldwell, also a Fox News contributor. Caldwell recently suffered the tragedy of losing his brother to gun violence in Chicago. He’s certainly entitled to his views and I want to give him a lot of slack here.
The Fox & Friends hosts and producers are not entitled to the same clemency. They apparently thought Caldwell’s anger and conservative political views were the only qualifications needed to “explain” to viewers why yesterday’s tragedy happened. Caldwell has not a single credential in criminology, criminal justice or policing.
But Caldwell has the credential that always counts the most on Fox: an enthusiasm for demonizing liberals. Perhaps that was in extra demand given that nobody seemed willing to talk about the Trumpism of the white shooter.
First, Caldwell attacked “Those who would take this moment and disingenuously push gun control.” This, moments before Caldwell went on to “take this moment and disingenuously” push the death penalty.
Cohost Brian Kilmeade interrupted to say, with obvious disgust, “I know, the governor.” Gov. J.B. Pritzker is, of course, a Democrat. Never mind that the mass shooting in his state is his tragedy, too.
What happened in Highland Park happens across Illinois and the nation: communities torn apart by our uniquely American plague of gun violence.— JB Pritzker (@JBPritzker) July 5, 2022
I'm furious. It doesn't have to be this way, yet we allow it.
May the memories of those lost be a blessing -- and a call to action.
Caldwell added, “Insanity! I don’t know if he knows the laws or not, but it’s absolute insanity.” I would bet that Pritzker knows the laws of Illinois better than Caldwell does. In any event, he did not elaborate which law(s) he thinks Gov. Pritzker misunderstood. Nor did any of the three cohosts ask Caldwell to do so.
Rather than dwell on gun control – which is, after all, quite popular, even with likely Fox viewers – Caldwell moved on to suggesting yesterday’s shooting, by a right-winger, was all the left’s fault:
CALDWELL: This defund the police mantra – and I know academics have said, hey, there’s no correlation between an increase in crime and defund the police – this isn’t simply a mantra, a slogan. It comes with soft-on-crime policies. It comes with a mentality that has freed criminals from the idea that they could be captured by the police or prosecuted.
CALDWELL: We must not allow the capitulation of this mantra, of these soft-on-crime policies to continue to exist.
FACT CHECK: The suspected shooter had no criminal record.
None of the hosts mentioned that, either.
So Caldwell segued to arguing that Chicago “needs to consider and start a conversation about potentially re-implementing the death penalty.” The death penalty exists in 27 states (with a governor-imposed moratorium in 3).
FACT CHECK: The federal death penalty is legal in all 50 states. The horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, took place in a state with the death penalty. Ditto for the Parkland school shooting in Florida. The Las Vegas shooting massacre took place in a state with the death penalty, too. It's not at all clear that the death penalty deters crime.
Not one of the three cohosts mentioned any of that, either.
You can watch the Murdochs' Fox & Friends politicize and propagandize a tragedy below, from the July 5, Fox & Friends.