An election-denying, losing MAGA candidate in New Mexico has been arrested and accused in the shootings of multiple Democratic politicians’ homes. Fox “News” has spent less than a minute on the story.
I wrote about this case for Crooks and Liars not long ago and noted how easily multiple people could have been killed. Since then, an arrest has been made: Solomon Pena (his twitter feed does not have a tilde over the “n”), the losing Republican candidate for a state House district in Albuquerque. From CNN:
Solomon Peña, who lost his 2022 run for state House District 14, was arrested Monday by Albuquerque police for allegedly paying and conspiring with four men to shoot at the homes of two state legislators and two county commissioners in December and January, authorities said. No one was injured but investigators said Peña intended to cause serious injury or death.
Pena lost his November race by nearly 50 percentage points, CNN notes, but he refused to concede. The Santa Fe New Mexican has more on this Republican candidate:
Pena, who voices support for Trump in Twitter posts and calls himself "the MAGA king," previously was convicted of 19 felonies, including burglary, larceny, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and receiving stolen property. He spent almost seven years in prison.
As Media Matters noted, a critical aspect of this story is Pena’s alleged motive:
[Pena] has made conspiratorial claims that the election was stolen. “Once the rigging is stopped, I will be sworn in as the State Rep for district 14,” Pena wrote in one Twitter post. He also was in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, when then-President Donald Trump gathered his supporters in an attempted insurrection to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, and has since repeatedly voiced his support for Trump’s false claims about elections being stolen by Democrats.
I think we can all imagine the endless Fox poutrage had a Democrat been arrested for similar crimes against multiple Republican politicians. But a Republican nabbed for potentially deadly violence against Democrats? Less than one minute of coverage, according to Media Matters.
The first mention of this story on Fox News was not even intentional: The network was carrying a live feed of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s briefing with reporters, when a journalist asked a question.
Fox first purposefully included the story during a headline update on Special Report, lasting less than 30 seconds. The story received another 20 seconds of coverage on Fox News @ Night, as part of a collection of stories headlined under Fox’s misleading category “America’s Crime Crisis.” Fox mentioned in both instances that Pena had lost his campaign for the state legislature, but the network did not mention his false claims that the election was stolen, the fact that he had previously visited a county commissioner’s home to complain about the results, or his presence in Washington on the day of the January 6 insurrection.
It's not a surprise Fox doesn’t want to talk about this story, given its long history of promoting MAGA election deniers and painting conservatives as ever threatened by Democrats and/or the left. And Fox might be a tad sensitive about Republican candidates being alleged criminals, given the major George Santos scandals House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is turning a blind eye to.
But most of all, Fox never wants to paint Democrats in a sympathetic light. Or, to put it another way, Fox has not figured out any way to weaponize for its own side political violence conducted by a Republican candidate. But if the Murdoch network does find an expedient angle, you can bet the talking heads will suddenly start to chatter.
You can watch some of MSNBC’s coverage below, from the January 18, 2023 Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace.
I find it mind-boggling to note that a lady who’s voting rights had been restored and who told the election officials of the issue, can – in the USA – be sentenced to five years in jail for doing so (her vote was never counted) while a guy who was a convicted felon and still officially unable to vote could run for office.
Just boggles the mind, that does. Could it be that the lady was black and the fella was white?