As news broke Thursday afternoon of a gunman opening fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, Sean Hannity wasted no time blaming Democrats, specifically Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former President Barack Obama, for fueling the potential motive behind the shooting.
“I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric,” Hannity said on his radio program Thursday afternoon. “Really Maxine?” He then went on to suggest that both Waters and Obama had urged people to “get in their faces, call them out, call your friends, get protesters, follow them into restaurants and shopping malls, and wherever else she said.”
The inflammatory comments come amid this week’s controversy over Waters’ recent remarks in which she encouraged Democrats to protest Trump administration officials in public. President Donald Trump, along with many other conservatives, immediately seized upon the comments to falsely accuse the California lawmaker of attempting to incite violence against administration officials.
Meanwhile, as reports of what had occurred at the Capital Gazette’s offices were slowly confirmed, Hannity’s colleagues on Fox News speculated on-air about the “ideological bent” of the newspaper. Anchor Trace Gallagher noted that it was very much a “local” news organization, before stating that they had no confirmed information about the gunman’s motives.
Fox News says they "checked in on the ideological bent" of the Capital Gazette but decided it was "very local" with no "major ideological bent" — then acknowledges they don't yet know if this is at all relevant to the motive. pic.twitter.com/wEPI5w2FHC
— David Mack (@davidmackau) June 28, 2018
What is with this repeated line of questioning on Fox? pic.twitter.com/JyvV9CN3M7
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 28, 2018
On Facebook, the far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos insisted that he “wasn’t being serious” with his comments this week calling on people to start “gunning journalists down on sight.”