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Liberal pundits and mainstream news organizations were quick to blame Republicans for the mass shooting Saturday in Buffalo, and right-leaning observers have taken notice of the reoccurring phenomenon of using tragedy to go after political opponents.
“Yet again, the liberal media have decided that they couldn’t let a crisis go to waste without further inflaming not only partisan divisions, but venomous racial tensions,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News Digital.
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“This story illustrates the ugly and destructive behavior that the liberal media so gleefully peddle in not only ostracizing Americans whose only crime is voting differently than they do, but labeling them as enemies and people worth fearing, even if they’re right next door or family members,” Houck continued. “Unfortunately, it has and will continue to lead us to a dangerous place no one should want to go.”
Payton Gendron allegedly entered a Tops Friendly Market grocery store on Saturday and killed 10 people while injuring three others. Eleven of the victims were Black while the remaining two were White.
“A deranged racist monster opened fire at a supermarket murdering ten innocent Americans. Tonight, we all do pray for all of the victims and their families and the entire city of Buffalo, everyone impacted by this despicable act of violence. Sadly, yet unfortunately, predictably, many on the left almost immediately started exploiting their pain, their suffering for political gain,” Sean Hannity said on Monday’s edition of “Hannity.”
“In fact, after the shooting, it took Democrats just three hours to start blaming Republicans and conservatives,” Hannity continued. “It’s the same terrible smear tactic that liberals have been using for years.”
Hannity noted that former President Bill Clinton once blamed Rush Limbaugh and talk radio for the Oklahoma City bombing, then-Senator Joe Biden blamed former President George W. Bush for the Virginia Tech massacre, and The New York Times felt the GOP was responsible for the Pulse nightclub shooting.
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This time, liberal pundits and left-leaning news organizations have placed blame on conservatives, such as Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.
ABC’s “The View” co-host Joy Behar used the Buffalo shooting to warn Stefanik and her staff to “quit now” or “it’s only going to get worse,” claiming the Republican lawmaker espoused the same racist views as the shooter.
“Stop saying that you are pro-life if you are pro-AR-15s in the hands of young men who have wild ideas and racist theories in their heads, that are listening to people like this Elise Stefanik. We’re all looking at you, Elise,” Behar said, pointing her finger to the camera.
The Washington Post and other media outlets accused Stefanik of “echoing” the “racist Great Replacement Theory,” which is believed to have inspired the Buffalo gunman.
“While Stefanik has not pushed the theory by name, she and other conservatives have echoed the tenets of the far-right ideology as part of anti-immigrant rhetoric that has fired up the Republican base ahead of the midterm elections,” the Post wrote in a report on Sunday.
Stefanik denied these accusations through an adviser, calling them “sickening and false reporting,” but she isn’t the only Republican taking heat from the liberal media.
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CNN’s Don Lemon aired a montage of Republican lawmakers “humming the same tune” as Gendron, the Los Angeles Times editorial board claimed Republicans have allowed the “normalization” of White Supremacy and countless left-leaning accounts have made similar claims on social media.
In a piece for Rolling Stone, Talia Lavin argued the Republican Party catered to people with racial beliefs like Gendron’s, according to his alleged manifesto, as well as those willing to take similar action over changing racial demographics.
“The gnawing fear of a minority-white America has utterly consumed conservative politics for the past half-decade, creating a Republican Party whose dual obsessions with nativism and white fertility have engendered a suite of policies engineered to change the nature of the body politic,” Lavin wrote. “What unites murderers like Gendron, and the long list of White supremacist attackers he cited with admiration, with the mainstream of the Republican Party is the dream of a White nation.”
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DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall believes the causes of “any heinous shooting are always complicated and there is an awkwardness in trying to assign blame” simplistically, or to particular individuals, but the left went ahead and assigned blame anyway.
“The establishment media have appeared to eagerly respond to the tragic Buffalo shooting by pointing fingers at certain politicians, such as Stefanik,” McCall told Fox News Digital. “This kind of rush to judgement is exploitative and sensational, and disrupts the nation’s ability to determine and understand both the broad and specific causes of the tragedy.”
The “Jesse Watters Primetime” namesake also took notice of the trend, calling it a “dirty” political tactic.
“The goal is to conflate white supremacists with the Republican Party. This is done to shame Republican voters and galvanize Democrat voters, especially African-Americans. It’s about as dirty as a political move as there is in American politics,” Watters said Monday. “The left is seeking to capitalize on this racially motivated attack to further divide this country by race and profit from that division politically and financially”
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Meanwhile, MSNBC host and legal contributor Katie Phang compared Gendron to Kyle Rittenhouse, who remains loathed by the left after being acquitted of murder charges in fatal during 2020 civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Phang’s rhetoric echoed sentiments from other leftist Twitter users and media outlets, including comedian and talk show host Chip Franklin, who shared an image of officers arresting Gendron with the caption, “This is what happens when we make Kyle Rittenhouse the hero and Colin Kaepernick the villain.”
Mainstreet Law founder Tristan Snell also followed suit on the Rittenhouse comparison, writing, “Remember when we said that acquitting Kyle Rittenhouse would embolden the next Kyle Rittenhouse to be far worse? Yeah.”
Conservative radio host Jason Rantz feels Americans should “focus on remembering the victims, highlighting policy problems when they exist, and condemn the killers — not political opponents,” but liberals can’t help themselves. Rantz – who regularly appears on “Faulkner Focus” to discuss innocent Americans being murdered throughout the nation — believes other tragic incidents go largely overlooked by the same pundits rushing to blame the Buffalo shooting on Republicans.
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“How many people – primarily Black – die in Chicago every week by gun violence? Black lives matter except in Democrat-run cities when partisans can’t pin the violence on Republicans,” Rantz told Fox News Digital. “There’s a reason those stories are ignored by Democrats and left-wing media – they can’t weaponize it to go after political opponents.”
Fox News’ Kristine Parks, Greg Norman, Brandon Gillespie and Taylor Penley contributed to this report.