A long time ago, when Air Supply and Toto were in heavy radio rotation, I was an 18-year-old Midwestern Republican wearing braces. So I was particularly outraged when news came out of tiny McHenry, North Dakota that braces-wearing 18-year-old Republican Cayler Ellingson was run over and killed for his political views.
Shannon Brandt, 41, struck and killed the teenager with her Ford Explorer SUV early Sunday in an alley. Her mother said Ellingson called her and asked if she knew Brandt (she did). The boy called again shortly after and said either “he” or “they” were after him. The mother couldn’t reach him after that.
The court documents said: “Brandt admitted to hitting the pedestrian with his car because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling people ‘to come and get him.'” He claimed that the teenager was part of an unspecified Republican “extremist group”.
Brandt was released on bail.
While Fox News Channel and Newsmax both began reporting this story Tuesday night, Newsbusters found no coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or MSNBC. What about our taxpayer-funded PBS and NPR? Zero coverage. The New York Times and the Washington Post had nothing.
The Associated Press did a brief article, but it omitted partisan/ideological details, according to which Brandt said Ellingson was a Republican “extremist.” He quoted the Highway Patrol as saying a political argument as a motive is still unfounded. They don’t want it in the “political violence” category, where it becomes a matter of national debate.
This killing bears a resemblance to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer when she was run over by a white nationalist during dueling protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. In this case, 35 other people were killed. injured.
Liberals would insist it was different because it happened on a major protest stage against the removal of Confederate statues that the national media had been anticipating for weeks in advance.
Heyer’s death was touted as a political disaster for then-President Donald Trump. “PBS NewsHour” made headlines as “Trump faces backlash for Charlottesville comments as protest victim is laid to rest.” Joe Biden later said Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville attack inspired him to run for president.
Comedian and actor Michael Ian Black tweeted: “Metaphorically speaking, yesterday the President stood in the middle of 5th Avenue and shot someone. Her name was Heather Heyer.
Liberal media recently published a new set of stories marking the fifth anniversary of Heyer’s death. Doesn’t Ellingson’s death deserve national attention? Or is it just too contrary to the narrative that all political violence is presumed to come from the conservative side?
No one will suggest that’s a problem for Biden, who recently called MAGA Republicans a dangerous threat to democracy.
This lines up with the recent killing of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German by Democratic county official Robert Telles. Since the victim was a journalist, it garnered national attention, but it came with a bad tendency to avoid portraying Telles as a Democrat.
It is harder to speculate that Democratic politicians are inciting violence by using hateful rhetoric if the media seeks to stifle the idea that there is politically motivated violence by Democrats.
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