After a mass shooter at a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland killed five people and injured several others on Thursday, Fox News was quick to investigate the paper’s “ideological bent.”
While police were still combing the crime scene, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto saw fit to opine about the paper’s political leanings.
“I didn’t notice any rabid editorials or polarizing coverage,” he said in an interview with Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D). “It just seems like it was a solid local paper with a lot of political and related stories, but nothing that would be deemed to my eyes to be overly controversial or polarizing.”
Cavuto wasn’t the only Fox reporter interested in The Capital newspaper’s political leanings. Fox News’ Trace Gallagher checked the paper’s “ideological bent” and concluded it was “very much a local newspaper.”
“The paper itself doesn’t appear very ideological. It’s a local newspaper and they cover local topics,” Gallagher said. “They do endorse candidates. I’m not sure if that upset anybody.”
Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity quickly pivoted to finding someone to blame for the multiple fatalities, and he decided on Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). According to Hannity, the “hateful rhetoric” Waters espoused, in the form of calling on voters to “push back” when they see White House officials in public, was responsible for the shooting.
“I’ve always said, I mean honestly,” Hannity said. “I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really Maxine? You want people to create — ‘call your friends, get in their faces, and Obama said that too.”
Hannity’s accusations were echoed by far-right conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer, who recently filed charges for “assault” against Waters. “I wonder if the shooter in Annapolis today is a supporter of @RepMaxineWaters,” Loomer tweeted.
According to police, the Annapolis shooter was a white male in his late 30s, who is currently refusing to cooperate with investigators. He reportedly used a shotgun and left a suspicious package at the scene.
Phil Davis, the crime reporter for The Capital, told the Baltimore Sun the crime scene was “like a warzone.”
“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff… all the time,” he said. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”
This piece has been updated with new information about the shooter’s age