After James “The Joker” Holmes committed unspeakable acts of violence at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” last Friday, ABC’s Brian Ross — in what can only be described as a sloppy act of journalism — practically jumped at the chance to tie the shooter to the Tea Party.
“There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, CO, uh Paige, on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last summer. We don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it is Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado,” Ross said.
Problem: Ross and ABC never investigated the connection. Had they checked their facts, they would’ve discovered that the 52-year-old Tea Partier was not, in fact, the same man arrested by Aurora police that morning. But that didn’t stop Ross. He went on national television and casually tossed out the idea that the Tea Party might somehow be connected to the “Batman” massacre.
Of course, ABC and Ross have apologized for their sloppy reporting, but the speculation remains: Somebody, whether it was Ross or his producers, wanted to tie the conservative grassroots movement to the nightmarish events that took place that night.
But you know what? Conservatives should be used to this at this point. After all, it’s not like Ross’ undisciplined act of media malpractice is a first. Indeed, the media has a long and illustrious history of trying to tie acts of psychopathic violence to either the Tea Party or some other conservative group or personality.
Lawyer and Blogger Gabriel Malor has an op-ed in the New York Post that includes a sampling of some of the moments when the media, without any sort of evidence or proof, has falsely connected conservatism to random and senseless acts of violence. We’ve decided to pick six of them and go into detail.