Briefly: In January, conservative website The Daily Caller published a video of people being run over by cars. Mike Raust, whose byline went with the video, said in the accompanying text:
Here’s a compilation of liberal protesters getting pushed out of the way by cars and trucks. Study the technique; it may prove useful in the next four years.
Fox Nation, the aggregator site of Fox News, then republished the video and caption, giving it greater amplification and traction.
Earlier this month, in the wake of Charlottesville where civil rights lawyer Heather Heyer was killed when a fascist deliberately ran over a group of protestors, Slate rediscovered that video clip, which continued to reside on both Daily Caller and Fox, and called those outlets out.
The Daily Caller and Fox have since taken the clip down. Not because they thought at the time that the clip was inappropriate, that it was an incitement. Not because they were chastened by Charlottesville, where a murderer used the technique they had urged the right wing to “study”. But because they were caught out, called out in public.
Keep this in mind, the next time you hear intemperate TV anchors demonize some person or group. There are dangerously unstable people out there who will take their cues from these rants. And someone will die. And the journalist, the anchor, the website will have killed that person, as surely as if they were at the wheel of that car, or held the knife, or wielded the sword or gun or rope.
(As I’ve said before, I will between instalments of the Media Matters deep dive use this blog as a scratch-pad to collect incidents, thoughts that I can connect up later in the series. This is one such.)