Over the weekend, the New York Times was slammed for running a piece where the news outlet apparently tried to cover up the motives of the man, James T. Hodgkinson, who attacked GOP congressmen playing baseball at Alexandria, Virginia, last week.
Because Hodgkinson was shot dead on the scene of the massacre, the motive behind the attack will most probably never be known, however, most people, including experts, believe that the harsh rhetoric between the two parties is to blame. This is also because Hodgkinson only attacked Republicans. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot near the hip and continues to fight for his life in the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Following the authorities’ confirmation that Hodgkinson was the only shooter in the attack, officials began scrutinizing the 66-year-old’s social media accounts and it wasn’t very hard to figure out the motives behind the attack: James Hodgkinson appears to have been a staunch supporter of socialist politics and had deep-rooted hatred for Republicans and President Donald Trump.
However, despite the ocean of evidence proving Hodgkinson’s hatred for the Repblicans, the New York Times tried to paint a very different picture of the motives. They tried to get the perspective out there that Hodgkinson’s attack on the congressmen was due to his unstable mental conditions and it had nothing to do partisan hatred or politics.
The story’s headline emphasizes that idea: “Before the Gunfire in Virginia, a Volatile Home Life in Illinois.”
The story said:
“No one can truly know what motivates a man to drive halfway across the country, live out of his car — as Mr. Hodgkinson apparently did — and attempt a mass killing of members of Congress. In the days since the shooting, much has been made of Mr. Hodgkinson’s strong political views — he was an ardent supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders’s bid for the 2016 presidential nomination, and he railed against President Trump and Republicans in Washington on his Facebook page and in letters to the editor of the local newspaper.
But another aspect of his personality may have also presaged the shooting: his troubled home life.”
Furthermore, the story described how Hodgkinson was likely suffering from some kind of mental illness and his political ideology had “little” or nothing to do with his attempt to kill only Republicans. The article even went on to quote a Democratic staffer who denied claims that Hodgkinson was known to be a volunteer for them during the 2016 presidential campaign.