MSNBC used a chyron on Tuesday evening that read “TRUMP-INSPIRED TERRORISM,” in quotation marks, during The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
The context for the chyron was the appearance of a guest, Professor David Schanzer, who published an op-ed in the UK Guardian under the headline: “We must call the El Paso shooting what it is: Trump-inspired terrorism.”
O’Donnell did not question the premise of Schanzer’s article, but rather asked him to elaborate upon it: “Establish for us what you see as the link between Donald Trump’s rhetoric, Donald Trump’s hate speech, and what happened in El Paso.”
The MSNBC host never challenged his guest’s view or expressed any doubt about its premise, nor did he show any concern that it might be inflammatory.
Instead, he allowed Schanzer to recite a laundry list of claims about Trump’s rhetoric. The professor concluded: “This is what highly ideological terrorist organizations do to motivate their followers to violence.”
O’Donnell then asked his guest “how much more of this kind of violence might we see in the next 15 months of the presidential campaign,” given Trump’s rhetoric.
At no point did O’Donnell or his guest note that the El Paso shooter allegedly claimed that he had arrived at his racist ideas many years before Trump’s presidential campaign.
Twenty-two people were killed and roughly two dozen wounded in the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.