Sean Hannity did not waste any time casting blame on Democrats after learning about the mass shooting in Maryland today.
As of Thursday afternoon, at least five people who worked at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, have been pronounced dead; details continue to emerge from the deadly shooting.
Media Matters first reported on Hannity’s response, quoting him verbatim:
“By the way, we're getting some breaking news that there was a shooting at the, it's called Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, The Baltimore Sun is now reporting. We have multiple deaths also being reported, and the sheriff is saying that multiple fatalities in a newsroom shooting. Oh, good grief. So scary. The suspect though has been apprehended according to the sheriff. And we'll continue to follow that story.
It's so sad that there are so many sick, demented, and evil people in this world. It really is sad. You know imagine you go to work and this is what you're dealing with today, some crazy person comes in -- and I'm not turning this into a gun debate, I know that's where the media will be in 30 seconds from now. That's not it. You know, as I've always said, I mean honestly -- I've been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really [Rep.] Maxine [Waters]? You want people to create -- "call your friends, get in their faces," and Obama said that too. "Get in their faces, call them out, call your friends, get protesters, follow them into restaurants and shopping malls," and wherever else she said.”
You can listen to the audio here:
Hannity specifically referred to Waters’ remarks from last weekend, when she encouraged anti-Trump supporters to protest those in his administration at a rally in California. Yet Waters certainly did not specify violence in her remarks that were highly scrutinized by elected officials in both parties, nor is there any evidence that the shooting at the newspaper was motivated by anything Waters said.
Waters' comments also followed news from the weekend that press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant.
"Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere. We've got to get the children connected to their parents," Waters said.
"We don't know what damage has been done to these children. All that we know is they're in cages. They're in prisons. They're in jails. I don't care what they call it, that's where they are and Mr. President, we will see you every day, every hour of the day, everywhere that we are to let you know you cannot get away with this," she added.
Likewise, in Hannity’s remarks, there was no mention of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ alleged call to “start gunning journalists down on sight” — a statement he has already publicly defended on Facebook.
“You’re about to see a raft of news stories claiming that I am responsible for inspiring the deaths of journalists,” Yiannopoulos said on Facebook. “The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you.”
“I sent a troll about 'vigilante death squads' as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, 'F---k off.' They then published it,” he said. “Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a 'threat,' I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them – and to make it clear that I wasn’t being serious.”