When a tragedy occurs, one thing has become almost as certain as death and taxes–wingnut commentators using this as an excuse to get diarrhea of the mouth. Sadly, Friday’s horrific events in New Zealand, in which an Australian shooter gunned down 49 people in two mosques, has proven to be no different.
On the surface, it appeared the most outrageous comments from right-wingers about this tragedy came from two luminaries who channeled Alex Jones and suggested the massacre was a false flag. For instance, Rush Limbaugh claimed that the shooter, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, is actually a leftist who planned this attack to smear conservatives. Lest you believe this is snark, listen here.
Along similar lines, Rodney Howard-Browne, the Trump-worshiping pastor best known as one of the promoters of “holy laughter,” claimed the whole thing was intended as a smear job on the right.
But those aren’t the most unhinged remarks we’ve seen so far about this tragedy. Not by a longshot. That distinction belongs to Bryan Fischer, the afternoon drive time host on American Family Radio. He actually said–with a straight face–that while the shooter’s actions were wrong, he had the right idea.
Fischer has made no secret that he is an Islamophobe. He believes that other countries should follow Donald Trump’s example and ban Muslim immigration for their countries’ sake. He was thrown in Facebook jail in August for suggesting that Muslims should be banned from being anywhere near airplanes, since we don’t know who among them would be willing to slam a plane into a building. Indeed, he is of the mind that only Christians have First Amendment rights.
But Fischer may have outdone himself on Friday’s edition of “Focal Point.” He suggested that the shooter may have had his heart in the right place even if he went about it the wrong way. No, this isn’t snark. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
About 22 minutes into the show, Fischer went on what initially sounded like a typical religious right tirade about Islam. He claimed it was a threat to “everything to you and I treasure.” While Fischer condemned the shooter’s actions, he did say that the shooter was “correct” about the threat Islam represents, and that it is “something that does need to be stopped.”
Fischer went further. He claimed that unless more countries follow Trump’s lead and shut their doors to Muslim immigration, people like the shooter who have “loose wiring to begin with” are going to snap if their governments aren’t protecting them. When that happens, he argued, people like the shooter are going to resort to “vigilante justice.”
What makes this even more outrageous is that Fischer claimed he was mot making excuses for the shooter. Indeed, he called for him to be publicly tried and executed in short order. But this came while he spent almost three minutes making excuses for him. So if the government doesn’t do its job and recognize that Islam is “something that does need to be stopped,” you’re going to see people take matters into their own hands? How irresponsible is that?
As is typical for Fischer, he reveled in the attention. When he found out that Right Wing Watch called him out, he skipped and danced on Facebook.
So if I’m reading this right, Bryan, you’re proud that you made excuses for this shooter. That says a lot about you. Are you willing to say that to the faces of the 49 people who were cut to pieces on Friday?
If you find it acceptable to make excuses for senseless acts of violence like this, you need to check your moral compass. And that assumes you even have one.
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