CNN anchor Brian Stelter appeared to try to get a Capital Gazette employee to blame the recent shooting at his newspaper on President Donald Trump and his “anti-media rhetoric.” He didn’t get the answer he was likely hoping for.
“Joshua, do you feel this was just an isolated incident? A suspect with a grudge against the paper? Or do you think there’s something about anti-media rhetoric becoming louder and more dangerous?” Stelter asked.
Watch the full exchange below:
The employee Joshua Mckerrow, responded like a true journalist, refusing to speculate on facts that he didn’t know.
“I think there have always been threats to newsrooms. It’s always been something you’ve known in the back of your mind. It’s not for me to report whether the rhetoric has raised this or had anything to contribute with this. I don’t know the facts,” he responded.
He continued, “I know our job as a newspaper and journalists is to create empathy. That’s how I’ve always viewed my job. And I think we’re lacking that. We’re lacking — we’ve never talked and yelled at each other more than we do now. And yet we’re not — it’s not working. Nothing is sinking in. You know, I want to rededicate the rest of my career in helping to create more empathy and dedication.”
Five Capital Gazette employees were killed on Thursday after a crazed gunman entered the newspaper's offices and opened fire. The victims have been identified as Gerald Fischman, Bob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
Even before any facts had come out in the case, several Trump critics placed blame on the president for attacking "fake news."
"Crickets from Republicans about Trump's threats at the media, including referring to them as the "enemy of the people" two times in the last three weeks, after the shooting of 5 at the Capital Gazette," activist Amy Siskind tweeted.
Similar unfounded accusations were also shared by other prominent liberal activists.