Last week, former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner went on a murderous rampage throughout Southern California, shooting seven people, including five members of law enforcement, killing three. Before he went on his spree, Dorner wrote a manifesto praising liberal policies on gun control, media personages including Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews and politicians including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
But the bulk of Dorner’s manifesto centered on his hatred for the police department from which he had been fired in 2009. He claimed in the manifesto that the LAPD “has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse.” He accused the LAPD of widespread racism and brutality. And he traced the LAPD’s racism to broad societal racism: “My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school … I made a life decision that I will not tolerate racial derogatory terms spoken to me.” He continued: “I am here to change and make policy.”
When Jared Lee Loughner shot Gabby Giffords, the media immediately leapt to the conclusion that Loughner had been bathed in the water of political incivility. They attributed his shooting to a political map from Sarah Palin’s website. They blamed the Tea Party.
When Adam Lanza murdered 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the media jumped to the position that the NRA’s “gun culture” was responsible. They suggested that violent video games and movies had to be curbed.
But when it came to Dorner, the media suggested that his manifesto meant nothing — nothing! Piers Morgan blamed Dorner’s “deranged criminality,” although he said nothing of the sort about Loughner or Lanza.
If the manifesto (SET ITAL) did (END ITAL) mean something, the media said, it was that Dorner was essentially right about the LAPD. CNN reported, “LA cops stalked by suspect — and a brutal past.” The New York Times reported, “The killings and Mr. Dorner’s online manifesto have reopened old wounds for some black residents here, even as they condemned the violence.”
The media never once stopped to consider that it was their coverage of the LAPD that may have created the cultural background noise for Dorner’s belief system. Liberal Hollywood and the media regularly portray law enforcement as a bastion of bigotry and nastiness. Every depiction of LAPD in the last 20 years has focused on their supposed hatred for minorities, their corruption, their violence. If we are going to suppose that culture creates criminals, then leftist culture is responsible for Dorner.
In truth, we are all responsible for our own actions. But the double standard of the media is truly stunning. Next time they try to claim that Constitutional conservatism is responsible for mass shootings, the media ought to be reminded of Christopher Dorner.
Ben Shapiro, 29, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is The New York Times bestselling author of “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.”