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The MRC's Gay Club Massacre Deflection

After a massacre at a gay club, the Media Research Center tried to deflect from right-wing homophobia to push dubious claims the alleged shooter is nonbinary. It pulled a similar deflection after a 2016 massacre by obsessing over the shooter's Muslim identity.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 4/5/2023

After a gunman killed five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Media Research Center did what it usually does in such tragedies: deflect and distract from the idea that right-wing rhetoric and policies may have inspired it. Its first post related to the shooting, a Nov. 21 piece by Jason Cohen, ran to the defense of notorious right-wing homophobe Matt Walsh:
A tragic mass shooting occurred at a Colorado LGBTQ club called Club Q that killed five people and injured 25. The left is doing its best to use it for its political agenda.

As Rahm Emmanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste."

Matt Walsh tweeted about this: “Leftists are using a mass shooting to try and blackmail us into accepting the castration and sexualization of children. These people are just beyond evil. I have never felt more motivated to oppose everything they stand for, with every fiber of my being. Despicable scumbags.”

He added, “People die and the first thing they think is, ‘Yes! We can use this as ammo against conservatives who don't think children should be exposed to drag shows!’

Soulless demons. Evil to the core. Truly.”

The left is freaking out to the point where “Matt Walsh” is trending on Twitter.

A clinical instructor at Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic named Alejandra Carabello tweeted the following insane viral tweet that exemplifies the reaction from many liberals: “Matt Walsh isn't upset that someone shot up a gay bar, he's upset that more people weren't killed. He has a bloodlust for the murder of LGBTQ people. He's doubling down on it and wants more of it.”

One must wonder whether they truly believe this or if they are exaggerating to go viral.

It is sick to think the people you disagree with support the mass murder of LGBTQ people when there is no evidence to suggest that.

Yet Cohen offered no evidence or denial to prove that Walsh does not support that.

Nicholas Fondacaro whined when it was pointed out how much Republicans hate LGBTQ people: "Anti-Christian bigotry and blasphemy were the themes of Monday’s edition of ABC’s The View following a weekend mass shooting at a Colorado Springs, Colorado gay bar. Despite admitting they didn’t know what motivated the shooter, the cast lashed out at Republicans and Christians by suggesting “Jesus would be the grand marshal” of a gay pride parade and hinted that they’re like January 6 rioters and poor human beings." (Tim Graham similarly whined about this in his Nov. 21 podcast.)

Kevin Tober complained in a post the same day that homophobic rhetoric was being called out that may inspire violence:

In light of the reported shooting at an "LGBTQ" club in Colorado Springs, Colorado in which five people were killed and 17 were injured, Monday night's The ReidOut on MSNBC sought to blame conservatives' fight to protect children from sexually inappropriate drag shows and other forms of grooming for inspiring the attack that occurred at that club, despite there being no word from authorities on a motive.

To make matters worse, host Joy Reid attempted to normalize "drag queen story hour" for children in which a man in a dress reads to children. Reid even aired footage of one of these sexually inappropriate shows that reportedly occurred at a New York Public Library. Any normal viewer who saw the footage Reid aired would realize how horrifying it was that the left wants children exposed to these events.

"I have been to one with kids there, with like kids there," Reid bragged referring to drag shows. "I want to show you guys what drag queen story hours look like because there was a drag show that was supposed to be at this club when this attack happened. I just want those who don't know what they look like to see what one looks like," Reid said before airing the clip of a man pretending to be a woman.

"It makes me sad," Reid said after airing the footage, "that that scares right-wing people so much that they would try to ban it or your governor sued people over it. And then people act surprised when there's violence against people who are trans and LGBTQ."


[Brandon Wolf of "radical LGBTQ activist group Equality Florida"] ended by accusing conservatives of causing the shooting at the nightclub by pushing back on the grooming of children: "these people should be absolutely ashamed of themselves that their rhetoric, that their vile language has turned into violence in a community that is now traumatized forever."

See how this works? They can put drag queens in your five-year-old's classroom but if you object, you are to blame for mass shootings at gay nightclubs.

Note that Tober never denounced the shooting. He complained further in another post:

On Monday’s edition of MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, host Nicolle Wallace assembled a panel of malcontents and miscreants to hurl the vilest, and most unhinged insults and allegations against religious conservatives and Fox News hosts that they could think of as a way to blame them for the mass shooting at an “LGBTQ” club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Wallace started off the dumpster fire of a segment by blaming Fox News for the incident at the club: “You have anti-LGBTQ rhetoric spewed on the most watched hours of Fox News at a regular clip against the U.S. Military, against gay men and women, against gay teachers, against their right to exist.”

Turning to Michigan state Senator Mallory McMorrow who was brought on the show for some unknown reason to discuss a shooting that took place in another state that she doesn’t represent, Wallace asked McMorrow to presumably trash conservatives and “speak to the dehumanization that goes on all day, every day, in America.”

McMorrow proved why she’s the latest liberal darling on Wallace’s show which has been dubbed the liberal wine mom hour on MSNBC:

Tober didn't identify anyone who wasn't a right-wing activist or who was even outside MRC HQ who actually says that.

In a Nov. 22 post, Curtis Houck repeated earlier whining that an anti-trans ad by Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker was brought up in discussion of the shooting:

On Monday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom, things briefly took a bizarre and sinister turn when the leftist regime tied Georgia Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker to the deadly mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub. The reason? Well, he released an ad on Monday with former NCAA All-American Riley Gaines denouncing transgender athletes competing in women’s sports.

Co-host Victor Blackwell noted the shooting and immediately pivoted to Walker: “[A]s you know, there was that mass shooting Saturday night in Colorado Springs at an LGBTQ nightclub. Five people killed. Herschel Walker in Georgia has released a new ad today. Let's play a portion of it.”


Exit question: How many CNN anchors and likeminded folks at MSNBC want their young children to be taught sex ed and encourage them to explore changing their gender?

Actually, right-wing transphobia is about much more than this, but Houck obviously wants to minimize the issue to make that hatred look more benign than it is.

Alex Christy whined in his own post that day:

NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Jenny Hagel and CBS The Late Show host Stephen Colbert reacted to the shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub that left five dead by making sure they mentioned every possible left-wing cliché by blaming everything from gun culture, the Supreme Court, unhealthy concepts of masculinity, homophobia, transphobia, to conservatives.


People who do not want their children taught about the 58 alleged genders are not responsible for a mass shooting. That’s insane, not “dehumanizing,” and ultimately just a not-so clever way to try to shut people up.


Blaming people other than the shooter for mass shootings and calling a part of the Bill of Rights a failure is not the best way to convince people to vote for your preferred candidates, but that won’t stop Colbert from trying.

Like the others, Christy did not cite any major anti-trans activist denouncing the shooting or state that the right-wing anti-trans agenda does not exclude violence as a means to reaching its goals. And no MRC writer could be bothered to actually denounce the shooting -- they were too busy on spin patrol.

Suddenly, a new narrative emerged, and the MRC quickly pounced on it, as a Nov. 22 post by Tober gleefully detailed:

Late on Tuesday night, court filings by the attorneys for the alleged shooter from the LGBTQ night club in Colorado Springs, Colorado revealed the shooter is non-binary and goes by they/them pronouns. After spending the past two days smearing conservative Christians for allegedly inspiring this apparent attack against gay people, CNN Tonight anchor Alisyn Camerota was clearly stunned as she watched her network’s narrative come crashing down.

Breaking the news to her audience, Camerota begrudgingly reported that the “attorneys for the accused shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, say in new court filings tonight that the suspect now identifies as non-binary.”

She went on to reveal that “In a footnote to a motion, asserting legal privileges, the public defenders say, quote, Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns. And for the purposes of all formal filings will be addressed as Mx Aldrich. So in other words, not Mr. or Ms..”

After revealing that new revelation that completely contradicted and destroyed the narrative the leftist media has pushed for days, she turned to her panel speechless: “I don't know what to say about that. I mean that's not anything that we had heard from his background. People had been looking into his background.”

Desperately looking to her panel for a lifeline she asked “are you guys lawyers? I mean, you know, I don't know what to say about that. That's what he's now saying.”

Christy complained: "As its name suggests, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour airs at 11:00 Eastern, which on Tuesday was well after the bombshell report that the Colorado Springs shooter identifies as non-binary. Still, host Stephanie Ruhle wondered how to combat conservatives who are 'dehumanizing' anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual." Tober returned to rant:

On Wednesday's MSNBC Reports, host Lindsey Reiser and guest Scott Mccoy of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center doubled down on the now-debunked leftist media narrative that conservatives wanting to protect children from drag shows and other forms of grooming are somehow responsible for the shooting that happened at the gay night club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Houck huffed in a Nov. 23 post:

Late Tuesday, the leftist narrative about early Sunday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub crumbled as the suspect’s lawyer revealed their client is nonbinary, blowing holes in the narrative that Christian conservatives and Fox News caused the attack. Of course, NBC promptly dropped any mention of the massacre on Wednesday’s Today while ABC’s Good Morning America omitted this inconvenient truth.

NBC did, however, find time for stories it deemed more important, such as a 25-second news brief on the Supreme Court clearing the way for a House committee to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Tim Graham was in full gloat mode in his Nov. 23 podcast:

The chorus of "I told you so" broke out after public defenders of the alleged mass shooter at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado explained their client was "non-binary" and used "they/them" pronouns. So much for the notion that statements by Tucker Carlson and GOP politicians were somehow responsible for the violent crimes. On every leftist channel, they were blaming "a climate of rhetoric" instead of the shooter. CNN's Alison Camerota was beside herself.

Conservatives have (and should have) blamed the criminal for the violent crimes committed. As we pointed out Monday, law enforcement hadn't located a movie for these murders, but the Left pounced on "anti-LGBTQ hate" as the real killer. They didn't have an easy way out of that dark alley once the defense lawyers spoke.

Graham returned to whine in a Nov. 25 post:

The aggressive downplaying of Colorado Springs mass-shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich declaring himself "non-binary" isn’t just contained to TV news. Thursday’s Washington Post managed to Post-pone that information until paragraph 31 of a story blandly headlined “Suspect is held without bond after hearing while awaiting formal charges.”

However, in addition to failing to entertain the idea that a nonbinary person can hate LGBTQ people as much as a conservative, the MRC's ideological victory lap may have been premature. More details about the alleged shooter, Anderson Aldrich, are coming to light, and NBC reported that the nonbinary claim "could be an effort to further harm the queer community" and contradicts what has been learned about Aldrich:

Online extremism experts say the suspect could be trolling — which is when someone makes an inflammatory or disingenuous remark meant to provoke — and that the discord and confusion created among the queer community and right-wing pundits could be intentional. Xavier Kraus, who said he lived next door to the suspect and the suspect’s mother from August 2021 to September 2022, said he believes the claim that Aldrich is nonbinary is “a total troll on the community, and a total troll on the system.” Aldrich, he said, never used they/them pronouns with him or mentioned being nonbinary.

Kraus said he and the suspect — public records show they lived one door away from each other in a Colorado Springs apartment complex — were close friends until a few months ago, when the two had a falling out. Aldrich made racist and homophobic statements, including saying they “hate faggots,” Kraus alleged, but Kraus said he was afraid to confront the suspect because Aldrich was “a very angry person” who owned guns.


That skepticism only grew this week after NBC News reported that the FBI is looking into two websites connected to the suspect. One of the websites, which Kraus said Aldrich created in the spring or early summer, is a forum-type “free speech” site where people have anonymously posted racist and antisemitic memes, language and videos.


A video on the site’s homepage advocates for killing civilians as a way to “cleanse” society, and it celebrates Brenton Tarrant, an Australian white supremacist who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019. In one part of the video, there is an image of a wall that reads “Free Tarrant,” along with two other mass shooters, and “Race War.” A laughing face spins in the middle of the screen, next to the wall, and a message at the bottom reads, “We do a little trolling LOL.”


The suspect’s involvement in that side of the internet “points more toward the possibility that the suspect invoked nonbinary pronouns as a means to get one last insult in on the LGBT community,” Holt said.

The MRC has not only censored this news, it continued to hype the shooter's claimed nonbinary status. A Dec. 13 post by Brad Wilmouth referencing the massacre -- three days after the NBC article was published -- made a point of noting that "the perpetrator of the attack has claimed to be LGBTQ himself, identifying as nonbinary."

2016 gay nightclub massacre

If this pattern of deflection and distraction sounds familiar, that's because it is -- the MRC did something quite similar  in the aftermath of the June 2016 massacre at the LGBT club Pulse in Orlando, Fla. Its first post on the massacre was Tom Blumer whining that "Hours after this morning's massacre in Orlando, Florida, the Associated Press is already brandishing the gun-control agenda":

In a report with a time stamp of 9:16 a.m. Eastern Time, the AP, with its list apparently always at the ready, gave the following headline to its rundown of "some of the nation's deadliest rampages since 2012": "Florida nightclub attack just the latest US mass shooting." In other words, Dear Reader, while we're busy minimizing the larger significance of the massacre, we want to make sure you understand that events such as these will continue to occur as long as guns are available.

After it was revealed that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was a Muslim, Blumer cranked out a post a few hours later complaining that an imam was allowed to speak at a police news conference: "Curious reporters, assuming there are still any out there, should wonder, if religious beliefs had nothing to do with Omar Mateen's terrorist killing spree, why a representative from just one religion would be present to comment." That, of course, led him to compile bullet points suggesting that all Muslims are murderous terrorists:

  • As to the lack of "known" connections, I guess it depends on what one means by "connected." At the New York Post reported before 10 a.m. that terrorist mass murderer Omar Mateen "had committed himself to ISIS before carrying out the bloodiest mass murder in US history at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, federal officials said." Mateen sure thought he was "connected," didn't he?
  • As to "shifting the focus," I guess we're supposed to take Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, at his word, that "this has nothing to do with religion." Whatever you do, reporters, don't look into the fact that Seddique owns a "religious non-profit" called the Durand Jirga, or that he, as the Washington Post has reported, "is an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban." The Post also reports that in a video posted "Just hours before the Orlando shooting ... he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan's president, and orders the arrest of an array of Afghan political figures." Gosh, why would anyone want to "focus" on that? (That's sarcasm, folks.)
  • As to Imam Musri's references to "mass shootings," it's as if the Orlando massacre is just like every other incident involving a far smaller number of multiple deaths with no religion-based motivation. Sorry, sir. It's the worst terrorist attack — and yes, as seen in my earlier post, law enforcement characterized the attack in that manner many hours ago — on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.

Houck whined about the gun angle being brought up again:

As if media behavior concerning a motive of Sunday’s Orlando terror attack hadn’t already sunk towards the bottom, NBC’s Dateline vastly accelerated the spin not toward radical Islamists but gun control with correspondent Josh Mankiewicz lecturing the American people that Islam almost never related to mass shootings but “our long history” of people dying are instead. 


Sounding like a true gun control activist, Mankiewicz added the line about the U.S. being the only western country with the same level of gun violence that’s brought on itself “a long history” of incidents:
A few hours later, Houck simped in defense of the National Rifle Association, complaining that "The New York Times allowed barely a day to elapse before it sought to blame the Orlando terror attack on the National Rifle Association (NRA) as columnist Roger Cohen argued in a column filed on Monday that the Brexit movement, the NRA, and Donald Trump have contributed with ISIS to a world that encourages such acts of violence."

Blumer returned to complain that Mateen was being singled out to make lone-wolf extremists look bad:

In his second speech on Sunday morning's terrorist massacre in Orlando, Florida, President Barack Obama said  on Monday that "the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the Internet," that "we see no clear evidence that he was directed externally," and that "this is certainly an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been so concerned about for a very long time."

The press, led as usual by the Associated Press, is certainly cooperating with those characterizations. Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has clearly made up her mind that Omar Mateen committed a "lone wolf" attack, and that banning "assault weapons" would somehow prevent future such attacks. The problem, of course, is what one means by "homegrown" and "directed."


(While on the topic, why would we be comforted if Mateen really was a "lone wolf,"even though as seen in this post, he really wasn't in any meaningful sense? Apparently, lib-logic dictates that if we prevent "lone wolves" with "mental stability" problems from getting guns, we'll all be safer. Of course, this would in short order turn into an excuse to prevent any and all gun purchases, because after all, how can we really tell how stable a person is or will be? Next: Confiscation, because how can we trust our neighbors to be mentally stable enough at all times?)

More complaining ensued that the influence of right-wing gun culture and homophobia was called out:

Clay Waters complained that the Muslim angle wasn't being pushed enough (and right-wing disdain for LGBT people pushed too much):

The New York Times lead editorial Wednesday on the Orlando massacre, “The Threat to Gay Americans,” was notable both for the words it did contain – names of Republicans who the Times repugnantly held responsible for fostering the hatred that led to the mass murder – and for the words it didn’t contain: “Radical Islam.”

That’s despite Omar Mateen, the actual mass murderer, calling a local TV reporter and stating “I did it for ISIS.


And Frank Bruni’s column on Wednesday, “Stand With Gay Americans,” picked up on a leftist meme condemning Republicans for not using the phrase LGBT in statements immediately after the Orlando massacre. (A similar experiment could have been performed about Democrats who failed to use the words “ISIS” or “Islam” in their comments, but that wouldn’t interest the Times.) Bruni’s own column mentioned “Islamic State” precisely once, in paragraph 11.

Waters followed up with the same complaint a day later: "NY Times Again Blames Anti-Gay GOP, Not Radical Islam, for Orlando Massacre."

When CNN's Anderson Cooper did a tough interview with Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on gay-related issues following the massacre, Graham didn't like that one bit; in a June 16 post, Graham was even upset that Cooper defended the interview, the reduced him to being nothing but a "gay anchorman":

On Wednesday night, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper spent almost 14 minutes defending himself against Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s complaints about how he “grilled” her (a word CNN even used) about being an anti-gay politician in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Cooper lamely claimed he was “respectful” before, during and after the interview and denied he was showing anger....and in the denial showed all the same disrespect and anger (and disingenousness) he brought to the original interview.


Bondi clearly (and wrongly) expected this was going to be a Moment of National Unity interview where everyone could express horror and sympathy as they stood in front of a hospital housing the wounded. Instead, the gay anchorman decided it was time to get angry about the gay agenda, and imply she had never acknowledged the humanity of gays before. But hey, that’s not “anger,” because Cooper didn’t raise his voice. It was just Cooper doing his job “to hold people accountable.” 

But while Graham accused Cooper of being "dishonest" -- he put it right in the headline of his post -- he was also being dishonest in his reflexive Cooper-bashing and Bondi-defending. In his transcript of Cooper defending the interview, Graham boldfaced a section in which Cooper stated that Bondi "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayer money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry. Now, good people can and do disagree on that issue" -- then failed to boldface a section immediately following, where Cooper stated that "Ms. Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors for the very right allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones, that's a right that wouldn't exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way," which arguably better encapsulates the point Cooper was trying to make. Graham then leapt to a statement Cooper made after that -- "I think it is fair to ask about that. There is an irony" -- which set off another rant:

There’s an “irony” in sympathizing with gay people when they’ve just been shot dead. Apparently, Cooper thinks the un-ironic homophobe should express delight? The most dishonest thing Cooper said above is "everyone has a right to their opinion" and " good people can disagree," which he clearly does not believe. Otherwise, he wouldn't be protesting that Bondi never tweeted out support for Gay Pride Month. Apparently, everyone must tweet their support for Gay Pride Month, or they shouldn't express regrets after a mass shooting.

Graham also gave Bondi a pass on her dishonest complaints about the interview -- that the interview was edited, which was impossible since it was shown live (it was apparently edited for rebroadcasts and the web ,which Graham baselessly accused Cooper of having a personal hand in doing), and that she was booked to appear on CNN only to talk about post-violence insurance scams. Graham didn't boldface that in the Cooper transcript, highlighting instead Cooper's statement that instead of touching on other subjects Bondi suggested talking about, he asked her about actions that "seemed contradictory to her record in dealing with gays and lesbians in the state."

Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, then ran to Fox Business to whine that Cooper's interview of Bondi was "gotcha journalism."

Maggie McNeely was weirdly shocked that it was discussed how straight women like to go to gay clubs:

The worst part about the Orlando shooting wasn’t that 49 innocent people were killed. It’s that gay night clubs are no longer safe spaces...for straight women.

According to Elle editor Melissa Harris-Perry, hanging out at gay clubs is just something that “we straight girls” do. Straight women all around the world “maintain intimate friendships with beautiful gay men, basking in their appreciation of our femininity, jointly appraising male sexiness, seeking expert opinions on relationships, and invading party spaces.”


For a women’s magazine editor, Perry knows shockingly little about her fellow females. She assumes that because she enjoys ditching her husband for the company of other men who indulge her with “late night texts” and “smooching emojis” for the evening, every other straight woman must too.

Graham came back to whine that NPR did "one-sided LGBT stories" on the massacre, including one that debated whether homophobia could be classified as a mental illness."

There were a couple more complaints suggesting that Muslims were not being sufficiently portrayed as terrorists:

And Scott Whitlock advanced a right-wing website's complaint that guns were being demonized:

A man with a concealed carry permit in South Carolina prevented a massacre in a nightclub. But this example of Second Amendment saving lives hasn’t garnered media interests. According to a report on The Federalist, “A man with a concealed carry license stopped a shooter after the latter opened fire on a crowd of people at a nightclub in South Carolina early Sunday morning.”

Writer Bre Payton explained, “After getting into a fight with another person, the 32-year-old suspect pulled out a gun and began to fire at a crowd of people gathered outside of the club, hitting and injuring four, WISTV reports. One of the victims, who holds a concealed-carry permit, shot back in self-defense, hitting the suspect in the leg.” 


In the wake of the Orlando massacre, ABC, CBS and NBC advanced a gun control agenda by a margin of 8-to-1.

An organization with a pro-gun agenda would grouse about that, wouldn’t it?

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