Square peg, meet round hole.
Last month, through some combination of incredible good fortune and immense personal courage, the United States barely escaped a historic, nation-shaking massacre after an angry Bernie Sanders supporter named James Hodgkinson opened fire on a field full of unarmed Republican lawmakers practicing for Congress’s annual charity baseball game.
Had Representative Steve Scalise’s security detail not been present, America might have witnessed the wholesale slaughter of GOP senators and representatives. The consequences would have been catastrophic. The capital would have been plunged into mourning, and political tensions — already high after our contentious 2016 election — would have risen dramatically. Instead, in part because of the convenient forgetfulness of a media laser-focused on Donald Trump and the threat of right-wing extremism, the incident quickly faded from the public’s mind.
Narratives, however, still must be serviced, and the Washington Post was on the case. This weekend, it published a report from Hodgkinson’s hometown. Did it go beyond earlier reports that traced the shooter’s life, explaining in detail how he became radicalized to the point where he wished to assassinate Republican leaders? Did it analyze the influence of left-wing rhetoric on his descent into vicious violence? Did it find and interview the media figures that he quoted and demand to know whether they somehow felt responsible for the shooter’s white-hot rage? Take a wild guess.