- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 4, 2019

In the last 24 hours, news organizations offered dramatic and competent coverage of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Many also put a political spin on their accounts of the events — quickly reflected in headlines that appeared in the immediate aftermath.

“Ideology kills: How do you police it?” asked The Atlantic in the immediate aftermath.

“Trump’s racism leads to violence, Democrats blame president,” noted The Independent, a British newspaper,

“Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke slam Trump in wake of El Paso massacre, face backlash for politicizing tragedy,” said Fox News, while The Washington Monthly observed, “Trump still refuses to condemn violent white supremacy.”

The New York Times offered a five-word summation: “When hate came to El Paso” (The New York Times), and USA Today offered its own take on the tragic events: “El Paso, Dayton make 251 mass shootings in the US in 216 days, more shootings than days in the year.”

The topics also dominated Twitter, with  hashtags such as #DaytonStrong, #Enoughisenough and #WhiteNationalistTerrorism leading the trends.

By  Sunday morning, national broadcast accounts of the events were immediate and localized. Major cable and broadcast networks had correspondents on the ground in both cities by dawn, primarily emphasizing the actions of first responders, hospitals — as well as eye-witness accounts and community solidarity in the wake of the shootings.

Sunday talk shows, however, went the political route in many cases.

“What do you say to Americans who look at what happened in El Paso and say that the president’s rhetoric is in part to blame?” ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl asked acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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