The minimal media attention received by extremist Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona compared to his progressive colleagues reveals a double standard in cable news coverage, according to a new report from Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog group.
Gosar, who pals around with white nationalists and openly supports the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters, tweeted an animated video Sunday that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and attacking President Joe Biden. Twitter flagged the video Monday for violating its policy on “hateful conduct.”
The Media Matters report, published Tuesday, compared cable news coverage of Gosar’s violent tweet to 2019 coverage of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., calling then-President Donald Trump a “motherf-----” at a private event.
The day after Tlaib’s speech, CNN dedicated an hour of news coverage to her comments. But as of Tuesday afternoon, the network had only covered Gosar’s tweet for 15 minutes, according to Media Matters. MSNBC gave Tlaib’s comments 38 minutes of coverage the day after she made them — but dedicated only 21 minutes to Gosar’s tweet in the day and a half after he sent it, according to the report. And Fox News hadn’t reported on the tweet at all as of Tuesday afternoon, Media Matters reported.
The repercussions of the media largely ignoring Gosar’s violent extremism are clear. Earlier this year, U.S. Capitol Police reported threats against lawmakers have more than doubled compared to last year. And Republicans have shown no willingness to stop those threats.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called on the House Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate Gosar’s tweet, and she urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to condemn the video.
There’s no sign McCarthy is planning to take action against Gosar, who routinely evades criticism from Republican leadership in response to his most extreme stances. Americans can’t afford for the media to get in on the act by ignoring his dangerous attacks on fellow lawmakers.
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