In the wake of a mass shooting, there are always a lot of reports, some of them inevitably false. Many media outlets ran with a report on Thursday that a white supremacist group claimed the Parkland, Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz was part of their group. Yet the group leader produced no evidence to back it up and there had been no official reports suggesting that. But that didn’t stop people from running with it.
Apparently, the story was just too good, too perfect to fit the liberal narrative, to actually bother to check up on it or to check on the reliability of the person spreading the story, the group leader, Jordan Jereb.
Here’s a sample:
Notice how the title just links a Trump hat with terrorism as though it’s a natural association.
Now local police in Florida are shooting holes in those reports.
Local law enforcement sources have not found a connection between accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz and a Tallahassee-based paramilitary group.
Leon County law enforcement sources told the Tallahassee Democrat that they could not find information linking Cruz, 19, to the Republic of Florida Militia, as claimed by the group’s self-proclaimed leader Jordan Jereb.
His comments to the Anti-Defamation League and The Associated Press set off a media firestorm Thursday at about midday that Cruz was connected to the alt-right, white nationalist group.
Hours after news outlets around the nation reported Cruz’s alleged ties, Leon County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan told the Tallahassee Democrat investigative work did not yield any connections.
“We are still doing some work but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the Broward shooter,” Jordan said.
Jereb had claimed that Cruz was a member who had participated in a paramilitary drill with the group in Tallahassee.
After being grilled over the phone about his claim by the Tallahassee Democrat, Jereb said there was “No way to put a good spin on all of this.”
And he also hung up on ABC News, after saying “This is a negative situation.”
And he apparently refused calls from law enforcement which said that the group is very small, no more than a dozen members.
It seemed pretty clear from the outset that Jereb was just pulling media outlet’s chain to get attention for his group and he’s now trying to back out of it. But many ran with it despite no evidence and without checking with the police first.
Jereb has had run-ins with law enforcement in the past including facing charges for threatening a staff member in Gov. Rick Scott’s office. He’s known for riding around his neighborhood on his bike with his group’s flag and standing with it by the side of the road.
Media just upped his ridiculous profile with exponentially more coverage than he got by his bike rides or standing in the road.
And liberals were happy to jump on it, whether it was true or not.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]