Earlier this week, the leader of a white nationalist militia claimed Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was a member of his group and took part in paramilitary drills conducted in Tallahassee, something local law enforcement are saying is not true.
Our own reporter, Jim E, expressed skepticism of the claims, calling them “shocking” and “very strange” based on his indiscriminate targeting of victims and his own potential heritage.
“We’ll learn soon enough if Cruz was actually a member of this alleged white nationalist group,” Jim wrote. “For now, we should be skeptical.”
Leon County officials indicate that skepticism was well-placed.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Leon County law enforcement sources” said 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.”
“We are still doing some work but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the Broward shooter,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan said.
As per usual, the media took the word of an unhinged white nationalist to promote a link between the mass shooter and the “alt-right” in an attempt to smear conservatives. This is journalistic malpractice at its peak.
According to law enforcement, there are no ties linking Cruz to the white nationalist group but it appears AP & the rest of the media didn’t even bother to corroborate with authorities about this and instead gave a racist white nationalist free publicity. https://t.co/RFiDQc3d8b https://t.co/TScmiApfAe
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) February 15, 2018
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They literally, in the case of the Associated Press, “confirmed” the white nationalist story by taking one man’s word. That man, Jereb, has been arrested four times since January of 2014, and isn’t exactly under the radar with local police. One quick phone call could have dispelled this myth for the media, but their narrative was too precious to look for facts.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 15, 2018
In a social media post hours after local officials claimed there were no ties to his group, Jereb wrote that the whole thing was a “legit misunderstanding.”
He also claimed that there is more than one member of the group named Nikolas.
All this, and yet the Associated Press refuses to take down its viral tweet promoting the white nationalist narrative.
BREAKING: Leader of white nationalist group has confirmed suspect in Florida school shooting was member of his organization.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 15, 2018
Let’s see if the media reports a correction on this story as fervently as they did when they thought they had a ‘right-wing nutjob’ as the killer.
Did the media spread this false story to create a narrative that Nikolas Cruz was a right-winger? Share your thoughts below!
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