Justice

Larry Wilmore Just Exposed the Worst Lie in Charleston Shooting Coverage

June 19th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Comedy Central host Larry Wilmore took on cable news coverage of the Charleston church shooting during his Thursday night broadcast, criticizing Fox News in particular for labeling the tragedy a "faith-based attack" rather than an act of racism.

"This is a horrible story," Wilmore said. "We weren't going to talk much about this at all ... what we built [on this comedy show] isn't really designed to handle this kind of tragedy. I know we talk about race a lot on this show but I think we can all agree this time that this is a racially-motivated attack. But also it couldn't be clearer when it comes out of the killer's mouth?"

Wilmore was referring to the report that the shooter, who carried out his attack on the historically Black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina and killed nine people, told his victims, "I have to do it ... You rape our women and you're taking over our country, and you have to go."

"Even with all of that evidence, and on a day like today, Fox News just makes my fucking head explode," Wilmore said before showing footage of the story. "I know you guys don't want to admit that racial stuff isn't going on, but how can there be any doubt when it came out of the gunman's mouth? He told his victims 'I want to shoot black people.' I think when he said 'black people,' he means 'black people' and not Christians ... Nobody thinks Christians are going around raping everybody and taking over the country."

Wilmore went on to point out that Fox News' interview with a Black preacher seemed to insinuate the shooting was an example of a growing war on Christianity.

"Black don't distract," Wilmore said. "But nice try anyway, Fox ... It is not rising hostility against Christians, it's rising, forceful, pervasive hostility against Black people who were meeting in a church."

Wilmore took to task presidential candidate Rick Santorum's comments on potential motivations for the attack as well, as Santorum called it an "assault on religious liberty" and asked "what other rationale could there be?"

"It's amazing how social conservatives like Rick Santorum just stretch and bend and contort to make sure they never have to confront race," Wilmore said. "I know because this was in a church it's hard to understand this was about race, but let me give you an example. Four Black girls were murdered in a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Back then, no one pretended to wonder what the motivation was. If you tried to say it was about religion, even the perpetrators would have corrected you."

Like Wilmore, Twitter reacted rather unfavorably to the way some news outlets reported on the story, with many people angry that the media refused to call the shooter a terrorist: