It’s frustrating, but it’s just a fact of life now: following every mass shooting, there’s a mad rush to identify the shooter’s politics and blame those politics for warping the shooter’s mind. At least that’s the case if there’s even the slimmest of possibilities that the shooter could be a right-wing nutjob. Never mind that anyone who’d open fire on innocent people is evil regardless of their personal politics.

Following yesterday’s deadly shooting at a Highland Park, Illinois, Independence Day parade, you could almost feel some people’s excitement at the prospect that the shooter was an angry white male Trump supporter. NBC News’ Ben Collins is still very much excited by the possibility that person of interest (likely suspect) Bobby Crimo fits that profile, despite the lack of evidence so far to support that:

More from Collins’ Morning Joe appearance (transcript via Mediaite):

And also, I want to say, like, you can’t drill this down to one specific traditional political subculture. I know a lot of people want to point out that this guy was a Donald Trump fan. He had, there were pictures of him draped in a Trump flag or, you know, at a Donald Trump, outside of a Donald Trump motorcade. This guy, this is part of a much larger, deeper subculture that Donald Trump is in the past of, like this guy who grew up as a child, if Donald Trump was his president, he is trying to advance the accelerationism well past Donald Trump.

This guy is part of a new wave of terror, and that’s something that we have to get our brains around right now. This is not, this is not tied to one guy. This is tied to a much larger cell of people who think they’re loners, who are really acting in concert to express their disaffection with the world by murdering a bunch of people. We have to stop that. I don’t know how to stop that. The one thing that you can stop it at the very end is the gun parts. But we have to at least, you know, try to start to learn how people are getting to this point.

Collins is making a whole lot of claims about Crimo without really backing them up. Seeing as it’s literally Ben Collins’ job to tackle disinformation for NBC News, you’d think he’d be a little more careful about this sort of thing.

Again, though: where is Collins’ evidence that Crimo was a radicalized right-winger?

“Misinformation” implies that Collins isn’t purposely misleading his followers. That seems like giving him too much credit.

If that account in fact belongs to Crimo, that would appear to throw a wrench in Collins’ narrative. Not that he’d care.

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