New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who once claimed that most mass shooters are Democrats, angrily cut off an interviewer asking about her statements, saying, “It’s fake news!” before walking away, HuffPost is reporting.
Tenney was being interviewed on Monday when a reporter asked her about comments she had made weeks ago, in light of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting which left 17 people dead. Tenney said at the time that most mass shooters wind up being Democrats and that it’s an open secret among the media.
“It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that either.”
Although it’s not certain where she got her information, fact-checking website Snopes was able to turn up a much-circulated list of shootings apparently committed by Democrats. The site concluded that the allegations in the list were “Mostly False” and compiled using “faulty, inaccurate, and unsubstantiated claims.”
On Monday, a reporter asked Tenney about her claims. She didn’t back down.
“I’m telling the truth. It isn’t just Republicans who commit all these terrible crimes…. All I’m saying is everybody is guilty equally.”
Pressed still further by the reporter, Tenny invoked the term “fake news” and ended the interview and walked away.
“It is fake news! I answered your question every which way, it is fake news. Bye. Done. It’s ridiculous.”
So which part of this narrative does Tenney consider “fake news”? Is it “fake news” that she made the claim about mass shooters being Democrats? That’s actually true news, as she really did say that, and you can hear audio of it to this day. Or perhaps it’s “fake news” that mass shooters are mostly Democrats; if that’s the case, then why would the New York congresswoman disparage herself in such a way before angrily ending an interview?
Yesterday, @claudiatenney held her re-election announcement. She was met by 60+ protesters, lied about the number of people in attendance, and descended into an explosive tirade, yelling “FAKE NEWS!” over and over to TV cameras.
— Jon Lipe (@JonLipe) March 4, 2018
In fact, it appears these days that simply shouting “fake news” at something you disagree with or find uncomfortable is a tool of the Right. It’s a tool of which Donald Trump is particularly fond, pulling it out at just about every opportunity. In fact, just today the 45th president invoked the phrase when describing reports that the White House is in chaos.
The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
What Tenney and Trump apparently fail to understand is that facts are facts, and shouting “fake news” at facts is as effective a tool of conversation as an elementary school student sticking her fingers in her ears and shouting “na na na na na na!”
In other words, Claudia Tenney really did say a ridiculous thing with no basis in fact, and attempting to flip the narrative to a flaw in a reporter’s methodology doesn’t change that.