An analysis shows that during Hurricane Harvey, conservative media outlets decided to use the opportunity to spread exaggerated and false narratives about black looters in Houston, Texas.
The Media Matters analysis shows that hosts and guests on Fox News and InfoWars propagated thinly-veiled stories about looters in Houston despite the city’s police department itself stating that “looting [was] almost non existent” during Harvey. The city reported 14 arrests on August 30 — a low number, the analysis notes, for a metropolitan area of more than six million people, according to Raw Story.
Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson had Republican congressional candidate Dan Bongino, a former police officer, on his show on August 30 to discuss the almost non existent issue.
“What kind of like certifiable savage man-beast do you need to be to walk into a small business [and loot]?” Bongino said during the segment.
Griff Jenkins, a correspondent on President Donald Trump’s “favorite program” Fox & Friends, also said Houston looters were “criminals that have unleashed the worst that humanity has to offer.”
Of course these people ignore how corporations “legally” loot billions in taxpayer money every year. Unfortunately, they believe it is far worse that a few people steal a few hundred dollars worth of stuff than to take billions of dollars.
Meanwhile, InfoWars’ Alex Jones spread an even more blatantly false and racist story, as is his style, claiming Houston saw a proliferation of “black gangs” deliberately robbing white people.
“[They’re] saying, ‘Look at what we looted, look at what we got,’” Jones claimed on August 29. “They’re putting it on Twitter, ‘We’re robbing the white folks, they deserve it.’”
Soon after, Snopes documented outlets — both right-wing and more mainstream — retweeting and discussing posts under the Twitter hashtag “#HarveyLootCrew.” Their investigation revealed that two Twitter accounts posing as black men in Houston who claimed to be looting neighborhoods populated by presumably white “racist Trump supporters” were, in fact, fake.
“It isn’t difficult to discern the motivation behind these fake tweets,” the Snopes report states, “which were obviously created to sow fear and racial hatred in a time of crisis.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)