Right-wing media try to justify Jordan Neely's death, attack protesters

After Jordan Neely was killed on a New York subway, right-wing media rushed to praise the killer and suggest the left are trying to foment violence.

Neely was reportedly choked to death by former Marine Daniel Penny after allegedly yelling on the subway about having no food. His death has been ruled a homicide, and video shows that the Marine ignored bystanders who warned that Neely could die from the prolonged chokehold. Following the event, several people were arrested while protesting by standing on the subway tracks.

Right-wing media quickly began praising Penny for his actions, using Neely’s death as fodder for the larger narrative pushing back against criminal justice reform and the activist organization Black Lives Matter. Deploying similar tropes as when George Floyd was murdered, right-wing media blamed philanthropist George Soros for protests, defended the actions of the killer, and smeared the victim.

A week after Neely’s death, right-wing media continue to justify his death and celebrate his killer:

  • Right-wing radio host Jason Rantz defended Jordan Neely’s homicide on The Faulkner Focus, saying that it seems “justified” and that “not a single Democrat seems to think that just maybe their policies are to blame.”
  • Fox & Friends host Will Cain claimed that “the story has been turned into a race story” and that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is trying to “feed that fire” and “tearing at the fabric of America” with her comments about the killing. Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy then accused Ocasio-Cortez of putting women in danger by encouraging “courageous young men … not to step forward.” 
  • Right-wing social media personality Mike Cernovich tweeted that “Hero Marine Daniel Penny and another man who appears to not be Lilly white render aid to the psychopath who terrorized subway passengers for over 10 years. Other passengers thank them and offer advice on how to help. The media will not show this video.”
  • Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren took to Twitter to claim: “The mob will relentlessly come after the marine who subdued Neely till his life is ruined, he’s killed or behind bars for life. All for trying to protect his fellow passengers. We often see this exact kind of story where a violent vagrant beats, assaults, or rapes an innocent person, as onlookers do nothing..and we wonder why?”
  • Cartoonist Scott Adams expressed his support for Penny, tweeting, “The marine is a hero. I don't care how many dangerous people he (allegedly) accidentally killed. I won't be accepting the George Floyd narrative on this one. That's too far. Way too far.”
  • On YouTube, Steven Crowder claimed that “Jordan Neely forfeited his right to live.” 
  • Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles said Penny “should get an award for valor” and “a key to the city.” 
  • Fox & Friends co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy called Penny a hero and said, “We raise our boys to step in and protect those who are vulnerable.” 
  • Liz Wheeler tweeted a video of Penny after he released Neely from the chokehold, saying, “MSM doesn’t want you to see this bombshell video. Marine vet who restrained Jordan Neely is complimented by other passengers & puts Neely in the recovery position. Notice how NOBODY is acting like this was a murder.”

Right-wing media also painted outrage at Neely’s murder as a “left-wing political ploy” and accused the left of turning it into a “race story”:

  • Infowars’ Alex Jones claimed Penny choked Neely for “only about 30 seconds,” then complained that the killing will be used as “another George Floyd image” to create white guilt. Jones also argued the media are “helping promote that idea” that white people deserve to be killed. 
  • One America News host Dan Ball accused the media, Black Lives Matter, and “the antifa crowd” of “hyping it up to be George Floyd 2.0.”
  • Fox host Jesse Watters called the media’s reaction to Neely’s killing a “race hustle” and blamed former President Barack Obama for increased racial division.  
  • Outkick’s Clay Travis claimed that “there is a calculated decision in left-wing media to try to make [Neely] look like an innocent victim of white violence.” 
  • Fox News contributor Leo Terrell claimed there was “a left-wing political ploy … because of the ethnicity of the Marine” and called protesters “professional agitators.” 
  • The Gateway Pundit dismissed the outrage over the killing, writing, “Now, the race-hustlers of the left aren’t going to acknowledge that. Neely was black. Penny is white. And that’s all they need to see to bring protesters out into the streets — and down into the subways.”
  • Conservative radio host Larry Elder tweeted: “Black homeless man, career violent criminal, mentally ill, threatening innocents dies after a chokehold by a white man=PROTESTS, INTERNATIONAL NEWS!!! Black homeless man kills two white men—execution style—admits he did it because they were white=CRICKETS by mainstream media.”
  • Right-wing influencer Ian Miles Cheong attacked protestors and politicians calling for justice, tweeting, “These individuals are using this singular event as a flashpoint to rally more people to their cause.”
  • The Federalist published a piece titled “Making Jordan Neely The New George Floyd Is The Next Step In The Left’s War On America,” writing that if the killer is prosecuted, “it will establish a right to terrorize subway passengers and help revive the ‘anti-racist’ assault on justice.”
  • Fox guest Paul Mauro suggested some of those protesting for Neely were “professionals” and questioned where they get the money to print signs. 
  • Misogynist right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich posted: “Twitter is saving another innocent life from far left wing domestic terrorists and their Soros funded DA’s.”
  • The Daily Caller also insisted that Soros is linked to the protests, claiming: “A communist-tied activist group promoting protests over the recent death of New York City homeless man Jordan Neely has received significant funding from organizations bankrolled by liberal billionaires.”
  • The National Review published an article claiming: “At the end of the day, no one really cared about Neely, not enough to get him the help he needed — indeed, to insist on it. Now that his life has ended tragically and he offers the potential for a convenient political narrative, he will be valued more as a supposed symbol of the evils of racism and of the power structures of our society than he was as simply another deeply troubled man who haunted our streets.”