The Worst Conservative Media Reactions To The Baltimore Riots

Right-Wing Columnist: Where I Live, “We Don't Riot. We Shoot Rioters.”

Conservative media figures responded to riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray -- an unarmed man who died of severe, unexplained spinal cord injuries while in police custody -- by recommending that participants in the riots be shot, and blaming the outbreak of violence on Democratic leadership, President Obama, public schools, welfare, and single-parent families.

Freddie Gray's Funeral Marked By Outbreak Of Unrest

CNN: “Looting, Fires Engulf City After Freddie Gray's Funeral.” Street demonstrations in Baltimore following the April 27 funeral of Freddie Gray devolved into violence in parts of the city. Several officers were injured in confrontations and dozens of arrests were made throughout the day as rioters set fires and looted storefronts. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard to restore order while Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) assured citizens that she was marshalling resources to “gain control of this situation.” [CNN, 4/28/15]

Conservative Media Figures Blame Unrest On Public Schools And Welfare, Call For Use Of Deadly Force Against Rioters

Breitbart's John Nolte: In Rural North Carolina, “We Don't Riot. We Shoot Rioters.” Breitbart News contributor John Nolte claimed that in his home of rural North Carolina, the residents “don't riot. We shoot rioters.” 

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Fox Contributor Bo Dietl Recommends That Police Use “Deadly Physical Force” Against Protesters Throwing Rocks. On the April 27 edition of Fox News' Your World, contributor Bo Dietl claimed that rioters throwing rocks at police should be met by “deadly physical force” to prevent any severe injuries to police officers:

DIETL: When you're throwing those rocks at those cops there, that cop that is not responsive, that cop could be in a coma. We don't know what it is. They are using deadly physical force against those cops. I'm sorry to say it, I don't want to say it, but the word should go out on the street if they are going to assault cops, and try to kill them, the cops will use deadly physical force, and do what they have to do to bring peace back to that community. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto4/27/15]

Townhall's Kurt Schlichter Recommends Baltimore “Shoot Some Scumbag Looters.” Townhall contributor Schlichter claimed shooting looters would solve the Baltimore riots. 

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NRO's Kevin Williamson Wonders If Riots Should Encourage More Gun Ownership. National Review contributor Kevin Williamson wondered if his so-called “lefty friends in the DC suburbs are rethinking their Second Amendment rights” as a result of violence in nearby Baltimore. 

[ 4/27/15]

Laura Ingraham Blames Lack of “Fathers,” “Male Role Models,” And “Jobs” For Baltimore Riots. Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham blamed the riots in Baltimore on the participants' supposed lack of fathers, “male role models,” “discipline,” “jobs,” and “values.” 

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Nolte: “Baltimore Is What Happens” When You Have Union-Run Public Schools And Single-Parent Families On “Welfare.” Following news of rioting and protesters clashing with police in West Baltimore, Nolte also blamed the violence on the absence of two-parent households, government benefits like welfare, and “union-run public schools.” 

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Breitbart's Shapiro Blames “Destruction” And “Actual Shootings” On “Safe Space/ Trigger Warning” Idiots Of The Left. editor-at-large Ben Shapiro claimed that progressive activists who want “safe spaces” for victims of violence and sexual assault are to blame for the rioting in Baltimore. 

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Shapiro Exploited The Burning Of A Senior Center In Downtown Baltimore To Bash Hillary Clinton. Breitbart's Shapiro also made light of the burning of a church and senior center in Baltimore in the wake of the riots to take a jab at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. 

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Right-Wing Media Blame Democratic Politicians, Policies For Baltimore Unrest

Shapiro Blames President Obama For Baltimore Riots.  Shapiro blamed the violence in Baltimore on President Obama's “legacy of racial polarization.” 

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MRC's Dan Gainor Claims “Nearly 50 Years” Of Democratic Control Of Baltimore Allowed The Riots To Occur. Dan Gainor, the vice-president of business and culture for the conservative watchdog group, the Media Research Center (MRC), suggested that Baltimore would not have erupted in riots if a Republican were mayor. 

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Townhall's Kurt Schlichter Says Riots Demonstrate How Liberals Appease “Their Rioting Scumbag Voting Base.” On April 27, Townhall contributor Kurt Schlichter claimed that the Baltimore riots show how liberal voters are expendable to the liberal elites. 

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The Blaze's John Cardillo: “White Conservatives” Should Not Be Blamed For “Policing Strategies” When Baltimore Has Black People In Power. The Blaze contributor John Cardillo asked why “white conservatives” are being blamed for allegations of police brutality, when Baltimore has a black Democrat as a police chief and a black Democrat as a mayor. 

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Laura Ingraham Uses Baltimore Riot To Mock Eric Holder's Efforts On Injustice, Race Relations.  Ingraham commented on the riots in Baltimore by mocking former Attorney General Eric Holder's efforts to investigate claims of racial injustice in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. 

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Fox's Charles Payne Suggests President Obama Believes “Rioting And Destruction Are Justifiable.” Fox Business host Charles Payne alleged that President Obama was at fault for the events in Baltimore, alleging that “No matter what, President Obama simply winks his eye and nods his head as if rioting and destruction are justifiable!” 

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Matt Drudge: “Whatever Obama Has Been Doing For The Past Seven Years... It Hasn't Worked.” Conservative reporter Matt Drudge blamed President Obama for rioting in Baltimore, stating “Whatever Obama has been doing for the past seven years... It hasn't worked.”

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Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol Sees Connection Between Baltimore And “America Retreat Around The World.” Weekly Standard editor-in-chief and frequent ABC News contributor Bill Kristol linked police “retreating on the streets of Baltimore” with “America retreating around the world,” lamenting that no one was speaking “for the forces of civilization.”

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Media Matters researchers Cal Colgan, Kate Sarna, and Zachary Pleat contributed to this post.