Within seconds of learning Thursday about a shooting inside the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, Fox News host Sean Hannity laid blame at the feet of Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.
“It's so sad that there are so many sick, demented, and evil people in this world,” Hannity told his radio listeners, in a clip first reported by Media Matters. “It really is sad. You know, imagine you go to work and this is what you're dealing with today, some crazy person comes in... and I’m not turning this into a gun debate, I know that’s where the media will be in 30 seconds from now. That’s not it.”
“You know, as I’ve always said, I mean honestly—I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really, Maxine?” he asked, referring to Waters.
“You want people to create—‘call your friends, get in their faces,’ and Obama said that too. ‘Get in their faces, call them out, call your friends, get protesters, follow them into restaurants and shopping malls,’ and wherever else, she said.”
Hannity has been talking for days about widely circulated comments made by Waters encouraging the Democratic base to confront Trump administration officials in public and “tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.” She did not, as Donald Trump has now falsely stated on multiple occasions, call for anyone to be physically “harmed.”
But that did not stop Hannity and his fellow Fox News primetime hosts from railing against the California congresswoman night after night this week, calling her and others on the left “utterly psychotic and unhinged.”
At the time of Hannity’s comments, authorities had released no information about the motivations of the Annapolis shooter.