Jordan Candler / December 22, 2016

When ‘Hate Crimes’ Are Fake News

A black man in Mississippi burns his own church.

A middle-aged man by the name of Andrew McClinton was apprehended this week in connection with a high-profile crime in Greenville, Mississippi, where a black church was set ablaze and “Vote Trump” scribbled in paint across the building. According to The Washington Post, “McClinton is charged with first degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.” But here’s the kicker: “Hopewell Bishop Clarence Green said McClinton, who is African-American, is a member of the church [emphasis added].”

No wonder this isn’t plastered all over the front pages of the nation’s largest newspapers — the development completely unravels the narrative. Just consider the Post’s original coverage from Nov. 3: “The suspected arson is being investigated as a hate crime by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. … Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire a ‘hateful and cowardly act,’ sparked by the incendiary rhetoric of GOP nominee Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.”

But you won’t find such accusations being thrown around now. The new Post article includes a quote from Mississippi Insurance Commissioner and fire marshal Mike Chaney, who claims, “We do not believe it was politically motivated. There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated.” Yes — like from The Washington Post. Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw put it best, observing, “You can’t simply say that it’s ‘not politically motivated’ just because it turns out to be a different political motivation than the one you originally suspected.”

Notice a trend here? Americans are being inundated with stories of supposed “hate crimes.” Yet, as Fox News reports, “a number of the incidents have been disproven or shown to be hoaxes or ill-timed jokes.” There’s fake news alright, and it’s coming from those who jump to conclusions before the facts are known. On a final note, there’s rich irony in the fact that, in the Mississippi case, the suspect’s name includes “Clinton.” What other evidence do they need?

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