If you doubted the depths to which the liberal media will go to politicize a tragedy, take a look at a now-deleted tweet from taxpayer-funded NPR about the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — a man former President Trump called, “a unifier like no other.”
“Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said,” NPR ruthlessly reported.
The pushback from appalled users on Twitter was almost immediate.
“We taxpayers fund this propaganda,” stated Steve Cortes. “Time to defund NPR & PBS.”
We taxpayers fund this propaganda.
Time to defund NPR & PBS pic.twitter.com/GPsqbdaIsv
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) July 8, 2022
After that, the calls to cut NPR’s money strings came fast and furious.
#DefundNPR socialist fascist*-leftist #Democrats’ funded propaganda @NPR @PBS #DNC
*Fascism comprises of “democratic” socialists & colluding corporate oligarchs.
Benito Mussolini said: Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, merger of the state & corporate power https://t.co/6iPMyLBnOf
— Christian (@chris_norcal) July 8, 2022
Defund NPR and PBS. Give that money to our seniors. Fund Social Security. Adjust for inflation.
— Patricia (@triciamap) July 8, 2022
Defund NPR now! They are just horrible. If the next conservative congress doesn’t get it done, there are no conservative leaders in congress.
— God Wins (@LGBFJB_Patriot) July 8, 2022
So agree! NPR and PBS are Democratic controlled media outlets!
— Stephen Piotrowski (@sjpiotrowski5) July 8, 2022
Clearly, the pressure was too much for NPR.
The tweet was deleted and replaced with a kinder, gentler attack on the slain PM.
NPR deleted their Shinzo Abe tweet.
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) July 8, 2022
In the new version, Shinzo Abe was “upgraded” to “ultranationalist.”
That tweet has been deleted and he has since been upgraded to “ultranationalist” https://t.co/cv5rfeCOVl
— Allan (@AllanRicharz) July 8, 2022
But the damage was done and the disgust over NPR’s biased reporting continued to swell.
Former national security journalist Natalie Johnson contrasted NPR’s coverage of Abe’s assassination with its posthumous characterization of Fidel Castro, in which it described the dictator with nostalgic reverence.
“One of the most prominent international figures in the last half of the 20th century, Castro inspired both passionate love and hate,” NPR wrote following Castro’s demise. “Many who later lost faith in him can remember how they once admired the man who needed just a dozen men to launch the Cuban Revolution.”
NPR describing Fidel Castro vs. NPR describing Shinzo Abe posthumously. pic.twitter.com/lP1SatxgkI
— Natalie Johnson (@nataliejohnsonn) July 8, 2022
“Ultranationalist” being so close to “ultra-MAGA,” it’s easy to see why NPR jumped at the chance to malign the fallen leader, especially in light of former President Trump’s glowing remembrance.
“Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind,” Trump posted to Truth Social. “He was a unifier like no other, but above all, he was a man who loved and cherished his magnificent country, Japan.”
Donald Trump on the assassination of Shinzo Abe. pic.twitter.com/YFUiCxoX0R
— Lady Pie (@LadyPieLives) July 8, 2022
In stark, insensitive contrast, NPR chose to smear Shinzo Abe, not only in both its headlines, but in the article that reported his death — a fact noted by NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck.
“It wasn’t just the tweet that was smearing Shinzo Abe that NPR put out,” he tweeted. “The lede paragraph of the article about his assassination is nearly identical, suggesting he had it coming.”
It wasn't just the tweet that was smearing Shinzo Abe that NPR put out.
The lede paragraph of the article about his assassination is nearly identical, suggesting he had it coming. pic.twitter.com/hq8ETA8hCx
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 8, 2022
“Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an ultra-nationalist who served in the post longer than anyone else before stepping down in 2020, was shot and killed on Friday at a campaign rally,” NPR’s first paragraph reads. “Police tackled and arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of an attack that shocked many in Japan, which is one of the world’s safest nations and has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.”
It is an interesting point because as NPR was busy painting the Prime Minister with the same orange brush they’ve used to vilify Trump, President Biden, after an awkwardly noticeable amount of silence, released a statement about Shinzo’s death, in which his condolences were colored by his anti-2A agenda.
After calling the event “a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him” and calling his working relationship with Abe a “privilege,” Biden soon pivoted to one of his favorite liberal talking points: gun control.
“While there are many details that we do not yet know,” Biden said, “we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it.”
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