A Fox News Video Of A Car Ramming Protesters Is Even More Disturbing After Charlottesville
Last week, during a face-off between white supremacists and anti-racist counter-protesters, a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer was rammed by a car and killed. She was among those standing against the racist demonstrators. The suspected perpetrator, who's since been taken into police custody, is a far-right 20-year-old white man with an alleged history of domestic violence. While the incident has spurred an widespread condemnation towards his actions, it wasn't always that way: Reporters on Tuesday unearthed a video from January that Fox News shared of a car ramming into protestors.
Henry Grabar highlighted on Slate Tuesday that some alarmingly mainstream outlets have indulged the idea to varying extents. Conservative website The Daily Caller posted a video in January of a compilation of scenes of drivers plowing through protesters, complete with an introduction warning for anyone who's "easily triggered" to stop watching.
According to Grabar, the incredibly macabre video ― which is apparently meant to be funny, what with all the endangering people's lives by hitting them with cars stuff ― was subsequently posted and promoted by Fox Nation, an online adjunct of Fox News, although not the main website for the cable news channel.
The post has seemingly since been pulled offline. Fox News Digital's editor-in-chief said in a statement to Slate: “The item was inappropriate and we’ve taken it down. We regret posting it in January."
Needless to say, however this looked at the time ― and for anyone who has their priorities in line, it already looked heinous ― it comes across all the worse after seeing what happened in Charlottesville this week.
And it's not just some passing internet fixation, either. Several states are actually passing laws to legally protect drivers who run down protesters, an obvious backlash against Black Lives Matter and other racial justice protest efforts that have surged in recent years.
In fact, six different states are currently considering laws to shield motorists from penalties if they hit protesters. The first such example came in North Dakota early this year, where a state lawmaker proposed a bill stipulating the following.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages.
While plenty of people will express outrage over Heyer's death and the actions of the man who killed her. it's important not to lose sight of the tone that some conservative lawmakers ― or conservative social media pundits ― have been setting about running over protesters over the last year.