Before anyone knew anything about the shooting in San Bernardino, the media were quick to point out that it took place near a Planned Parenthood clinic. What in the world does Planned Parenthood have to do with this shooting? They may as well have said that it took place near First Presbyterian Church.
They were trying to imply that this shooting was somehow connected to the one in Colorado, which happened to take place in a Planned Parenthood facility. This incident took place in relatively close proximity to the one in Colorado, so therefore they must be connected? From the Daily Caller:
Despite the general lack of information, members of the media and general public quickly moved to note that a Planned Parenthood exists in the general area of the shooting, thereby implying the shooting could be a copycat attack on Planned Parenthood similar to the one carried out last week in Colorado.
CNN, for instance, quickly speculated on the air that Planned Parenthood might be the target, even after acknowledging the shooting didn’t happen there.
“San Bernardino’s Planned Parenthood is about one mile south of the 1300 block of South Waterman,” mentions Marketwatch, for no clear reason. Raw Story similarly makes a throwaway mention to Planned Parenthood’s proximity. RT’s write-up mentions in its first paragraph the shooting’s location is “around the corner” from a Planned Parenthood.
Alan Colmes, a former Fox News contributor and host of the Alan Colmes Show on radio, saw fit to make an entire blog post about the Planned Parenthood’s proximity to the shooting, even though he explicitly notes the shooting didn’t happen there.
Dozens of random Twitter users and minor news sources ran with the narrative, suggesting the shooting could be a copycat attack despite the lack of any real evidence.
They do this kind of stuff on purpose. The less information they have, the better. That way they can make these vague associations and suggestions and later claim that “they were just going by the limited information they had at the time.” And they’d argue that it wasn’t false to say that the Planned Parenthood building was about a mile away. They’re right. It was down the road from the Inland Regional Center where the incident took place.
But what’s the intended effect? They know that by the mere mention of Planned Parenthood, many of their viewers will assume that this shooting was somehow connected with Planned Parenthood. The media won’t come out and say it. They’ll just make the implication and have their trusty viewers draw the conclusion on their own. “These anti-choice, anti-women terrorists are at it again. Looks like they missed their target by about a mile.”