Last Thursday, a man named John Russell Houser opened fire in a Louisiana movie theater, killing two people and injuring nine others before killing himself. The following day, Bryan Fischer discussed the shooting on his radio program, where he falsely claimed that Houser “was a big-time Barack Obama supporter.”
“Last night we had this shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana,” Fischer said on his Friday radio show. “The media was ready to go crazy on this guy. He claimed to be affiliated with the Tea Party Nation, then they found out he filled out a profile in 2013 but he never gave, he never donated anything, he never participated, he never contributed anything, there’s no picture of him, nobody has ever met him in a Tea Party group. So that all fizzled out. And then it turns out that he supported Barack Obama. He was a big-time Barack Obama supporter, voted for him in 2012, so all of the air has gone out of that balloon”:
Of course, anyone willing to do two minutes of basic research would have quickly learned that Fischer’s representation of Houser’s views is entirely false, as Houser was a right-wing extremist who reportedly “hated taxes, liberals, newspapers, gays and the United States,” and who was a regular ultra-conservative commentator on local Georgia political programs where he was well-known as a “radical Republican.”
Houser claims to have voted for President Obama in 2012 only because he believed that Obama would hasten America’s destruction:
Some conservative outlets are claiming that the gunman who killed two women after opening fire inside a crowded movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana was a supporter of President Barack Obama.
The claim is based on a portion of John Russell Houser’s writings from 2013, in which he compared the president to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
In the writings, which has been described as a manifesto, Houser said the United States was in a downward spiral and that the country was too late to save. The outspoken conservative said the future of the United States “will be worse than a Mad Max” and that Obama was hastening the country’s decline — which was something he viewed positively.
The confusion arose because Houser wrote “I was for his re-election.” In context, however, it is clear the gunman does not think highly of the president.
“Here is something that is truly funny: since I accepted this it came to me that the president is doing exactly what Tim McVeigh did,only the president is much more effective,” he wrote. “The way I see it,the faster he wrecks this nation, which in no way resembles what it’s founders envisioned,the faster working people with morals may re-assume command.ie I was for his re-election. I like his spending habits.etc”
He added: “Encourage whatever takes us forward. Right now, down is forward.”
Fischer, of course, didn’t bother to share any of this information with his listening audience because providing them with the actual facts would only have undermined his effort to blame the shooting on “a big-time Barack Obama supporter.”