After five people were gunned down in their own newsroom, the normally feisty editorial page of the Capital-Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, went silent Friday.
“Today, we are speechless,” the page said. “This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday’s shootings at our office.”
But, among the far-right, activists were anything but silent, celebrating, speculating and casting blame for the shooting of a group of local reporters and editors who cover the central Maryland community.
“We don’t give a fuck about you, journalist,” tweeted Nicholas Fuentes, a YouTube personality who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Hundreds of posts, tweets and comments populated Twitter, the alt-right social network Gab, 4chan and other social media outlets, condemning the five people killed in what they expected to be just another day at work.
The posts ranged from conspiratorial to wondering if the shooter was Jewish — a favorite target of the alt-right — to outright blaming the reporters for what happened to them.
“Wowza. Maybe it was a Jew, but probably a goy,” wrote AltonRocht, on The Daily Stormer. “Let’s try to push an offensive narrative for this. The media, and the anti-white forces in American mean that these shootings will grow more frequent.”
Police arrested Jarrod Warren Ramos, a 38-year-old white man with a long history of grievances against the newspaper. He’s charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
The shooting came just days after President Donald Trump, at a campaign rally, pointed to a group of reporters and called them the “enemy of the American people” and alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said he couldn’t “wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”
Yiannopoulos later referred to the comment as a joke, saying he wasn’t serious and police haven’t commented on a motive.
Andrew Anglin, the blogger and primary voice behind the racist and antisemitic website The Daily Stormer, posted a long diatribe about Yiannopoulos on Friday morning, and dismissed the deaths of the five journalists at the end.
"But seriously — just straight talk here — there is no single group of people on the planet that is more deserving of just getting gunned down like animals," Anglin wrote.
For far-right adherents, the shooting spurred on conspiracies and celebration that journalists, never a popular group with the alt-right, were dead.
“Is there only 2 options here,” wrote a poster going by “Lucky” on Daily Stormer. “1. The beginning of our side taking out the real enemy. 2. False flag attack. If it was our guy, they would have killed him. So strange, how kikes pretending to be white, get taken alive.”
Christopher Cantwell, best known as the “Crying Nazi” after the Unite the Right rally, kept his thoughts simple: “#MAGA” posted over a picture of Yiannopoulos and a Drudge Report headline “Shooting at Newspaper.”
“They should live in fear,” tweeted @WarthogJim, whose account was suspended Friday morning.
Alt-right activist Laura Loomer tied the shootings to recent comments from U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who called for Trump administration staffers to be harassed while out in public.
“I wonder if the shooter in Annapolis today is a supporter of @RepMaxine Waters …” Loomer wrote on Twitter shortly after the shooting took place.
Others took on the reporters as a stereotype, lumping everyone working in journalism into a group up to no good.
“If they work for a newspaper, they’ve got to be douchebags,” wrote @GabrielWest, posting as “Joe Lincoln” on Twitter. “Fuck’em. #Kapow #LyingLeftistLosers #FuckTheLeftistMedia.”
But, for all the anger, conspiracies and stereotypes about those killed, no one on the far-right mentioned the names of the five people with families, friends and loved ones who were killed: Robert Hiaasen, John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith.