Brian Stelter Links New Hampshire Church Shooting to Trump Meme Video

Brian Stelter/ Youtube Screenshot
October 14, 2019

CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday erroneously linked a church shooting in New Hampshire to a violent meme video of President Donald Trump shooting the media in the "Church of Fake News."

In his nightly newsletter, Stelter included a tweet from New York magazine's Olivia Nuzzi slamming the meme video.

"How disconnected from humanity must you be to find humor in a depiction of a mass shooting of journalists inside a church—knowing, surely, that Americans have been slaughtered in churches & newsrooms, that it's not a fantasy for the families that those shootings made incomplete?" Nuzzi wrote.

In between the text of two of Nuzzi's tweets, Stelter linked to news of a New Hampshire shooting that occurred a day before the New York Times reported on the Trump meme, implying that they might be connected.

That shooting involved a New Hampshire man opening fire at a wedding at New England Pentecostal Ministries church in Pelham, N.H. The alleged shooter is the stepson of a minister who earlier this month was shot to death by the son of the groom, according to NBC News. There is no evidence that the shooting was prompted by the video or any political motive.

The violent meme video, recently shown at a three-day event hosted by pro-Trump group American Priority, was created over a year ago. Since the Times report on the meme was published, Democrats and journalists have criticized the video for inciting violence.

The edited clip is from the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service. It shows Trump's face superimposed on the body of actor Colin Firth opening fire on liberal news organizations inside the "Church of Fake News." The video also shows some of Trump's political opponents, including the late Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), and former president Barack Obama.

American Priority said in a tweeted statement that, "An unauthorized video was shown in a side room" at the festival, adding that "This video was not approved, seen, or sanctioned." White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said early Monday morning that Trump "strongly condemns this video" based on what he has heard about it.