Comedian Jim Norton strongly criticized the U.S. media on Monday for refusing to fully acknowledge the fact that racism was one of the main motivating factors in the shocking WDBJ on-air shooting.
Vester Lee Flanagan, a black man, waited until WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, both white, were live on the air near Roanoke, Virginia, before he shot and killed both of them. The shooter reportedly sent a so-called “suicide note” to ABC News in which he cited the Charleston shooting, a “race war” and other racially charged ramblings.
“I’m not going to harp on it because it annoyed me too much,” Norton said on SiriusXM’s “Opie and Jim Norton” show. “We always talk about the f***ing media and how they talk about race. This black guy killed these two white co-workers…and they have mentioned the racial motives because they had to. But when Dylann Roof shot up a church, it was like this f***ing 21-year-old nobody white kid — and he really was a nobody, f***ing piece of s**t hayseed — all they could talk about was why he did it.”
Norton added, “This guy is one of their own. He’s a member of the f***ing media, and they won’t talk about the main reason he did it.”
“And he said why he did it,” co-host Gregg “Opie” Hughes interjected.
“He said why he was doing it — again, they have mentioned it because they kind of have to, it’s so obvious…but man, they are just washing over it,” Norton said.
Hughes noted how many media outlets are seemingly more infatuated with the fact that Flanagan “wished he could’ve been a $2,000 gay escort again.”
“He’s on the front f***ing page,” Hughes observed.
“But not racist killer,” Norton said. “Not racist sicko like it is with Dylann Roof — you know, it’s ‘killer.’”
Hughes and Norton eventually found some levity in the tragic incident and mocked Flanagan as an "exhausting" and annoying co-worker who regularly alleged racism over innocent occurrences.
"I've got a complaint," Hughes joked, imitating Flanagan, "I saw a watermelon, I know they put it out for me. Where do I file a complaint on the watermelon I saw in the lobby."
Hughes then found out how close to home he was when comedian Jim Florentine told him that Flanagan had apparently complained that Parker had referred to going "out in the field," a common phrase used by reporters.
Listen to the clip via SiriusXM's "Opie and Jimmy" show below (Warning: strong language):