A well-known writer for some of the nation’s largest media companies pulled a controversial social media post that he uploaded on August 5 criticizing a U.S. senator.
CNN and New York Times Contributor Wajahat Ali raised eyebrows when he shared he was pleased to see a controversial hashtag was becoming popular despite growing fears it is inciting violence towards Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
“#MassacreMoscowMitch is trending,” Ali said on Twitter before removing the post. “I still have faith in America.”
According to Fox News, the hashtag #MassacreMoscowMitch started trending on social media shortly after two mass shootings happened in two different parts of the nation on August 4.
Connor Betts, 24, reportedly opened fire on crowds of people outside of Ned Peppers in downtown Dayton, Ohio on August 4. The tragedy killed nine people, including Betts’ sister Megan Betts, 22, and injured at least 27 others.
The shooting came just hours after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people died, and 26 more were wounded. A 21-year-old suspect in that shooting has already been arrested.
The hashtag is widely reported to be a combination of two other popular hashtags about the senator, including #moscowmitch and #massacremitch.
Neither the New York Times nor CNN responded to Fox News’ requests for comment, nor would they confirm whether they agree or not with the content of the Twitter posts.
However, many of Ali’s Twitter followers made it very clear they do not share his views.
“Another blue check mark lefty from the mainstream media who is actively supporting violence,” Outside My Purview responded on Twitter. “Americans do not celebrate a desire to murder political rivals or those holding different opinions. This garbage is on your hands @jack @CNN @nytimes #bluecheckmarkterrorism #enemyofthepeople.”
Another blue checkmark lefty from the MSM who is actively supporting violence.
Americans do not celebrate a desire to murder political rivals or those holding different opinions.
— Outside My Purview (@bphi1908) August 6, 2019
“If this isn’t inciting violence I don’t know what is,” John Nash said on Twitter.
@jack if this isn’t inciting violence I don’t know what is.
— John Nash (@JohnNash2018) August 6, 2019
“Inciting violence is acceptable when it’s someone you don’t like, correct?” bstreier said on Twitter.
Inciting violence is acceptable when it’s someone you don’t like, correct?🤡🌎
— bstreier (@bstreier) August 6, 2019
“That’s called spreading hate and inciting violence,” Jaymac said on Twitter.
That’s called spreading hate and inciting violence
— Jaymac (@politimac720) August 6, 2019
Ali later uploaded his deleted post again, explaining why the hashtag was trending.
“This hashtag trended because people called out Mitch McConnell for his refusal to let the Senate vote on gun control and election security bills,” he said on Twitter. “The right wing knows it but in bad faith are trying to ‘both sides’ and shame. In good faith I deleted it but they’re not fooling anyone.”
This hashtag trended bc people called out Mitch McConnell for his refusal to let the Senate vote on gun control and election security bills. The right wing knows it but in bad faith are trying to “both sides” & shame. In good faith I deleted it but they’re not fooling anyone. pic.twitter.com/UAhXrVAA3T
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) August 6, 2019
He also criticized his followers as “bad faith right wing trolls.”
“They’re hungry and desperate, anything to deflect from gun control, white supremacist terrorism or talking about Trump,” Ali said on Twitter.
Twitter has not provided any guidance about whether Ali’s original post violated any policies according to Fox News.