Conservatives Blame Media for Suicide of GOP Lawmaker Accused of Molestation December 15, 2017

Conservatives Blame Media for Suicide of GOP Lawmaker Accused of Molestation

By now you’ve probably heard of Dan Johnson, the Republican lawmaker who took his own life two days after an investigative report laid out substantial evidence showing he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl from his church, but did you know many conservatives, including Johnson’s own wife, are actually blaming “the media” for his death?

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Johnson, who served as a Kentucky State Representative before shooting himself while blaming “fake news” and “the devil,” was shown to have lied about many aspects of his own biography. He was also linked to numerous other crimes, according to the well-sourced report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

But instead of blaming Johnson, who called himself “Pope” and frequently posted racist and anti-Islamic rants on social media, many conservatives are blaming liberals, “the media,” and even the #MeToo Movement.

It’s true that Johnson hadn’t yet been charged with a crime in this case of sexual assault (although he did have a lengthy criminal record he tried to keep under wraps), but police were investigating and, considering the Facebook messages and other pieces of evidence provided by his victim, it’s likely he would have served some time behind bars. The report also linked him to the arson of his former church and provided ample proof for other crimes.

But that doesn’t mean the media, or liberals, or his critics killed him. Johnson pulled the trigger, most likely because he feared the consequences of his lies being uncovered. He didn’t want his false narrative to be tarnished, and he didn’t want to go to prison. That’s why his suicide shouldn’t be celebrated: he escaped the justice system’s punishment and is now being hailed as a martyr and a victim.

Ryan Saavedra, a reporter at the conservative outlet The Daily Wire, pushed the narrative that #MeToo is to blame for Johnson’s death. The movement was started to help women and girls come forth about sexual misconduct against them by men in power. Men like Johnson.

There is no shortage of conservatives jumping to defend Johnson, a man who was, as the evidence suggests, far from innocent. They’re eager to blame liberals and “the media” for reporting these facts, but the facts rarely matter when hyper-partisan politics take over. The ultra-conservatives will side with their kind, regardless of what they do to hurt others, just as they did with Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate race.

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