Lunatic who murdered Virginia journalists saw racism in words like "swinging" and "field"

Dark humor from Sonny Bunch: “Instead of going on a killing spree, this guy should’ve gotten a columnist gig at The Guardian.” In fact, knowing what we now know, a phrase like “dark humor” probably would have set him off too.

“Microaggression” logic is a dangerous thing in the hands of a lunatic. Or rather, a more dangerous thing.

The 24-year-old white reporter [Alison Parker], who was murdered on live TV along with her cameraman, used the phrases as an intern at ­WDBJ TV in Roanoke in 2012, according to an internal complaint filed by Flanagan, who was black.

“One was something about ‘swinging’ by some place; the other was out in the ‘field,’ ” said the Jan. 21 report by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, which refers to Parker as Alison Bailey (her middle name)…

“[Those words are] just common, everyday talk. [But] that was his MO — to start s- -t,” Fuqua ­explained. “He was unstable. One time, after one of our live shots failed, he threw all his stuff down and ran into the woods for like 20 minutes.”…

“We would say stuff like, ‘The reporter’s out in the field.’ And he would look at us and say, ‘What are you saying, cotton fields? That’s racist,’ ” Fair recounted.

“Swinging” was presumably a reference to lynching. One time, the story goes on to say, the station manager brought in watermelon for the staff as a treat. You can imagine how well that went.

According to the Times, this same guy protested getting fired by the station by killing his two pet cats. Tossing cat feces at his neighbors’ doors was also a favorite tactic during disputes. I know what you’re thinking: “Didn’t anyone know he was disturbed?” There’s a reference to “meds” in one of his suicide notes — he’d reached the point, he said, where nothing could be done to change his sadness to happiness — but it’s unclear at the moment whether he’d sought help and given up for whatever reason or whether he’d never bothered to begin with.

Oh, he’d also purchased his gun legally. And by the White House’s own admission, the new background-check law they’re pining for wouldn’t have stopped him from doing that.

Charles Cooke asks a good question. After Gabby Giffords was shot, the left collectively concluded without evidence that right-wing rhetoric had contributed to the shooting, if not as a direct influence on Jared Loughner than as a sort of general cultural coarsening that had moved the Overton window towards tolerating more extreme expressions of political rage. Does the same logic apply to Vester Flanagan and “microaggressions”? If we needed Glenn Beck to tone things down at the time in the name of preventing shootings by insane people who were tapping into his angry vibe, we probably need Social Justice Warriors to cool it a bit too, no? Exit question: “Why do we not need to have a ‘national conversation’ about hypersensitivity?”