In contrast, one of the most striking elements of coverage of last week’s mail bombing campaign was how blame was almost immediately assigned to Trump. Long before even the most basic information was known about the suspect, media personalities and their guests had largely pinned responsibility on the president. As Philippe Reines later put it on MSNBC, “We didn’t know the name of the bomber but we know who to blame.”
The timeline below overlays coverage of the first nine days of coverage after both events, showing the percentage of daily English language online news coverage of the event that mentioned Sanders or Trump, as monitored by the GDELT Project.
In blue is the 2017 shooting. Day 0 represents the date it took place, June 14. The shooter’s affiliation with Sen. Sanders reached a peak of 31 percent of coverage the following day, then rapidly dissipated as the media largely dropped mentions of Hodgkinson’s political affiliation.