by Margaret Wang ’25
Published Dec. 1st, 2021
Paul Gosar, a United States Representative, is well-known for being both a far-right Republican and a supporter of former president Donald Trump. Gosar’s esteem for Trump led him to desire Trump’s support in return for his own. The most recent attempt to get this support was his posting an edited video of him murdering U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Initially, he faced some backlash and was not punished for his behavior, as posting far-right content is characteristic of Gosar’s M.O. Indicative of such content is a tweet he authored this November, which reads, “not having a father figure… is what [makes one] gay.”
Gosar’s desire for Trump’s approval does not justify his actions, yet many Republican representatives want this action to be inconsequential. All but two Republican representatives voted against his censure this November.
Gosar deleted the Tweet about Ocasio-Cortez because, as he said, some were offended by it, not because it was “wrong.”
Nevertheless, the House voted 223-207 in favor of censuring Gosar on November 17th. The following day, he reposted the same video, but deleted it shortly after – an act which faced notably less scrutiny than his initial posting of it.
On the other side of the political spectrum, evocative statements are perhaps met with harsher condemnation.
In 2017, American comedian Kathy Griffin shared an image of her holding what appeared to be then-President Trump’s bloody, severed head. This led to a media outrage and a Secret Service investigation which alleged her potential intention to assassinate Trump.
The difference in reception to politically charged statements made by Representative Gosar, an elected official, and Kathy Griffin, a comedian, may signify an imbalance in mainstream media based on political leanings. With the potential of media bias in mind, one must be aware that facets of today’s political outrage – and equanimity – could be contrived by those in mass media.