Washington Post article linking Scalise shooter to conservative radio host sparks online outrage

The Washington Post struck out with many on social media over an article that appears to blame a right-wing Illinois shock jock for the Virginia shooting rampage by a Trump-hating, Bernie Sanders volunteer who targeted Republicans during a baseball practice.

The lengthy piece takes aim at the foul-mouthed Bob Romanik, who spews invective on the AM dial from a studio in Belleville, Ill., shooter James Hodgkinson’s hometown.

“What’s the point of this?" Buzz Feed political reporter Katherine Miller asked on Twitter. “The shooter hated Trump and there’s no indication in the story he listened to this pro-Trump host.”

Washington Examiner political correspondent and Fox News contributor Byron York tweeted, “Revision of the year: WP suggests, without evidence, Alexandria shooter was inspired by right-wing bigoted radio talker.”

“Devoted Bernie supporter shoots up baseball field of Republicans. Washington Post blames pro Trump talk radio in his hometown for it,” Heat Street contributor Stephen Miller said in a tweet.

The Post article, written by Peter Holley, pointed out Hodgkinson "shot four people at a congressional baseball practice" in Virginia -- but never got around to identifying the victims.

Cops killed Hodgkinson after his rampage, which wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, lobbyist Matt Mika, House GOP aide Zack Barth and Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner. Capitol Police Officer David Bailey and Texas Rep. Roger Williams also were hurt during the incident.

Scalise is still hospitalized following the June 14 shooting; he underwent surgery for an infection on July 5.

The Post article reports that the shooting shocked the nation but not Romanik -- "The Grim Reaper of Radio" -- adding that among those who listen to his rants about race, crime and government are many disgruntled southern Illinois Democrats.

“I can’t say for sure if this Hodgkinson guy listened to me, but he probably did,” Romanik was quoted as telling the Post reporter. “If people would be honest about what drove Hodgkinson to the point of violence, you’d probably see a lot of people right on the same page with him all over the country. But around here, for sure.”

Critics of the piece took to social media after it ran Saturday.

“I'm honestly not sure I've ever seen one article (and tweet) that so neatly encapsulates why Americans by and large loathe the MSM,” self-described conservative Josh Hammer tweeted.

Real Clear reporter Ashe Schow said on Twitter, “Even when a leftist is to blame, the media will blame the right.”

Neither the Washington Post nor Holley have tweeted a response.