Hey, did you hear the one about the MAGA Trump supporter who grabbed a knife and plunged it deep into the body of a journalist who had been investigating his scandalous business-related behaviors?
No. You didn’t. Because that never happened.
What did happen though was just that — only the suspected knife-wielder was a Democrat. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the mainstream media has been curiously hush-hush about the whole, otherwise utterly newsworthy, shocking and headline-grabbing, event.
If Robert Telles, 45, the guy police just arrested for allegedly stabbing to death Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, had been Republican, CNN tongues would still be wagging. MSNBC talking heads would still be talking. ABC-CBS-NBC pundits would still be pundit-ing. And if Telles had been a MAGA Republican with an active, Donald Trump-fawning Twitter feed and similarly adoring social media platform?
Chances are, many in America wouldn’t even know the queen just died.
Joe Biden would be taking up all the airwaves’ time talking about fascists in the Republican Party, clear and present dangers on the MAGA types, conservative threats to this very republic.
Here’s the story: Telles, until his recent arrest, served as a public administrator in Clark County, Nevada, and had been the subject of several critical news articles penned by local journalist Jeff German, 69.
“Telles was upset about articles that were being written by German as an investigative journalist that exposed potential wrongdoing, and Telles has publicly expressed his issues with that reporting,” said Las Vegas police Capt. Dori Koren, at a news conference reported in The Washington Post.
Then German turns up dead in the streets, the victim of numerous stab wounds.
Then a photo of the suspect surfaces, showing a subject who’s the possible attacker wearing a straw hat.
Then police identify Telles as a person of interest and conduct of search of his home, discovering shoes and a straw hat — the exact type of which the suspect in the photo wore.
Then police announced a positive match between Telles’ DNA and DNA recovered from the crime scene.
Then quietly, oh so quietly, the political leanings of Telles are released. Turns out, Telles had just lost a Democratic primary race for his seat — and more than that, blamed German’s reporting, at least in part, for his loss.
As the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s German wrote in the lead-up to the election, on June 22, when Telles seemed on track to lose: “Telles’ pending defeat follows a Review-Journal investigation last month that uncovered an office in turmoil and claims of bullying, retaliation and in ‘inappropriate relationship’ between Telles and a staffer.
The investigation angered Telles, so much that he posted a letter of rebuttal on his campaign website entitled, aptly enough, “Addressing the False Claims About Me,” which included attacks on the newspaper’s reporting.
Then, as Telles snarked just days after his primary loss on social media: “Looking forward to lying smear piece #4 by @JGermanRJ.”
It would seem natural for journalists of all walks, all political ideologies, all competing media organizations to band together in issuance of at least a statement of compassion, never mind a stern call for accountability. It would seem natural, too, for Democrats in office to do the same. After all, they did for U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed and dismembered during his coverage at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
“Democrats demand Saudi accountability over Khashoggi killing,” a headline at The Hill said in February, 2021.
They did so, too, after Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl’s Pakistan murder.
“Just recently,” wrote Rep. Adam Schiff, in May of 2009, “Representative [Mike] Pence and I introduced the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, H.R. 1861. This bill is aimed in honor of former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan just 4 months after the September 11 attacks.”
The guy who loves to hate Donald Trump — that guy, still found cause to support murdered Pearl.
Where is he now?
Where are all the left-leaning voices in media and politics now? Busily avoiding mention of the suspect’s political leanings, so as not to upset the Democrats’ chances for midterm wins; so as not to upset the Democrats’ non-stop narratives of MAGA Republican violence and hate and racism and misogyny and fascism.
“Robert Telles arrest: ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC avoid mentioning suspect in journalists’ murder is a Democrat,” Fox News wrote in a recent headline.
That’s called bias by omission.
Or, even blunter: That’s called carrying water for the Democrats.
This election season is tense and tight and for Democrats, a tough, tough sell, given the inflation numbers and costs of fuel and massive redistributions of taxpayer monies for ridiculous climate change concessions to the hard left — concessions that will only lead to higher energy costs and food prices for all of America. And let’s not even get started on the looming frights called 87,000 new IRS agents, some armed, all waiting to target the hard-working citizen.
That is to say: Democrats have been campaigning on a narrative that Republicans in general and MAGA types specifically are bad for America, dangerous for America, violent to America. Then along comes a Telles to mess up that whole message.
“Networks referred to the disgraced Las Vegas Democrat as an ‘elected official’ who ‘lost a primary,’” Fox’s second headline read.
Oh yay, oh yah, smell the election desperation.
Most Americans, including Republicans, including MAGA Republicans, look at the sad situation of a journalist being murdered by a politician he was reporting on and think: tragic.
Democrats and their water carriers in the press? They look at this sad plight of a politician murdering a journalist just doing his job and think: polls. How to twist the story so as not to pike the poll numbers. And that’s just tragic in itself.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.