A terrible story out of Florida has the media salivating over twisting it to reflect poorly on our nation’s political strife.

It happened in Florida.  

Construction worker Mason Trever Toney killed his boss William Knight on a site widening a Florida freeway before covering his corpse with an American flag.  Both men were twenty-eight years old.  The media is reporting this was somehow related to Donald Trump.

Toney, a longtime friend of Knight, got into an argument which ended in Toney killing Knight with a construction trowel.  Toney then stole a company truck and called the other workers “terrorists.” Police apprehended him.

The family of the victim implied the Toney might have been suffering from mental illness. “I don’t know, I don’t know what, I can’t explain what happened to my son,” said the victim’s mother. “I don’t understand. I never thought Mason would do this to my son. But it wasn’t about politics, I can tell you right now.”

She might know more than the unnamed source, wouldn’t you think?

I have no inside information, but I can say this unequivocally.  Politics does not make someone murder another human being.  Underlying issues do – mental illness, hatred, bigotry, greed, and so forth.  If politics uncovers some of that depravity, it still doesn’t mean that politics was the cause.

I hate when so called journalists spin stories like this to get a more clickable headline based on two pieces of scant evidence: an unsourced allegation that the argument was over politics and the fact the victim was pro-Trump.  

Here’s an idea: let’s not do the “hot take” over a man’s death.

If we start approaching the news with a bit of caution, we’ll have less vitriol and more rational discussion all around. 

There will be plenty of time to comment, if needed and appropriate, after the facts are known.  In the meantime, a family now is faced with political acrimony on top of their grief.  All because of irresponsible journalists.

Let’s try to be adults in 2020.

Image Credit: World Bank Photo Collection

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.