Later Doocy would suggest that religion was the likely motivation for the attack saying...
"And some look at it as, well, it's because it was a white guy, apparently, and a black church. But you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility toward Christians, and it was in a church, so maybe that's what it was about."
"Is it a church that has white congregants as well as black?"
“You kill babies in the womb, kill people in their beds, shoot people on the streets so now you go into the church when people are praying.”
“I have to tell you that I’m deeply concerned that this gunman chose to go into a church, because there does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians across this country because of our biblical views. And I just think that it’s something we have to be aware of and not create an atmosphere where people take out their violent intentions against Christians.”
Heather Childers, another Fox News host, acknowledged that officials are treating the shooting as a hate crime, but stayed with the theme of the day and wondered...
"Could the shooter have been motivated by pure hatred for religion?"
"What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation."
It was not only right wing news outlets that seemed to be doing everything in their power to not state the obvious. Right wing, conservative politicians also seemed to be loath to call the attacks racially motivated.
Bear in mind that these statements were made after the killer was caught and his racist motives were made abundantly clear.
Jeb Bush, while speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Washington on Friday, said…
"I don't know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes,"
"What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people? There’s a sickness in our country, there’s something terribly wrong, but it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away, it’s people not understanding where salvation comes from."
"I just think he was one of these whacked out kids. I don't think it's anything broader than that. It's about a young man who is obviously twisted."
In addition Graham said this two days later after apparently picking up on Fox News' "religion narrative" and then deciding to add a little bit of ISIS terror just to take it up a notch…
"I just cannot explain this. I go to the mid-east a lot, I've seen hate up close. I've seen communities killed because they were a different religion and you think well that's just over there… Well sometimes it's just not over there."
“This is one of those situations where you just have to take a step back and say we -- you know, you talk about the importance of prayer in this time and we’re now seeing assaults on our religious liberty we’ve never seen before. It’s a time for deeper reflection beyond this horrible situation.”
"Let's be honest, there's evil in the world. What you're seeing today, what we saw last night, that was evil. ... Law enforcement will figure out what his so-called motivations were. We shouldn't try to pretend we're going to understand his mind."
"I don't know what was going through the kid's mind, but [it's] certainly the act of a deranged human being, and this level of malice I think is unfathomable in this community, in this nation. It is ... clearly the work of the devil."
“This is the M.O. of this administration, any time there is an accident like this — the president is clear, he doesn’t like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message,”
Now that Dylann Roof has been caught and there is no doubt that his crimes were committed for no other reason that the color of the victim's skin it will be interesting to see if these cowards change their tune or if they continue to pander to the Republican parties old, white, racist base.
• Updated 6/20/15