Sometimes a story comes along that encapsulates everything that is wrong with the U.S. media landscape. Consider if you will the case of Kevin Cirilli, who wrote the following for The Hill on Wednesday: “Cecil the lion’s killer donated to Romney.”
Yes, that is a real headline and time was used during a workday to write the accompanying story.
The Hill “reported”:
The Minnesota dentist who authorities say killed a beloved Zimbabwe lion named Cecil donated to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Federal Elections Commission (FEC) forms show Walter James Palmer, a dentist in Eden Prairie, Minn., donated $5,000 to the Romney campaign in 2012.
Palmer also donated $250 to former Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) in 1990 and $250 to Ramstad in 1992.
Local news reports have identified Palmer as a dentist in the Minneapolis outer suburb of Bloomington who resides in Eden Prairie, another Twin Cities suburb.
Palmer is at the center of an international storm after the death of Cecil the lion, who was well-known at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
The Minnesota dentist reportedly shot the lion with a bow and arrow, but that failed to kill it. The lion was then tracked and shot again with a gun, before it was skinned and beheaded.
What you just read is not a story from The Onion. Mr. Cirilli’s piece was actually approved by an editor.
Why is it of any interest to the public that Mr. Palmer donated money to a failed Republican presidential candidate in 2012? Has The Hill gone through the list of convicted murderers in Chicago since 2012 and ran headlines like “Pro-Obama voting strongly linked to Windy City homicides”? Has The Hill investigated the presidential donations of the Planned Parenthood employees caught on video negotiating how to get the best price for fully functional aborted baby livers and kidneys?
Let me save you the trouble of looking — the answer is “No.”
There is something incredibly nauseating about writers who will jump at any opportunity to politically splinter the American public. There is something disgusting about a man whose first instinct when a story grabs national headlines is to figure out how to demonize the Mormon guy who organizes charity events for third-world countries.
In short, Mitt Romney helps humans in Africa get access to high tech medical equipment, while reporters for The Hill concoct ways to tie him to a random lion’s unfortunate death.
While it is incredibly sad that an American man would spend over $50,000 to kill a lion — just to say he did it — the kind of “reporter” who comes up with stories like “Cecil the lion’s killer donated to Romney” is arguably just as pathetic.