An LGBT activist has reportedly been sending bomb threats to Target stores, angry about the company’s recent decision to roll-back Pride month-related merchandise. But some mainstream media outlets appear to be placing the blame on conservatives for the campaign of terror.
In May, Target announced it was set to remove various LGBT-themed products from its stores after facing sustained criticism for stocking merchandise many said was promoting gender ideology to minors
As a result of the public outcry, Target, which had reportedly lost over $15 billion during the controversy, decided to “roll-back [Pride] displays” at some of its locations in hopes of salvaging its reputation.
Locations across the country then began receiving bomb threats, with an unknown author emailing news stations and threatening Target for having “betrayed the LGBTQ+ community.” The emails claimed that Target was full of “pathetic cowards” who had “bowed to the wishes of far right extremists who want to exterminate us.”
However, despite the fact that the threat author is reportedly an LGBT person, mainstream media outlets have instead been shifting the blame onto conservatives and members of the public who denounced Target for their child-geared Pride merchandise.
LGBTQ Nation, a progressive outlet which claims to be the “most visited” LGBT news site in the US, appeared to directly place the blame on “right-wingers” in their coverage of the threats.
In an article published on May 30, the outlet wrote: “Target stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah have recently received bomb threats as right-wingers continue their campaign against the retailer’s LGBTQ+-themed Pride merchandise.”
Only half-way through the piece does the article admit that the author of the Target threats “claimed to be an LGBTQ+ person who pledged to plant more bombs in protest of the retailer’s discontinuation of some LGBTQ+ themed merchandise.”
Yesterday, Chaya Raichik, the creator of Libs of TikTok, called the LGBTQ Nation article “one of the most dishonest” she had ever seen, slamming it as “pure trash.”
But LGBTQ Nation was not the only outlet to obscure the apparent motivation of the bomb threats against Target.
A similar theme was found in the Washington Post’s coverage from Tuesday, which alleged that the threats “tie[d] into the backlash over the retail chain’s Pride month merchandise.” But deep within the article were the details that the threats had “accused Target of betraying the LGBTQ+ community,” and that the author was not a conservative.
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro took to Twitter to call the Washington Post‘s piece “hot f***ing garbage,” adding that the misleading headlines would make any reader think that “it was all [Matt Walsh] fans phoning in the threats.”
Shawn Burke, the Police Chief of South Burlington, Vermont, said there was “quite an impact locally” after the community’s Target received a bomb threat.
“It makes people a little bit uneasy to think about what’s going on. We’re more and more seeing this type of behaviour in terms of swatting at schools locally and in terms of stores like Target,” Burke said.
The FBI and the regional Joint Terrorism Task Force are currently assisting many of the different local investigations. In a statement, Target said that they believed their stores are safe, with all of them now currently open and “operating regular hours.”