CNN frequently uses the “kill shot” metaphor in its coverage, but after Fox News’ Jesse Watters used the same rhetoric at a Turning Point USA conference to make a point about tyrannical health bureaucrats, the corporate media network is throwing a hissy fit.
Over the weekend, Watters implored college students to confront Dr. Anthony Fauci about the havoc he has wreaked on the American public by lying during the pandemic.
“Now you’re going for the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush is deadly because he doesn’t see it coming,” Watters said.“This is when you say, ‘Dr. Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab. The same lab that strung this pandemic on the world. You know why people don’t trust you, don’t you?’ Boom, he is dead! He is dead!”
In an interview hosted by CNN’s John Berman on Monday, Fauci demanded that Fox News fire Watters for the “horrible comments.”
“The only thing that I had ever done throughout these two years is to encourage people to practice good public health practices, to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask. And for that, you have some guy out there saying that people should be giving me a kill shot, to ambush me? I mean, what kind of craziness is there in society these days?” Fauci asked. “That’s awful that he said that. And he’s going to go very likely unaccountable. I mean, whatever network he’s on is not going to do anything for him. I mean, that’s crazy. The guy should be fired on the spot!”
The “New Day” co-anchor gladly amplified Fauci’s concerns and even refused to play the clip of Watters because he believed it was too “dangerous” to share even though, for years, the leftist network and its employees have used the same language to describe the former administration and Republicans without reprimand.
In a 2018 article blaming former President Donald Trump for the nation’s border woes and family separation, CNN authors claimed that his opposition to a House immigration bill, manipulated to meet the demands of certain “moderates,” was a “kill shot to the entire House exercise.”
The vocabulary was repeated by CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly on-air when discussing the same immigration legislation.
“If the President won’t sign it, the Senate won’t take anything up. So, if what the President said is what he means about the second bill that they’re going to consider next week, it’s a kill shot. And so the interesting right now is I’ve been told they’re waiting for a tweet that might clarify things, but they don’t know,” he said.
Mattingly had previously used “kill shot” in 2016 to explain that “Hillary Clinton [is] doubling down on the state her advisers see as the kill shot to Donald Trump’s campaign.”
Another CNN article detailing Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 strategy to try to secure the GOP presidential nomination used the phrase at the top of the article.
“Ted Cruz is going for the kill shot,” the article’s lede states.
Not only does the terminology appear in print, but the network has aired the language with no apparent problems.
The phrase also made regular appearances on CNN shows including “New Day.” Now-disgraced Chris Cuomo, who was fired from the network over his role in covering up his brother’s sexual harassment scandal, used the term multiple times in May 2018 when discussing Trump’s comments about the late Sen. John McCain.
CNN’s Jake Tapper used the vocabulary in a 2016 conversation with “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams to describe Trump’s rhetorical mannerisms.
“Give me an example of something. Like the linguistic kill shot, whether calling Jeb Bush low energy or something else?” Tapper asked.
“Yes. So, the linguistic kill shot is finding some kind of an insult, if you can call it that, that sticks like other insults would not. He likes to pick things that are visual. You look at the person and say, yes, that feels kind of right. But he also picks words and phrases that haven’t been used before, so they haven’t been polluted by other meaning, which is a good technique,” Adams explained, re-using the term.
CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin also used “kill shot” in an interview with Adams about the same topic.