As CNN explains above, Justin Mohn has been charged for allegedly beheading his father, then posting the severed head on YouTube while ranting about the Biden administration, immigration and calling his father a traitor for having worked for the federal government. The video remained on YouTube for more than five hours before the site removed it.
Not surprisingly, Mohn has long showed signs of dangerous paranoia. In December, his former employers found what they called a violent manifesto that Mohn had apparently left behind. He also made what was deemed threatening statements about a judge who had dismissed his multiple lawsuits, including one suing the federal government for giving him a student loan for college that did not make him as successful as he had hoped.
But that doesn’t mean Mohn’s connection to right-wing extremism should be dismissed or downplayed.
CNN’s John Miller, the network’s chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, made the point that Mohn is part of a now-too-familiar pattern. “Every few weeks we see one of these what the behavioral science experts call an injustice collector, “ Miller said. “Everything’s going wrong in their life. None of it is their fault. It’s the deep state. It’s the migrants. It’s that they’re a white male or some some other thing that in these echo chambers, in these chat rooms on the internet, people kind of egg each other on about somebody’s got to step up and do something.”
Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now a CNN analyst, was more explicit about the connection to right-wing extremism: “The bigger picture here is that this is another example of the fact that the kind of overheated, deeply politicized, extreme rhetoric that you hear sometimes in this country from politically elected officials and leaders actually has an impact on these marginalized people with extremist views who might be … driven to embark in acts of violence,” he said.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy was even more explicit in his Reliable Sources newsletter. He called the beheading “part of a larger trend of right-wing violence afflicting the country” and linked it to “the Charlottesville car attack, the Charleston church shooting, the Buffalo supermarket shooting, the El Paso Walmart shooting, and, of course, the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, among others.”
Darcy also connected the dots to Trump and right-wing media. “Prior to Trump’s ascension, conspiracy-laden messages were largely confined to the seedy cesspools of the web like 4chan and Infowars, where fringe hosts such as Alex Jones ranted to marginalized audiences,” he wrote. “Now, extremist commentary airs regularly on Fox News. It is dispersed on A.M. radios from coast to coast. It is commonplace on conservative news and commentary websites. And it proliferates on social media platforms, where right-wing extremists maintain a loud presence and boast millions of followers.”
Is there any doubt that Mohn’s media diet consisted of the same outlets spewing the same rhetoric as he did?