Charlotte lawmaker’s tweet compares media to terrorists

Charlotte lawmaker’s tweet compares media to terrorists
Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg)
Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A North Carolina senator from Mecklenburg County compared the media to terrorists in a series of tweets Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) used the term "jihad media" three times in a series of tweets about stories Wednesday night, including a story from the Raleigh News & Observer about funding cuts to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office in the budget deal worked out by Republican lawmakers.

Bishop, whose district stretches across most of Mecklenburg County, confirmed that he purposely used a word commonly associated with terrorists to characterize the media in a subsequent tweet Wednesday night.

But, even as he confirmed he intended to compare reporters to terrorists, Bishop also claimed he was using a different definition of 'jihad', tweeting that the word can also mean "any vigorous, emotional crusade."

Bishop's characterization of journalists as terrorists comes the same week that North Carolina flags across the state will fly at half-staff in tribute to Sgt. Dillon C. Baldridge, a North Carolina native who was killed while serving in Afghanistan, where American forces have fought terrorist fighters for more than a decade in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Bishop's use of the term 'jihad media' drew criticism from at least one veteran, Democrat State Representative Grier Martin (Wake), who is an officer in the US Army Reserve and has served in Afghanistan.

"Having met a few real jihadists, I gotta say you don't measure up," Martin tweeted at News & Observer reporter Colin Campbell, whose tweet was the subject of Bishop's original use of 'jihad media'.

Senate Republican leader Phil Berger (Rockingham) released this statement Thursday afternoon regarding Bishop's tweet :

"It would probably be helpful for all sides to tone down the over-the-top rhetoric against those involved in various forms of public service, including so-called religious leaders using incendiary terms like 'all-white extremists,' 'hijackers,' and 'criminals' to describe public officials. (We have not seen the media hold those people to account.)  While Sen. Berger wouldn't have used those words, he certainly understands Sen. Bishop's frustration with the overt liberal bias of some of the state's reporters."

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