Mr Garland said on Wednesday that his recent memo to all US school boards had responded “to concerns about violence” at school board meetings amid a backlash from a number of parents against masks and vaccine mandates in schools.
Fox News, during its coverage of the committee, told viewers that “Republicans [are] grilling attorney general Merrick Garland over targeting parents”.
It also showed an image of parents at a school board meeting, with crosshair targets.
Oliver Willis, a senior writer for The American Independent, was among those to attack the network for its coverage and associating Mr Garland’s memo with crosshairs.
“Fox News this morning literally showing attorney general Merrick Garland putting parents in the target of gun sights,” wrote Mr Willis. “This channel is beyond sick and twisted.”
“Welcome to the rebranding of freaks threatening to shoot people at school board meetings as ‘parents’”, addedTalking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall.
During Wednesday’s committee hearing, Republicans including Senator Chuck Grassley said Mr Garland had treated parents who opposed mandates for mask wearing and Covid vaccines unfairly – and as “domestic terrorists”, reported CNN.
“The last thing the Justice Department and FBI need is a very vague memo to unleash their power, said Mr Grassley, “especially when they’ve shown zero interest in holding their own accountable”.
Mr Garland’s Justice Department issued the memo amid a surge in threatening incidents at school board meetings, which offered help from the FBI and resources to tackle incidents.
The Independent has approached Fox News for comment.
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