Chris Matthews: Capital Gazette reporters weren't reporting 'fake news'

Chris Matthews: Capital Gazette reporters weren't reporting 'fake news'
© Greg Nash

MSNBC host Chris Matthews defended the local journalists who worked at a Maryland newspaper that was attacked this week in a deadly shooting, saying they were not reporting "fake news." 

In a monologue closing out his show Friday, Matthews praised the five members of the Capital Gazette newsroom who died when a gunman attacked the office with a pump-action shotgun.

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"Let me finish tonight with a word about what happened yesterday in Annapolis. The Capital Gazette newspaper reporters that were killed in the line of duty died doing what they committed their lives to — getting the news to their readers," Matthews said.

"They weren’t reporting fake news," he added. "Deadline reporting isn’t grand or necessarily overly eloquent, it’s about getting the news into print accurately and before anyone else does."

Matthews also echoed remarks from Capital Gazette reporter E.B. Furgurson, who was nearby when the shooting happened and told NBC that his friends were killed simply for "doing their bit for local journalism."

"I like how one of the surviving reporters from the Gazette put it on MSNBC earlier today. He said his colleagues that were shot were simply doing their bit," Matthews said.

"The people who get careers getting stories on the front page are into news, breaking news, hard news, there’s a joy in that job beating the round-the-clock pressure, landing what you’ve come up with on the front page, breaking the story."

Anne Arundel County police say the suspect in Thursday's shooting, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, had a long-standing "vendetta" against the newspaper and its reporters following their reporting on his conviction for criminal harassment in 2013.

Ramos is charged with five counts of first-degree murder for the deadly attack, and currently sits in police custody awaiting trial.