Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has, in recent days, refused to utter the name of the gunman who killed 10 people when he opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week. The Republican presidential candidate says by sharing the shooter's name and image, the media gives the shooter the fame he sought.
Huckabee says this was his policy on his Fox News show, telling Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson on Tuesday, "On my television program on Fox, I refused ever to give the names of terrorists who blew up a lot of people or shot a lot of people because I feel like that we play to their desires when we put their faces and names up on the screen and make celebrities out of them. I think we oughta call them 'the monster', 'the animal', 'the savage,' 'the coward', call them anything, but never give their name out in public and put their face on it."
Huckabee told CNN on Friday, "when I hosted my own television show, I refused to give the name of these mass killers."
Huckabee further explained his policy on the Huckabee Exclusive podcast, while talking about the Oregon shooter:
"We don't know the motive for certain of his actions but it appears he had a twisted idea that somehow this was gonna make his famous, spread his name and ideas around the world. He even spared one classmate and gave them a package for the media that reportedly contained his manifesto. He also reportedly watched social medias urging media to watch the recent double murder of a Virginia new reporter and cameraman that had happened on live television. He wrote admirably of how that anonymous killer got his name and face on everyone's lips overnight and wrote that the more people you kill, the more you're in limelight. By the way the Virginia killer also shot himself when police caught up to him. Well, I won't be telling you what was in his pathetic little manifesto. I won't post his photo on my website and I can guarantee I'll go to my grave having never uttered his cursed name in public. If he did this to be famous, then the appropriate response is to deny him that victory. I set this policy on my own TV and radio shows long ago so to refuses these notorious notoriety seekers that twisted fame they sought. And I'm glad to see the idea finally catching on."
Huckabee declared this policy on his Fox show in July of 2012, after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Huckabee appears to have not followed this policy before his announcement. For instance, a year earlier, Huckabee said the name of the shooter of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords several times.
A search of the TV Archive, which archives television programs, also reveals Huckabee said the names of mass shooters after his self-imposed "no names or images" policy.
The Huckabee campaign did not return a request for comment.