Jeff Crank, a former Colorado Springs radio host who now has a weekly “Jeff Crank Show” podcast, criticized the media and others on Nov. 26 for referring to the Club Q shooting as a hate crime before it’s known that it was, in fact, a hate crime.
“Politicians and pastors perpetuate false and unfair attacks from the left when they pander to the LGBTQ community before knowing all the facts,” Crank wrote in his show notes.
“There are some people who just want to rush in and sort of make it about [a hate crime] when in fact, this is about a shooting,” Crank, a Republican, told his audience. “This is a tragedy for sure. But it doesn’t that doesn’t equate to it necessarily being a hate crime.”
The Club Q shooter has been charged with hate crimes but officials have yet to release the evidence supporting the charge.
But Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, also a Republican, has said the shooting has “all the trappings of a hate crime.”
Prior to being elected Mayor, Suthers was a prosecutor, district attorney and law professor for decades, including serving two terms as Colorado’s Attorney General.
“I don’t think the families of these folks loved their victims here any less or any more than the families of the folks that were killed in the Wal-Mart in Virginia or in any other shooting that we’ve had anywhere,” Crank said during his podcast. “These are all tragic. This doesn’t deserve any special place. They’re all tragic. I don’t put any victim above anybody else or below anybody else. These are human beings, and God loved every one of them.”
In an interview with the Colorado Times Recorder, Crank said he wouldn’t object to labeling the Club Q shooting a hate crime once evidence shows it to be one, adding that “there’s no punishment that’s too harsh.”
Crank correctly pointed out that the hate designation would unlikely increase the punishment of the shooter.
In response to the argument that the label sends a message that the community will not tolerate hate crimes and thus may deter them in the future, Crank said, “If it were to stop someone else from doing something like this, I wouldn’t necessarily oppose it.”
Crank, who once objected on air to gay men kissing on television, expressed concern that the discussion of the shooting as a hate crime before it was proven to be one, would hurt the reputation of Colorado Springs.
“Mayor John Suthers said that all indications are pointing to this being a hate crime. I don’t know what evidence he had when he said that,” said Crank during his podcast. “I would hope that if you say something like that, that there is actually a lot of evidence that’s pointing in that direction. And it isn’t just that it was a gay bar that was attacked, because when you do that and when you say things like that, you really are casting aspersions upon, quite frankly, the city in some ways.”
“I know that the mayor is trying to make sure that there’s not aspersions cast on the city, that this doesn’t be something like, ‘Oh, gee, they hate LGBTQ people there so, you know, let’s never go there.’ But what could play into that more than saying it was a hate crime if in fact, it turns out that it wasn’t a hate crime. Now, I don’t know the facts and I’m saying this. I’m reserving judgment. As I said, I’m reserving judgment on whether or not this was motivated by more than just regular hate.”
Crank left KVOR and started his own podcast in 2021 after he decided not to get a COVID vaccination, per KVOR’s requirement for employees — a mandate Crank called “unethical and immoral.”
Crank ran for Congress in 2006 but lost in a vicious primary after voters were hit with misinformation, allegedly orchestrated by fellow Republican Jon Hotaling and others, that Crank supported the “homosexual agenda.”