Almost immediately, the establishment media turned last week’s shooting of Republican Congressmen into a weapon and used it to attack the right. Apparently, the fact that the shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter was too inconvenient for those on the left. While there were plenty of news outlets that did not use this horrific event to launch political attacks, the temptation was too much for some to resist.
On Tuesday, June 14, The New York Times published a piece that repeated the debunked claim that Sarah Palin was partially responsible for the assault on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The original passage read:
In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals.
There was no evidence of a connection between the map Ms. Palin used and the assault, and this claim has long since been repudiated. The New York Times later published a correction – but it was too late. They had already led many of their readers to believe Ms. Gifford’s shooting was the fault of Republicans.
Not to be outdone by The New York Times, both CNN and MSNBC responded to the attack by targeting one of the victims, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La) – while he was still in critical condition!
MSNBC’s Joy Reid posted the following tweet:
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) June 17, 2017
Apparently, when Ms. Reid saw the news about the shooting, she recognized that the most important thing for us to remember is that Rep. Scalise doesn’t agree with the political left. Thank God we have MSNBC to remind us of what’s really important!
CNN took the same approach as MSNBC. On the day of the attack, the network published a story entitled “Who Is Steve Scalise?” Sounds harmless enough, right? Unfortunately, it was nothing more than a cynical attempt to characterize Rep. Scalise as a racist who hangs out with white nationalists. They wrote:
As he was running for House Majority Whip, a scandal emerged when it was revealed Scalise had spoken to a group led by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 2002. Scalise called it a mistake and apologized. Then-House Speaker John Boehner supported Scalise and Rep. Cedric Richmond, a black Democrat from Louisiana, also supported Scalise.
Aside from CNN’s sickening decision to bring this up while Rep. Scalise was recovering from an assassination attempt, there is another problem – it’s not true. The Daily Caller explains that Mr. Scalise never actually addressed the white nationalist group in question. In 2002, he gave a presentation on fiscal policy to the Jefferson Civic Heights Association at a Best Western hotel. It was part of a meeting on emergency preparedness, CPR, and crime. He spoke alongside representatives from The Red Cross and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Organization. The white nationalists were scheduled to for a different room later in the day, and some who had arrived early attended the Scalise speech.
Lastly, we have The Washington Post. Predictably, they used the Alexandria shooting to attack conservatives for their stance on the second amendment. Whenever an attack of this nature occurs, the left uses the incident to promote gun control — this situation is no different.
The Washington Post published a piece entitled “This Country’s Real Carnage Comes From Guns. It’s Time For Congress To Change That.” In the article, the author states that gun violence is the fault of Republican lawmakers who work to ensure that law-abiding Americans can purchase firearms. Of course, they ignore the fact that the states with the strictest gun laws have the highest number of shooting deaths. They wrote:
These are the same lawmakers who voted to let people with mental illness have access to guns, who voted to allow people on the terrorism watch list to buy guns, who voted to make it easier to buy gun silencers, who voted to support the sale of weapons that are designed for nothing but mass killing. These are the same lawmakers who take thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the National Rifle Association.
The scary part of this story is that if Rep. Scalise had not been present at the baseball practice, there would have been no armed security detail. Since Mr. Scalise is a high-ranking member of the House, he is accompanied by police officers. If he had not been present, the rest of the Congressmen would have been left to fend for themselves – and in obedience to local law, they were unarmed. Without anyone armed on their side, how many of these congressmen would have survived the attack? This is exactly why Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) is pushing legislation that would allow legislators to carry concealed guns anywhere.
The assassination attempt in Alexandria is a serious matter that is bound to elicit responses from people on both the left and the right. The media’s responsibility is to ensure that the American public receives all of the information they need to have informed opinions. Regrettably, certain news outlets have used these events to further a leftist political agenda. This approach only serves to foment more hostility and further divide us.
If the establishment media insists on using their platform to create propaganda for their cause, they will continue to lose the trust of the American public. People will begin to seek out other sources of information, and the left will have to deal with the consequences. Hopefully, it won’t take another politically-motivated shooting to compel the media to learn their lesson.