The frightening exposure of pipe bombs being mailed to prominent Democrats and media outlets, followed by a horrific shooting in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, led to news networks lecturing, hour after hour, on the tone of our civic discourse.
Physicians, heal thyselves.
These are not dispassionate observers of the national scene. These are leftist partisans and they are cynically using national tragedies to equate conservative speech — conservative thought — to violence.
In 1998, Eric Rudolph bombed an abortion clinic in Birmingham, killing a policeman. The media demanded that the pro-life movement condemn this violence. Pro-life leaders lined up before the cameras for humiliating we're-not-as-bad-as-this interviews.
In 1996, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was indicted for murdering three men with mail bombs. Authorities found Al Gore's book "Earth in the Balance" in Kaczynski's shack. No one in the media demanded Gore denounce this evil.
In 2009, Scott Roeder murdered late-term abortionist George Tiller in Kansas. Again pro-lifers were publicly shamed by the press. In 2013, monstrous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing three babies born alive, along with one mother. No reporter suggested the pro-abortion lobby bore any responsibility. No one condemned the agenda of NARAL, et cetera. Virtually no one bothered even covering the trial.
In June of 2017, a leftist kook shot at congressional Republicans holding a baseball practice, nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Did the national media ask Bernie Sanders and Rachel Maddow (the shooter's favorites) if they would disassociate themselves from the violence? Did they lecture liberals to cool their tweets?
Instead, "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley rudely told Scalise & Co. their wounds were self-inflicted: "It's time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress yesterday was foreseeable, predictable, and to some degree, self-inflicted."
NBC's Kristen Welker blamed both sides: "After one of the most violent presidential campaigns in recent history, questions tonight about whether the entire country bears some responsibility for an atmosphere that's become increasingly heated."
No one singled out the Democrats and their radicalized, even militant, rhetoric.
But now network anchors sit by stone-faced as Trump and conservatives are insulted in the worst way. MSNBC's Steve Schmidt smears talk radio hosts and bloggers criticizing the media as having "blood on their hands." MSNBC's Eddie Glaude claims that Trump's rhetoric on a caravan of migrants marching through Mexico "sets the stage for unimaginable cruelty" — that is, a synagogue shooting. But the shooter hated Trump.
CNN anchors and analysts alike have compared Trump to ISIS. After authorities caught pipe-bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc with a van covered in pro-Trump messaging, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto energetically found "parallels to lone wolf terrorist actors. ISIS folks, et cetera. You know, self-radicalized." Not to be outdone, CNN panelist Julia Ioffe claimed "this president has radicalized so many more people than ISIS ever did."
So what happens if someone shoots at the president after all this abuse on "news" shows?
Big League Politics reported this week that there were no less than 179 active death threats on Twitter aimed at President Trump.
It's time for journalists to interview themselves.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.