Up until a recreational congressional Republican baseball practice was last week, the news media had been anticipating violence from one side. It just happened to be the wrong side.
Now after more than a year of suspiciously eyeing only President Trump supporters and Republicans for any sudden movements, the media are calling for “civility” from “both sides.”
Otherwise the default position is to again blame Trump.
On Wednesday, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson sprayed bullets on a baseball field outside of Washington, D.C., where Republican Capitol Hill staffers and GOP Rep. Steve Scalise were practicing.
As of Friday, Scalise, the House majority whip, remained in critical condition after taking a shot to the hip. Four others were also injured.
Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Trump, as his comments on social media showed.
But in the face of all evidence that Hodgkinson was a Democrat animated to go on a shooting rampage by his own political frustrations, New York Times political reporter Glenn Thrush looked to Trump.
“Any debate about civility in politics begins with Trump,” he said Thursday on Twitter. “No one has degraded discourse more, while embracing the fringe.”
Whatever “fringe” Trump appealed to, none of them have picked up an assault rifle to gun down a congressman.
That was a Bernie Bro.
In an effort to even the score between the GOP and Democrats, The New York Times editorial board chocked the incident up to “vicious American politics” and repeated the false claim that “the link to political incitement was clear” between 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and the 2011 shooting of then-Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The paper later removed that part from its editorial, admitting that there was “no such link.”
Hodgkinson’s Facebook page showed that he belonged to the groups “Terminate the Republican Party” and “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans.” One note on his Facebook said, “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
But a bemused editorial in the Washington Post asked, “Who knows what mixture of madness and circumstance causes someone to pick up a gun and go on a rampage?”
The Washington Post then helped spread responsibility for the tragedy among everyone, saying that it should “cause a gut check about what passes for political discourse in this country.”
Hodgkinson . Before his shooting spree, he asked Reps. Ron DeSantis and Jeff Duncan as they left the field early whether it was Republicans or Democrats practicing.
But a willfully-clueless Scott Pelley of the CBS “Evening News” ended his Thursday night program decrying unspecified “leaders and political commentators who set an example” for having “led us into an abyss of violent rhetoric.”
When an outspoken Democratic voter opens fire on a group of Republicans practicing baseball, the media blame everyone. Or just Trump.
It’s the same thing they did during the 2016 campaign.
In May last year, anti-Trump protesters in Albuquerque, N.M. Rioters lit the city ablaze, vandalized property, and threw rocks at cops.
But the New York Times said two months prior to the riot that it’s Trump who “gives license to violence” for saying he’d like to “punch” a protester. The liberal Mother Jones said the same month that Trump is “basically encouraging violence now,” and a headline at the website Vox declared that “the problem with violence at Trump rallies starts with Trump himself.”
Why isn’t any of the violence coming from the people who support the guy who’s supposedly fueling it?
Kathy Griffin posed for a photo that depicted her holding a severed Trump head, but when a Democrat deliberately targets an elected Republican to take a bullet, the media ask that everyone be ashamed of themselves. Or at least Trump.
The national media were all too ready for violence to break out among whipped-up Trump supporters, but for more than a year, the violence has only come from one side.
It’s not Trump’s.
Eddie Scarry is a media reporter for the Washington Examiner.