Decades of Blaming Violence on the Right

by: Brent Bozell and Tim Graham
Published: June 21, 2017

The radical leftist fanaticism over Rep. Steve Scalise’s alleged shooter has been an integral part of the news coverage, as it should be. James Hodgkinson’s ties to the Bernie Sanders campaign have been reported (if sometimes buried) by most news outlets, and the pundits are virtually universal in their belief that the socialist senator should not be held responsible. 

These journalists were about a quarter of a century late to the dance. Theirs has been a decades-long exercise in hypocrisy. If an act of violence could be blamed on a Republican or, even better, on a conservative, the press would do it, even if they needed to play a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style game. 

Recall Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. Some journalists like then-NBC anchor Bryant Gumbel immediately blamed “right-wing radio jocks,” naming Rush Limbaugh, Ollie North, Michael Reagan, Gordon Liddy and Bob Grant. He said, “the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers.”

Think of the bombing of an abortion clinic in Atlanta in 1997. The anti-abortion movement was immediately put on trial and forced to defend itself against the media’s charge that it was responsible. Ditto with the shooting of late-term abortion doctor George Tiller in Kansas.

Consider the shooting of then-Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011. Right up to present day, the leftist media has cast blame on former Gov. Sarah Palin and her followers, even though the charge has been proven to be false.

What about liberal Democrats? The media covered Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, because it was ongoing terror and they couldn’t ignore it. But how many blamed the environmental movement for his radicalism, which included an embrace of then-Vice President Al Gore and his book “Earth in the Balance”? 

Think of the endless exercises in destructive behavior perpetrated by Greenpeace and so many of the radical environmental organizations. Have the policies of the Democratic Party been blamed? 

What about the Black Lives Matter movement? The coverage has been intense and sympathetic no matter how much violence is perpetrated, smearing the police and causing a crime wave that has led to dramatic increase in murders. Has any Democrat, from former President Obama on down, been held to account? In recent months, the radical left’s violence, and its call to violence by its leaders, has reached a frightening level because of President Donald Trump. But where have the news media been? 

Where were the news media at the Women’s March on Washington when Madonna said “f— you” to her detractors, and then proudly proclaimed, “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House”? ABC, CBS and NBC gave this large feminist event 129 times more coverage than the 2016 March for Life. ABC touted Madonna’s “A-list” appearance and shamelessly censored any mention of her profanity or violent fantasies. 

In New York City, Shakespeare in the Park is running a rendition of “Julius Caesar” in which a very Trump-like Caesar is viciously stabbed to death. Where is the liberal media condemnation? ABC and NBC have mostly ignored it, while CBS has defended it for three minutes. CNN host Fareed Zakaria called it brilliant and urged the public to go view it. The New York Times is actually (SET ITAL) sponsoring (END ITAL) Shakespeare in the Park, calling itself “an institution that believes in free speech for the arts as well as the media.”

Snoop Dogg is one of the hippest celebrities on the scene today. In a recent music video, he is depicted shooting a clown dressed as President Trump in the head. Do you recall any coverage? Any condemnation?

The very bizarre rock singer Marilyn Manson also has a music video in which a facsimile of Trump is seen decapitated, blood everywhere, soon after Manson tears a Bible apart. Where was the coverage and condemnation?

Before he was canceled, “The Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore pledged to suffocate Trump. He said: “I don’t want to give him any more oxygen. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. I mean it literally. Somebody get me the pillow they used to kill Scalia and I’ll do it — I’ll do it!” He was previously honored by the White House Correspondents’ Association to perform a “roast” (think toast) of Obama. Where was the coverage and condemnation of this “joke”? 

There’s been a lot of coverage of Stephen Colbert’s gay slur of Trump. But do you recall him showing a depiction of Trump aide Stephen Miller’s severed head placed on a spike a la “Game of Thrones”? 

There is a legion of examples. The coverage has been virtually nonexistent. The condemnation has been nowhere to be found. It is well to remember this when considering the media’s present outrage at the shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise. 

Maybe, just maybe, they need to do some soul-searching 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.


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