CNN’s Don Lemon and Max Boot denied on Monday that the Democratic Party has spewed violent rhetoric over the last few months as they pinned blame for the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Fox News and suggested that “right-wingers” are the only ones acting violently.
Boot called Fox News “very corrosive” and “very dangerous,” claiming: “It is radicalizing the right. It is turning sane conservatives into conspiracy mongers. And with these handful of people who may have already been unstable, it helps to push them over the edge into violence. This is very dangerous and very irresponsible, what Fox is doing.”
“I think it’s outrageous at a time like this when people are grieving after a tragedy. I know we’re all searching for meaning in these things,” CNN political commentator Mike Shields fired back. “And we don’t want to have a conversation about mental health, because that is just too hard. So we’re going to try and find a political meaning for it. And so we’re going to start assigning blame everywhere. I just think it’s frankly kind of disgusting to do that.”
Shields then brought up the Democratic terrorist who tried to murder Republican lawmakers in 2017.
“The town that I live in, someone at the height of the Obamacare debate, when Democrats were coming on TV and saying that if Obamacare gets repealed Republicans are basically going to kill you, you’re going to die if we don’t have Obamacare, and he went to a baseball field and shot people,” Shields said. “That guy was crazy. He was mentally disturbed. That was not because of political rhetoric.”
Shields was most likely not correct with his assertion that the shooter was not motivated by political rhetoric as he repeatedly shouted while shooting at Republicans: “This is for health care.”
Boot immediately jumped in, complaining “there is nothing comparable here,” suggesting that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was not responsible for what happened.
“I didn’t mention Bernie Sanders,” Shields responded. “I was talking about the rhetoric — we’re talking about the political climate and the rhetoric of the time. The rhetoric of the time —”
“The guy who shot at the baseball game was a supporter, somebody who is pro-Bernie Sanders and a lot of people like you are blaming Bernie Sanders for that which is false —” Boot claimed.
“Max, I never blamed Bernie Sanders,” Shields responded. “Those words didn’t come out of my mouth.”
Boot continued to lie about what Shields said and also claimed that Sanders does not “engage in this kind of dehumanizing rhetoric and he doesn’t engage in this kind of crazy conspiracy mongering,” despite the fact that Sanders claimed without evidence that the Republican health care bill would kill thousands of Americans.
Lemon and Boot both continued by suggesting that right-wing media was to blame for the recent acts of political violence as Lemon listed off only acts of violence from fringe right-wingers and neglected the numerous acts of violence from the political Left.
“There is nobody on the Democratic side who is encouraging violence in the way that Donald Trump does,” Boot added.