CNN host Don Lemon made sure to impose his overtly partisan view of the horrific mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue and the series of package bombs sent by a lunatic in Florida during a panel discussion on CNN Monday night. From Lemon’s perspective, the group to blame for the violence is, of course, Republicans and the right-wing media because, he suggested, Democrats don’t commit such violence. Actually, he didn’t just suggest it, he outright said it before being called out on his own show.
In response to conservative commentator Mike Shields pointing out that Republican Rep. Steve Scalise was grievously wounded by a left-wing mass shooter who repeatedly screamed “This is for health care!” as he opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice, Lemon blasted Shields for what he said was an unfair comparison.
“People don’t want to let you speak — it’s not because they don’t want to hear what you have to say, it’s because you’re not being honest with it,” said Lemon (transcript via Mediaite). “This is not equal. The right-wing group killed a woman in Charlottesville. This guy is a right-winger who killed the people in the synagogue. The right-winger sent bombs to CNN and to Democrats. I don’t see Democrats killing people because of political — yeah, maybe democratic operatives who are out there.”
“They’ve tried to,” Shields said quite accurately.
“Okay, they tried to, and that’s not right,” Lemon said. “But for the most part, what do you see here, Mike? You see these extreme right-wingers and then instead of denouncing them and saying it’s just wrong, you make people think that it’s okay, that you’re making an excuse for because then you go, ‘But what about the Democrats?’ when there is no comparison! There is no equivalence there!”
Responding to Lemon’s “I don’t see Democrats killing people” line, Rep. Scalise, who was in rehab for months after the near-fatal shooting, offered the host a chance to see a little more clearly:
Red State’s streiff argues that, for once, Lemon might be right that there’s “no comparison,” just not in the way he means. “In the past month, two GOP candidates have been assaulted with fists, another was the victim of an attempted stabbing. Sunday night, the GOP headquarters in South Daytona, FL, was shot up. Where these attacks differ from the guy who mailed inoperative bombs to some prominent leftists and the guy who murdered eleven people at a Pittsburgh synagogue is that you don’t have to imagine what the motives are or divine reasons for their actions.”
In the responses to Scalise’s post, some supporters offered Lemon some more help in seeing that elusive equivalence: