A Communications Studies professor at Whitworth University suggested in a tweet Friday that murdering a GOP congressman who voted for Trumpcare could be considered “self-defense.”
The professor, James McPherson, linked to a piece from Buzzfeed reporting that on Monday a woman in Tennessee identified as Wendi Wright was allegedly following a car that contained Tennessee Republican Rep. David Kustoff (pictured above), who voted for Trumpcare. When the car pulled into a driveway, Wright approached and “began screaming and striking the windows,” per the report. She also allegedly tried to prevent Kustoff from exiting the car as she yelled and cussed incoherently.
Wright later wrote about the incident on Facebook, which is how police were able to find her. She is scheduled to appear in court on May 15.
This story prompted McPherson to tweet out:
As of this writing, he has not taken down the tweet.
The Daily Wire asked McPherson if his tweet was meant in jest, prompting McPherson to respond via email, “Of course it was in jest. I don’t advocate killing anyone, including via the death penalty, except in self-defense. This case clearly wasn’t self-defense – but then, neither are many of the ‘stand your ground’ cases that gun nuts like to promote.”
The Daily Wire also asked McPherson if he thought it was appropriate for a professor to tweet a violent joke, to which McPherson responded: “I’m a bit confused: Is The Daily Wire suddenly concerned about political correctness in humor? Still, if you were offended, I apologize.”
But, of course, it’s not The Daily Wire‘s stance on “political correctness in humor” that is at the heart of the question, it’s the double standard of the Left on violent rhetoric, said “in jest” or not.
McPherson was challenged on Twitter:
McPherson doubled down:
A former student of McPherson’s, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Daily Wire through a direct message on Twitter that McPherson “is a pretty overt leftist, and it definitely shows through in his teaching, but he allows students to provide alternative perspectives to his classes, and I very much appreciated that.”
The former student also mentioned that McPherson “is retiring at the end of this school year,” which might explain why he felt compelled to send out the tweet in question.
Other tweets on McPherson’s timeline certainly reflect his leftist politics:
Here is McPherson’s background, via his personal page on the Whitworth University website:
After working for several years as a newspaper reporter, editor and public relations professional, Jim McPherson completed his Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science at Washington State University in 1998. Prior to coming to Whitworth in 2000, he taught a Peace College, a Presbyterian women’s college in Raleigh, N.C. He studies and writes about media history, and is past president of the American Journalism Historians Association.
Jim’s publications include two books, The Conservatism Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right (one of six national finalists for the 2009 Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award) and Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present (2006), along with numerous book chapters and journal articles. He blogs about media and politics at https://jmcpherson.wordpress.com. He participates regularly on public panels, and sometimes as a writer, commentator, or source for various media.
At Whitworth Jim has taught Mass Media History, Media Criticism, Reporting, Writing for Mass Media, Women & Media (as part of Core 350), and Editing, Layout & Design. He leads a Jan Term “Media Impact” program in New York and Washington, D.C., and advises Whitworth’s award-winning student newspaper, The Whitworthian. He also has served in various faculty governance positions, including as Faculty Secretary and as chair of the Faculty Promotion & Tenure Committee.