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Megyn Kelly’s Laughably Hypocritical Concerns About Tucson Sheriff Dupnik’s Supposedly Inflammatory, Partisan Rhetoric

Reported by Ellen - January 9, 2011 -

Megyn Kelly did a fairly decent job of interviewing Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik today about Jared Loughner, the suspect in the horrendous shooting yesterday of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others. But her questioning of Dupnik’s comments suggesting that inflammatory, right-wing rhetoric played a part in the massacre, were undermined by her own tolerance, indeed participation in, the same kind of inflammatory rhetoric when it came from Republicans. Kudos to Dupnik for standing his ground. (H/T Barbara S.)

Dupnik told Kelly, “There are a whole lot of people in this country that are very angry at the politics of people like (Democrat) Gabrielle. There was a lot of vitriolic statements made night and day on radio and TV about her support of health care, about her support of some of the other things and some of the vitriol got… a lot of people agitated.” Of course, we all know where and by whom those kinds of statements have been made.

Kelly questioned whether anything has been “uncovered” to show that the suspected killer was “in any way inspired by what he heard or saw” in the media.

Dupnik conceded, “I don’t have that information yet” and noted that the investigation is still in its very early stages. He added, “My belief, and I’ve been watching what’s going on in this country for the last 75 years, and I’ve been a police officer for over 50 years – there’s no doubt in my mind that when a number of people night and day try to inflame the public that there’s going to be some consequences from doing that.”

Kelly acknowledged Dupnik was being “very honest” but pressed by saying it was “just your speculation, that’s not anything that’s fact based at this point.”

Of course, Kelly did not mind baselessly speculating about why Republican Chris Christie came under criticism for lavish travel expenses. Nor did she hesitate to speculate, along with conservative pundit John Fund, that Democrat Ron Wyden had flip-flopped on health care reform when a simple Google search would have explained otherwise. She even tried to prod actor Gary Sinise into negatively speculating about the Obama administration over its handling of overseas military ballots even though it was clear Sinise knew nothing about it. And that's not even counting the kind of baseless hate mongering of Glenn Beck.

Kelly continued, “We’ve had some people question whether that is something you should be sharing now because tempers are already inflamed, people are upset about what’s happened… is it the time really to be injecting speculative opinion like that, into this case by somebody like yourself, the sheriff?”

As opposed to, say, the time Kelly baselessly speculated during the 2010 election cycle that, thanks to the Obama DOJ’s racial preferences, African American thugs might be showing up at voting precincts across the country with the goal of intimidating white voters?

Dupnik said he thought it was “difference of opinion” that “makes the world go round and round.” He added, “I think it’s irresponsible for us not at some point to address this kind of behavior and try to put a stop to it. There’s no doubt in my mind that there are consequences to this kind of behavior. When people, allegedly credible people, who get up in front of cameras and microphones and say things that are not true and try to inflame the public, when millions of dollars are filtered into this country to buy very vitriolic ads and they don’t have to be identified – the countries that they’re coming from or the people who are donating ‘em – I think it’s time that we take a look at it. I think free speech is free speech but it’s not without consequences.

Kelly replied, “With respect, Sheriff, I know that you’re a Democrat… I just want to press you on that a little because I’m sure some of our viewers are asking themselves why you are putting a political spin on this… (rather than being) just focused on the facts, on uncovering the facts?” Funny how she did not have those concerns when interviewing J. Christian Adams, a partisan Republican, when he came on her show with his second-hand allegations about the DOJ’s racial bias?

Dupnik said, “I think that it’s more than just a political spin. I’m not sure that it really has anything to do with politics… It used to be that politicians from different parties could sit down, forget about their ideology and work on the country’s problems. We don’t see that happening today. As a matter of fact, we see just the opposite. We see one party trying to block the attempts of another party to make this a better country. And I think that it’s time that we as a country need to look into our souls and into our hearts and say ‘is what we’re doing really in the best interest of this country or is there something better that we can do?’”

Kelly called that “a fair point” but added that Dupnik seemed to be saying the shooter is “some sort of madman” that she likened to the assassins of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. “Is it really the place of a sheriff to stir the pot on either side of the political aisle?”

In a nice nod to Fox News’ motto, Dupnik told her, “I guess that’s for the listeners to decide.”

“That’s fair enough, sir,” Kelly said. “I appreciate that answer.”

Kelly is no fool and she does not normally engage in the same level of inflammatory hate mongering that Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity does. But she knows darned well what goes on at her network. And I’ll bet she knows equally well, once more details come out about Loughner, that she’ll have some fancy footwork to do trying to tapdance away from any suggestions that right-wing invective played a role in the tragedy.