Fox hosts Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace clashed in a discussion about the role of Donald Trump’s rhetoric after pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc was arrested yesterday. Let’s just say that the Foxies who blamed President Barack Obama’s sympathy for Black Lives Matter on police officer deaths will not likely be accessing those memories any time soon.
On yesterday’s Shepard Smith Reporting, Wallace seemed more concerned that Trump (and, by implication, Trump’s Fox News chorus) not get blamed for the pipe bombs sent to numerous right-wing targets than the safety of those targeted. From the Media Matters transcript:
SMITH: Chris, you just can't ignore the politics of all this, even if you wanted to. These are people the president has gone after rhetorically. These are people this guy targeted. He's a big supporter. It goes to the tone and tenor of the political discourse and the words that the president uses in his rallies and all the rest.
WALLACE: Yes, but. And the but is that, I don't think you can draw any particular link or any responsibility on the part of the president for this action. I mean, as Sarah Sanders said and as was just repeated by John Roberts, a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up the congressman at the baseball practice. Is Bernie Sanders responsible for that? There's no question.
SMITH: No one said he was responsible. I'm just saying the political -- the rhetorical discourse in this country has devolved over time and the president says we need to unify. Well, some of that begins with the rhetoric, does it not?
WALLACE: Well, it would certainly be good, but I think it's separate and apart from the actions of this guy. This is a twisted person. There are 300 million Americans and they may be part of the furious political debate in the country but they don't put explosive devices in packages.
SMITH: But to ignore the elephant in the room is just, you know, it's a fool's folly.
WALLACE: I think that it's really incorrect to somehow hold the president either by implication or directly responsible --
SMITH: I didn't say that and you know it Chris.
WALLACE: In any way for the misdeeds of a person who is a psychopath or a sociopath.
SMITH: No one did that though, Chris, and don't say I did. All I said was when the rhetoric gets loud, the crazies come out sometime.
Watch it below, from the October 26, 2018 Shepard Smith Reporting, via Media Matters.
James Hodgkinson was not a Democrat. He was an angry independent guy who felt the rich were stealing from everyone else. He supported Bernie Sanders as an independent who wanted Sanders to shake up the establishment, and he was enraged by the behavior of Trump and the Pence White House. Hodgkinson was also an unstable man with a serious anger problem who had access to guns and ammunition, which he used to brutally attack the congressmen at the baseball practice. If anything, Hodgkinson is a poster child for the issue of why this country desperately needs sane gun regulations. Hodgkinson’s act of shooting up the baseball game speaks not of anything any Democratic person has ever advocated – it speaks only of Hodgkinson’s madness and of the fury that the Trump crowd has inspired around this country.
Bernie Sanders NEVER advocated for violence or shootings or anything like this. He did have some supporters who were more anarchists or angry warriors than anything else, but he repeatedly disavowed such people and stated that he was sickened by their violence. It’s true that there were plenty of anarchists inspired by Sanders to fight the political machine, but it’s not a true statement to say that Sanders or the Democrats were actively encouraging any of them to shoot or kill anyone.
On the other hand, we have this Florida Trumper, clearly inspired by the violent rhetoric of Trump and the Fox News crowd, and it’s evident why he chose to send mail bombs to the people he did – because Fox News, AM Radio and the Tweeter-in-Chief told him it was okay to do so. He was one of many deplorables who have felt emboldened by the Pence White House and Trump to act out on the hatred within him. We’re just lucky that his bombs were intercepted and dealt with and that this man is behind bars.
If the Pence White House had any shame whatsoever, Donald Trump would humbly apologize to this nation for the violence he has advocated, and he would beg Americans for their forgiveness. And if Fox News had an iota of shame, they would do the same. Sadly, they do not have any shame, and we don’t live in that world. I’m sure that on Monday, Rush Limbaugh will be opining that this guy was a Democratic Party plant of some kind. And then Trump will echo the same claim at a rally.