It was just a fleeting remark, but quite a telling one. Closing out a segment on his June 23 Hardball program, MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews made reference to Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof in a way which diminished the racist terrorist's responsibility for his actions.
Here's the relevant comment:
June 23, 2015
7:12 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, Arthur Schlesinger once said that being a politician is to be in essentially a learning profession. You must learn all the time.
EUGENE ROBINSON, Washington Post columnist: Right. So which Republicans learn that Charleston matters? What happened last week in Charleston is going to matter.
MATTHEWS: Because it showed our bloodstream has this in it. It wasn't an organization, it wasn't the police force, it was this kid who was somehow channeling the hatred that he had somehow inherited from somewhere from this society.
Of course, by all indications Roof was a lone wolf and he was NOT influenced by racist family members. No one has produced evidence that Roof was raised in a home that was animated by white supremacist ideology or that his circle of classmates and friends was either.
Last week, you may recall, I noted how Robinson and Matthews blamed an "atmosphere" of hate for Roof's murderous violence. You can read that piece here.