On Monday morning, the objective from the liberal broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC was clear: blame conservatives as accessories for attempted murder in the attack on Paul Pelosi by a Berekely-residing nudist. The networks even admitted “no specific motive has been identified” but argued, without evidence, tens of millions of right-leaning Americans are “play[ing] footsie with the forces of violence.”
And as for the fact that conservatives have faced threats and been victims of political violence, one show brushed that aside as less important.
CBS Mornings was by far the worst, spending nearly ten minutes on the beating of the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti tied the actions of the drug-addicted, mentally ill assailant to “the January 6 Capitol Hill mob” because he allegedly shouted, “where is Nancy.”
Vigliotti also sought to make Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) an accomplice. His crime? The fact that he posted a video of himself at a gun range with “#FirePelosi” in the description:
The alleged attack comes days before the midterms when some get out the vote ads have taken direct aim at the speaker. On Face the Nation, Margaret Brennan asked the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Congressman Tom Emmer, about his gun-toting ad with the hashtag #FirePelosi.
Along with ABC and NBC, CBS’s Vigliotti never made mention of the attacker’s drug addiction, mental health history, or how his blog and views went beyond censorship ranging from there being “Alien-Human Hybrid Infiltrators,” to suicidal people having painkillers to 9/11 trutherism.
In a second segment that co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King said would delve into “the rise in violent political rhetoric,” chief political analyst John Dickerson insisted the cause stemmed from “broad forces” even though “it’s not the same in both parties.”
Dickerson initially sounded the right notes, citing “apocalyptic thinking...exacerbated by the media,” fundraising, and people living in bubbles with like-minded individuals. While the liberal media play a huge role in this, Dickerson acted as though he and his colleagues haven’t played a role.
Dickerson kicked it into overdrive by dismissing attacks on conservatives and Republicans because, “[w]hile there have been victims in both parties....the structure of the Republican Party...with the advent of Donald Trump has put someone at the top of the party who has consistently advocated violence and who has created a market within his own party where it's fun to joke about violence to play footsie with the forces of violence.”
He added that Republicans writ large now ignore and have accepted violence against their adversaries because, “you have Republican lawmakers when they were retiring would say I don't want to speak out even though I’m retiring because if I go back home, I'm going to get threats.”
Not only did Dickerson explain the rise in violence as a hallmark of the right, King insisted to fake Republican Doug Heye that Republicans haven’t “been full-throated in their...condemnations” of the Pelosi attack.
Heye agreed Republicans have excused it and collectively made fun of it. Worse yet, he argued the right only cares when they’re the victims (click “expand”):
DICKERSON: [T]his is — is related to Paul Pelosi, but also the most important thing is, in January 6th, you had a situation where lies from the President created a violent reaction by people who thought I can't get what I want through the ballot box, so I'm going to turn to violence.
KING: But they continue to do so, Doug. And I know you don't speak for all Republicans. But now, this feels different to me. Does it feel different to you? We've been hearing about violence that's going to happen. It’s going to happen and now it has happened. And it doesn’t seem to me that a lot of Republicans have been full throated in their — in their condemnations of it —
HEYE: No, they haven’t.
KING: — when it first happened.
HEYE: No, they haven't, and some make light of it. And the challenge, I think, that we have in politics is it's bad when it happens to our side, it's okay when it happens to the other side.
KING: But it shouldn't be a Republican or Democrat issue.
HEYE: No, no, it shouldn’t.
KING: Everybody should be saying this.
HEYE: And every member — every Republican member of Congress believes Steve Scalise and knows the security detail that was fired upon that day of the baseball practice and other members of Congress who were — who were shot at. But we have very short memories and when it happens to the other side, we sort of move past it.
Continuing to talk vaguely about politics (when it’s really directed at the right), Dickerson lamented politics is no longer “tough in the service of an idea” and thus “it’s fun to talk about violence” while Heye lamented “negative ads have always worked” like his for Republicans in 2010 calling for voters to “fire Pelosi.”
King interjected to tie Heye to this attack 12 years later: “Do you regret that now? I thought Margaret did a good job in challenging Emmer yesterday by saying do you have to use a gun in the ad.”
Heye continued to cede ground, saying “there's a difference when you start using things like that, guns in ads” as if to blame Emmer even though Heye himself said “this guys...is...a smorgasbord of nutjob.”
ABC’s Good Morning America also sought to blame the GOP. Here was correspondent Mola Lenghi: “[W]hile no specific motive has been identified, the circumstances are eerily similar to January 6th attack, some bringing zip ties into the Capitol attempting to find officials and take them hostage.”
Lenghi also focused on painting him as a right-winger and attacking Musk while co-host Eva Pilgrim said this attack was “part of a bigger picture.” Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas agreed, calling our politics “incredibly toxic” with federal law enforcement warning about threats to candidates (click “expand”):
LENGHI: The suspect's alleged social media pages show multiple false conspiracy theories relating to COVID-19, the 2020 election, and the federal government. Well, Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, weighing in on the Pelosi attack, retweeting an article from a newspaper knowing for publishing false news. In case, about Paul Pelosi. In his retweet, which was later, Musk suggested that this baseless article from this website, Eva, might be true.
PILGRIM: Can you help put this terrible attack in perspective for us? It’s part of a bigger picture.
THOMAS: Eva, good morning. This is an incredibly toxic moment that has been building for years and only getting worse. Threats against members of Congress have more than doubled since 2017...[T]hreats against federal judges have been surging as well, tripling in that same time frame. And this morning, FBI and homeland security officials are out with a new bulletin as we head down the stretch to the midterms. The bulletin says right now there's a heightened threat from radicalized individuals who may target voters, candidates, and election workers leading up to the midterms. This potential threat is largely being fueled by hot button issues that divide the nation and the lie that there has been widespread election. And we all know that the election lie was stoked in the 2020 presidential campaign and on January 6th. No specific plot has been identified for the midterms, but the Pelosi incident shows why U.S. law enforcement is so concerned[.]
And on NBC’s Today, senior national correspondent Miguel Almaguer painted the suspect as someone whose blog “brimm[ed] with far-right extremism” and “conspiracy theories” that have left “Democrats, including President Biden, sounding the alarm.”
Monday’s attempts to criminalize dissent and blame tens of millions of conservatives for the actions of a mentally ill nudist was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as CarMax (on ABC), Google (on NBC), and Jeep (on CBS). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcripts from October 31, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS, part one), here (for CBS, part two), and here (for NBC).