While wrapping up CBS News special coverage of the Senate impeachment trial Friday afternoon, Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell reported that violent threats were being made against several schools in the state of Maine as a sick attempt to pressure Republican Senator Susan Collins to convict President Trump. Amazingly, the anchor cited “anger on both sides” of the political divide while mentioning the clearly one-sided threats.
“I heard and we’re reporting here at CBS News that there were threats in the state of Maine, the FBI looking into about some threats about school shootings, that if Senator Collins voted for acquittal that they would carry out these,” O’Donnell informed viewers late in the 1:00 p.m. ET hour.
She concluded that the vile threats were evidence of “the level we’re at in terms of the anger on both sides about this particular vote.”
Both sides? It certainly sounds like those threats were only coming from one side.
Only moments before O’Donnell shared the information, Democratic strategist and CBS News political analyst Jamal Simmons touted: “Senator Collins, she’s been getting beaten up pretty hard by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. They have been really going after her in Maine.”
Political parties should never be blamed for violence or threats of violence without clear evidence of a direct linkage. However, in the past, the liberal media have had no trouble rushing to blame conservatives and Republican for such abhorrent acts. CBS – along with the rest of the press – happily engaged in false speculation that Sarah Palin inspired the attacker in the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords that left several others dead.
More recently, the broadcast networks made the nasty prediction that a peaceful Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia would devolve into “another Charlottesville.”
Despite the eagerness to claim the right is responsible for violence – or even incorrectly predicted violence – when a threat comes from the left, the coverage somehow becomes a scolding of “both sides.”
Here is a transcript of the January 31 exchange:
1:43 PM ET
JAMMAL SIMMONS [CBS NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST]: Lastly, I’ll just say Senator Collins, she’s been getting beaten up pretty hard by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. They have been really going after her in Maine. What you’re going to see from her now, if she votes for witnesses, she’ll kind get best of both worlds. She’ll be able to say, “I voted for witnesses,” but it won’t actually matter. The question is, will Donald Trump still punish her, because in his world, you get no free licks on Donald Trump. He always punches back.
NORAH O’DONNELL: It should be noted that the original rules laid out by the Republican Leader McConnell did not allow for a vote on witnesses, it was Senator Collins pushing for that that ultimately led us to this moment today.
I heard and we’re reporting here at CBS News that there were threats in the state of Maine, the FBI looking into about some threats about school shootings, that if Senator Collins voted for acquittal that they would carry out these. This is sort of the level of – you know, the level we’re at in terms of the anger on both sides about this particular vote. And the Capitol Police and the FBI are on top of that.