January 8, 2016

CNN's editorial policy centers on this: If a commentator says that a lot of people believe something, then that thing they believe must be a legitimate thing, worthy of debate.

It's related to the "both sides" method of journalism, with a little "we'll have to leave it here" tossed in, but whatever it is, it isn't news. After Anderson Cooper flirted with that during President Obama's town hall on guns, we have commentator Jeffrey Lord picking it up and running with it on mass murders in this country.

While discussing Donald Trump's predictable rants about gun control, Lord told host Alisyn Camerota that there is a "culture of violence in this country."

He then went on to say, "One of the things that was quite noticeable last night unless I missed it, abortion was never mentioned. And there are plenty of Americans who believe that abortion, since Roe v. Wade has contributed to a culture of violence in this country."

There they go again, with that claim that because some folks believe it, it must be so.

Camerota challenged him on that assertion, but he stuck to his guns.

"There is a direct connection here, a direct connection," Lord maintained. "If we have created a culture, in the words of one Catholic Deacon Greg Kandra, where human life is treated like trash, what do we expect here? Mass shootings have increased dramatically since Roe v. Wade."

Fortunately, Van Jones was there to help him with some facts, based on actual data.

"It's the opposite," Jones corrected. "Since Roe v. Wade, you have had a decrease in violent crime across the country in all categories."

This is true. There is only one area where we've seen a spike, and that's in these mass shootings, which are more likely related to the availability of weapons which kill lots of people very quickly, rather than anything to do with women's right to choose.

While I appreciate Camerota's and Jones's efforts to bring this man back to earth, it would be better if CNN didn't lower their bar to the point where they're willing to put on any old idiot who says stupid things because "a lot of people believe it."

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