Before AM Joy was knocked out of its normal time slot for the breaking news that there was (yet another) mass shooting in America, they were discussing the different ways Donald Trump and his supporters incite violence and encourage activity like last week's MAGA bomber activity.
Before America had even begun to process the fact that the entire upper tier of Democratic leadership, a major media outlet, two former presidents and a former Secretary of State had been targeted with IEDs, regularly scheduled programming was interrupted with news of (yet another) Trump-incited hate crime.
Malcolm Nance framed the actual threat raised by a man who felt free to send IEDs to people he believed to be Trump's mortal enemy.
Anyone who says this wasn't a real attack, you are betraying your oath to the Constitution," Nance said. "You are acting in an un-American fashion and you are allowing other people to believe they can carry out this type of attack.
Narrowing in on what is at stake here, Nance continued, "This is support of terrorism when you don't call it out for what it is. These bombs were viable, real, they were attempted murder on American citizens."
"We don't get to select who we want to protect. We protect all Americans," he stated.
He added, "Clearly on the Trump side that's no longer operative. They are choosing who they will protect and defend. Which means that their oaths of office are inoperative."
Yes. Jill Wine-Banks then explained why what Trump is doing isn't protected by the First Amendment. After reviewing the toxic spew conservative voters marinate in every day -- from Infowars to Fox News -- and the dreadful conspiracy theories and lies these outlets promote daily, Wine-Banks turned to their gaslighting on health care to illustrate her point.
"People will go to the polls believing when Donald Trump tweets 'I will protect pre-existing conditions, the Democrats will take it away,'" she said. "That flies in the face of every piece of evidence of what Donald Trump and the Republicans want to do."
It defies logic. Democrats put those protections in place. Republicans voted many, many times to take them away, and now they want everyone to think they're the knights on white horses coming to save people from that which Democrats already rescued them from.
"That's propaganda," she continued. "That's what happened in Nazi Germany, that's what happens in other authoritarian regimes. People do not get the facts."
"We need to protect the First Amendment," she told viewers.
"The First Amendment does not allow you to yell FIRE in a crowded theater," Wine-Banks argued. "It doesn't allow Donald Trump to say, 'Beat up those protesters or I applaud you for body slamming a reporter.'"
"That is not covered by the First Amendment. This is a danger to democracy and everyone that we stand for in America," she concluded.
All of this was said and happened just before the news of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Center in Pittsburgh broke, and we discovered the shooter was someone who hated Jews. Someone who hated Jews and believed he had the absolute right to take their lives to feed his hate.
Whether it's bombs or an AR-15 style weapon, this is what happens when the leadership in this country -- Donald Trump and his band of sycophantic Republicans -- gives hate space to thrive in this country.
And no. It's not protected speech. It's incitement.