October 28, 2018

Fox hosts Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace clashed in a discussion about the role of Donald Trump’s rhetoric after pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc was arrested yesterday. Let’s just say that the Foxies who blamed President Barack Obama’s sympathy for Black Lives Matter on police officer deaths will not likely be accessing those memories any time soon.

On yesterday’s Shepard Smith Reporting, Wallace seemed more concerned that Trump (and, by implication, Trump’s Fox News chorus) not get blamed for the pipe bombs sent to numerous right-wing targets than the safety of those targeted. From the Media Matters transcript:

SMITH: Chris, you just can't ignore the politics of all this, even if you wanted to. These are people the president has gone after rhetorically. These are people this guy targeted. He's a big supporter. It goes to the tone and tenor of the political discourse and the words that the president uses in his rallies and all the rest.

WALLACE: Yes, but. And the but is that, I don't think you can draw any particular link or any responsibility on the part of the president for this action. I mean, as Sarah Sanders said and as was just repeated by John Roberts, a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up the congressman at the baseball practice. Is Bernie Sanders responsible for that? There's no question.

SMITH: No one said he was responsible. I'm just saying the political -- the rhetorical discourse in this country has devolved over time and the president says we need to unify. Well, some of that begins with the rhetoric, does it not?

WALLACE: Well, it would certainly be good, but I think it's separate and apart from the actions of this guy. This is a twisted person. There are 300 million Americans and they may be part of the furious political debate in the country but they don't put explosive devices in packages.


SMITH: But to ignore the elephant in the room is just, you know, it's a fool's folly.

WALLACE: I think that it's really incorrect to somehow hold the president either by implication or directly responsible --

SMITH: I didn't say that and you know it Chris.

WALLACE: In any way for the misdeeds of a person who is a psychopath or a sociopath.

SMITH: No one did that though, Chris, and don't say I did. All I said was when the rhetoric gets loud, the crazies come out sometime.

Boy, what a difference a Republican president in office makes on Fox News when it comes to the role. of. rhetoric. in violence.

crossposted from Newshounds.

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