BOSTON (CBS) – On CNN Thursday, I caught Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jane Sanders, wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign the Virginia baseball game shooter apparently volunteered for.
Blitzer asked Mrs. Sanders if, when Bernie calls President Trump “dangerous,” he goes too far? She said no, that “when you throw 23 million people off of health care without even a hearing, that’s dangerous — to those 23 million people.”
There is no evidence connecting sharp-edged political rhetoric directly with actual violence; you may notice that mental illness is almost always present in the very regrettable but quite rare cases where people act out in this way.
But then Mrs. Sanders turned right around and played the blame game herself.
“I think the media needs to look at itself as well,” she said. “The media characterizes every conversation as an adversarial one… the media’s job, I think, is to illuminate the facts, not fan the flames.”
This is every bit as dumb as blaming Bernie Sanders or any other pol for violence their supporters may commit.
She’s right, it’s not our job to “fan the flames,” and no responsible journalist or editor would do so. But it is our job to report on the fire, and hold the feet of posturing politicians to it.
Untreated mental illness, poor screening of gun buyers, those are real issues that need to be discussed.
I’m also up for a conversation about inappropriate political behavior.
But finger-pointing like this?
Sorry, no sale.