Media’s ‘Both Sides Do It’ Impulse Goes Into Overdrive In Wake Of San Bernardino

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Attribution: Getty Images

Attribution: Getty Images


It says something about our current weak-tea media, as well as the sheer number of issues on which Republicans force journalists to contort themselves to achieve the appearance of false balance, when the biggest names in the media are deluding themselves and us on what the left and the right are actually saying about mass shootings. We saw it play out in this from NBC’s Chuck Todd and crew:

It says something about our current polarized politics, as well as the sheer number of violent killings in this country, when the left and right are picking which mass shootings to exploit and fit into their own worldview. We saw it play out last week after a deranged man killed three people at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado. And we saw it play out yesterday after we learned a Muslim married couple killed 14 in San Bernadino, CA — though we’re still learning more about their actual motive. But here’s our question: Shouldn’t our national and political outrage be the same, whether the shooter cried out “No more baby parts” or whether the shooters were Muslim with Arabic-sounding names? In each case, innocent Americans were killed. And here’s another question: Shouldn’t the response from our political leaders be the same — that they will explore every kind of public-policy solution to prevent these kinds of killings? As National Journal’s Ron Fournier put it: “BREAKING: _________, a tragic situation leaving ___ dead and, with no known motive and few details, still confirms my opinion about ______.” Exactly.

Yes, in each case, innocent Americans were killed. And in each case, Democrats talked about needing stronger gun laws to make such tragedies less likely, while Republicans … were a little more selective in their responses. Exhibit A: Ted Cruz.

Yes, when the easy availability of guns in America is involved in a mass shooting (and it usually is), the opinions of Democrats that guns should be less easily available will tend to come into play. But Democrats were consistent on that point between last week’s Planned Parenthood shootings and this week’s San Bernardino shootings. Whereas Republicans wanted to avoid leaping to judgment that the white, Christian, Planned Parenthood shooting suspect who said “no more baby parts” had been politically motivated in any way, whereas just the fact of the San Bernardino shooting suspects had suspiciously furrin, Mooslim-sounding names was enough for a whole lot of leaping to judgment.

Shouldn’t our media be able to see when both sides are not, in fact, doing the same thing?

Source: DailyKos

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