Fox News Cannot Separate Itself from the Giffords Shootings

Fox News president Roger Ailes, in an interview with Russell Simmons, said that any attempts to connect his network or the tea party to the Gabrielle Giffords shootings are “bullshit.” He thinks that “both sides” are responsible for the hate rhetoric that has pervaded the country since 2000.  Nice try, Ailes, but it’s not going to work.  Anyone with an objective mind knows that Fox News has been responsible for the heated rhetoric.  (Granted, anyone who watches Fox News would not normally be associated with an “objective mind.”)

And how does Ailes explain why Fox News, not that long after the shootings, had an interview with a tea party “leader” who said, erroneously, that Loughner was “obviously a left wing anarchist” and that the “left” is “revolting” and “disgusting” if it tries to associate the tea party with the Giffords shootings.

Certainly, Fox News is more responsible than other other media for the hate rhetoric.  I won’t deny that what Ailes refers to as the “other side” has also contributed to the rhetoric, but there is no possible way that Ailes can deny that Fox News has been, by far, the major offender.  And, as for the “other side,” one way of looking at it is that the “other side” would never had used any hate rhetoric at all but for the fact that they had to (finally) respond to the bile coming from Fox News.

In fact, Ailes, himself, in the interview with Russell Simmons, acknowledges that Fox News has been responsible for the heated rhetoric since he says that “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually.  You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”  Fox News cannot now try to disassociate itself from the shootings.