Smerconish on Extreme Rhetoric: ‘Media Personalities Are Rewarded for Bombast, Not Substance’


In the wake of the Congressional baseball shooting which left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) in critical condition and several others injured, there has been much discussion devoted to what role extreme political rhetoric played. After the shooting, it was discovered that the shooter was a fervent Bernie Sanders supporter who posted anti-Trump and anti-GOP comments on social media. He was also found carrying a handwritten list of Republican lawmakers after the shooting.

CNN’s Michael Smerconish devoted his opening monologue this morning to the shooting and how it fits in today’s “poisonous political climate.” Lamenting that many are just focusing on the left or the right when condemning incivility, the CNN host noted that “there’s plenty of bad behavior to go around and it has been this way for far too long.”

Pointing out examples of both liberals and conservatives in the media going too far with their criticism of political figures, Smerconish expressed his pessimism that things will change for the better following the shooting. Why? Because he believes commentators are encouraged to be over-the-top.

“Media personalities rewarded for bombast, not substance,” he explained. “Their livelihoods depend on fomenting division, not diplomacy. Don’t come looking to them to lead.”

At the same time, he stated that while looking to “rein in the extremists,” we shouldn’t look to “stymie legitimate inquiry and debate.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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