"I think the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what (we) see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised, that this has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in. And I think it's time that we do the soul-searching."
Today, the sheriff added:
"The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
So a major a Democratic player in DC tossed in his comments to feed the fire on CBS's Face the Nation. Representative Hoyer spoke:
"Bob, when you and I grew up, we grew up listening to essentially three major news outlets: NBC, ABC, and of course, CBS. We listened to people like Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid, and Huntley-Brinkley, and they saw their job as to inform us of the facts and we would make a conclusion," Hoyer said. "Far too many broadcasts now and so many outlets have the intent of inciting, and inciting people to opposition, to anger, to thinking the other side is less than moral. And I think that is a context in which somebody who is mentally unbalanced can somehow feel justified in taking this kind of action. And I think we need to all take cognizance of that and be aware that what we say can, in fact, have consequences."
I paused there and pondered. Most of the networks and 'experts' have tried hard to focus on the story and not get into another political blame game. The commentary leading back to the old three major news outlets was probably something you'd expect, but it lacks explanation. Frankly, we aren't living in 1966 any longer, and we have virtually no way to retreat back to 1966. If the Sheriff or the Representative can think of a magic formula to retreat back forty years....I'd appreciate an explanation.
I'd also like to add some observations that both gentlemen seem to have missed. We've had attacks on political figures for over two hundred years. The idea that MSNBC, Fox News or the Drudge Report started something fresh and new....just won't wash. If either wanted to read the Hearst Newspaper's claims in 1898....you'd see how one newspaper manipulated the country to start a war. And no, there wasn't a congressional investigation to clear the air after the event. We just accepted the newspaper's contributions and fought Spain.
As for fixing the current mess? It's fairly simple....send the Senators and Representatives back to their districts for six months out of the year and deny them access to newspapers and news organizations. Without the chit-chat.....there won't be much to broadcast or get upset by. My guess is that no one wants to do that....and life will just go on.
My guess is that folks will run around this week trying to blame various folks for actions taken in Tucson. By Friday....most everyone will admit that the kid was a nutcase and would have shoot anybody....Republican or Democrat....if he'd had a chance. At that point.....sadly.... normalcy will return to DC.
As for dreaming of going back to 1966....it sounds real good, until someone asks how to rotate the clock in such a manner.