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Shame on Scott Pelley For Suggesting Scalise’s Shooting Was ‘Self-Inflicted’

By  |  June 19, 2017, 05:45pm  |  @stevengberman

James Hodgkinson brought an SKS rifle, 7.62mm ammunition, and a list of six Republican House Freedom Caucus members to a suburban Virginia ball field. Rep. Steve Scalise brought his glove and a bat. But CBS New anchor Scott Pelley publicly pondered in his nightly newscast if Scalise’s shooting–which frankly, he was fortunate to survive–was “self-inflicted.”

In his slow, authoritative baritone, Pelley asked if the attack was “foreseeable, predictable, and to some degree, self-inflicted.”

As to the first two items, I believe some kind of violence against lawmakers was certainly foreseeable, if you look at history. Predictable? In the sense of where it would happen and to whom? I think liberals would have predicted that some right-wing gun nut would storm a Democrat’s office and pepper it with automatic weapons fire. I don’t think they would have predicted Hodgkinson’s well-planned brand of assassination.

But self-inflicted?

First of all, while Scalise is recovering from a gunshot wound by a weapon that is designed to kill with a single shot, saying such a thing is beyond thoughtless. It’s the type of remark, which if made casually at a gathering of friends, would draw sharp looks and gasps. But in the cold light of a script and studio, such shameful and hurtful things can be uttered without shame.

As Jay Caruso wrote, “Pelley should be embarrassed for even suggesting it.”

Then Pelley, after posing a question, the answer to which is really something liberals might not want to hear, proceeds to blame fake news purveyor and tin-foil hat conspirator Alex Jones.

But let’s first circle back to why Pelley would ask it in the first place.

Liberals like those at CBS New can’t fathom that other liberals would embrace violence and killing. They posit what philosophy majors call the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. The left incorrectly painted Jared Loughner as a “Tea-partier” then it turns out he was a liberal, and a nutter. “Well, he had to be a nutter, because no true liberal would shoot a member of Congress.”

Then along comes Hodgkinson, who makes Loughner look like Mary Poppins. Of course, that means Hodgkinson wasn’t a liberal, “because no true liberal would do such a thing.” It had to be incited by the right’s incendiary rhetoric.

“You might think that no sane person would act on political hate speech, and you’d be right,” Pelley intoned. “Trouble is, there are a lot of Americans who struggle with mental illness.”

Here’s the logic:

  • Hodgkinson was mentally ill before he became a full-on Bernie Sanders supporter;
  • Rhetoric from Alex Jones, who Pelley characterized as a “conservative blogger” incited Hodgkinson to violence
  • Hodgkinson acted on his violent tendencies out of a misplaced sense of duty to Sanders, and in keeping with Jones’ style of incitement
Except that logic makes absolutely no sense. First of all, Jones is not a “conservative blogger.” He’s a conspiracy nut who claimed for years that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a hoax. Second, there’s been plenty of leftist violence during the campaign season, including calls from the “Antifa” movement (which overwhelmingly supported Bernie) to go after Republicans and “distrupt” or “resist.”

Third, the entire chain of logic presupposes that “no true liberal” would commit violence. In logic, this is called “begging the question.”

Was the shooting “self-incflicted?” The only way to conclude that is to conclude from the start that it could have been nothing else.

Until liberals and newscasters like Pelley take their collective heads out of the nether ends of their alimentary canals and realize the left is plenty violent, these attacks are both more foreseeable and predictable than ever. Shame on them.