CBS Evening News host Scott Pelley is engaging in victim-blaming after suggesting that last week's attempted mass-assassination of GOP congressmen at a baseball practice was "to some degree self-inflicted."
Pelley, who was relieved of his hosting duties last week, made the suggestion during the monologue of one of his final shows.
"It's time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress, yesterday, was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted," Pelley said. "Too many leaders, and political commentators, who set an example for us to follow, have led us into an abyss of violent rhetoric which, it should be no surprise, has led to violence."
Pelley went on to cite examples of "violent rhetoric", including President Trump declaring several news outlets "the enemy of the American People," that he believes led to last week's shooting.
You might think that no sane person would act on political hate speech, and you'd be right. Trouble is, there are a lot of Americans who struggle with mental illness.
In February, the president tweeted that the news media were the "enemy of the American people":
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Later, at a lunch for reporters, President Trump was asked whether he worried that language would incite violence. His pause indicated it had never crossed his mind. Then he said, "No, that doesn't worry me."
Despite his insistence that the two were related, Pelley failed to explain how President Trump's criticism of the media led to Wednesday's shooting of GOP lawmakers.