CNN anchor Don Lemon said on his show Monday that he sees only “right-wingers,” not Democrats, committing murders over their political beliefs.
Conservative commentator Mike Shields argued on Lemon’s show,”CNN Tonight,” that blaming “fear-mongering” from Fox News over the Central American immigrant caravan for the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh was “disgusting” and “outrageous.”
Shields brought up the Bernie Sanders supporter who shot Representative Steve Scalise at a Republican congressional baseball practice in 2017, apparently motivated by his political disagreements with the GOP.
Liberal commentator Max Boot accused Shields of blaming Sanders for the shooting, something he had not suggested and that he patently denied.
“You’re not being honest,” Lemon told Shields, a recurring guest on the show. “This is not equal, and I understand the whole argument about both sides.”
“So if you’re not equivocating, if you’re not saying that they’re equal in comparing them, then why are you bringing that up?” the host asked. “Bernie Sanders is not the president.”
Critics of President Trump have blamed his provocative rhetoric for Saturday’s synagogue shooting as well as the string of pipe bombs sent to high-profile Trump critics last week.
“So why do you keep bringing up other people instead of talking about the person who is the president of the United States, the rhetoric that is being spouted by one network, and the conservative media?” Lemon said. “Why not just take ownership of that and talk about how you can correct it on that side instead of this whataboutism?”
“For both sides to understand this, they both have to realize they contribute to it, okay?” Shields responded.
“The right-wing group killed the woman in Charlottesville. This guy is a right-winger who killed the people in the synagogue. The right-winger sent bombs to CNN and to Democrats. I don’t see Democrats killing people because of political — yeah, there may be democratic operatives who are out there.”
“Well they tried to,” Shields interjected.
“Okay, fine, they tried to, and that’s not right,” he said. “But for the most part, what do you see here, Mike? You see these extreme right-wingers.”