Former CBS anchor, Scott Pelley, took time during one of his last broadcasts on Thursday to suggest Republican congressmen had it coming when a gunman opened fire at their baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday.
“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 on Thursday's CBS “Evening News.” Pelley used those comments to launch into a lecture with heated political rhetoric, and he even singled out President Donald Trump for his criticism of the press.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Pelley did note that Wednesday's shooter was a supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but implied that Trump's words, like Sanders's, could spur political violence.
Before citing Trump's media criticism, Pelley speculated about the role of politicians and commentators in setting a standard for political speech:
“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. ... You might think that no sane person would act on political hate speech, and you'd be right. The trouble is, there are a lot of Americans who struggle with mental illness.”
He concluded by saying that words begot violence and cautioned that everyone should take a moment and think before they speak.