After violence, calls for civility and fair reporting
by J.C. Derrick
Posted 10/29/18, 10:51 am
After a string of violent and malicious acts in the United States, including a shooting at a supermarket in Kentucky, a mass mailing of suspicious packages to Democrats, and the massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, federal officials and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for more civil public discourse over the weekend.
“Anybody who uses the First Amendment as a cover to threaten or commit an act of violence will not be tolerated,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Sunday on Fox News. “There is no place for hate in this country. Hate is hate, violence is violence.”
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told CBS News’ Face the Nation that Americans have lost the ability to talk to one another with civility: “Our social media rhetoric, our intensity of our dialogue is no longer about having dialogue and conversation. It’s shouting someone else down that you disagree with and trying to silence them rather than having dialogue with them.”
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., called on all political leaders to do better: “I think those of us in national office—our president, those who would hope to be president, those of us in Congress—who have louder microphones and who are heard from and seen more regularly need to take responsibility for ways in which we lower the temperature.”
President Donald Trump called for national unity at a rally over the weekend and on Monday blamed news media for stoking division. “There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news,” Trump tweeted. He referenced “The Fake News Media” and called them “the true Enemy of the People,” calling for reporting that is more fair and accurate, adding, “That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony.”
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J.C. is WORLD Radio’s managing editor. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012 and eventually becoming WORLD’s Washington Bureau chief. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.