There is always a risk when hiring former political operatives to take over major network news shows. There was concern when Tim Russert, who formerly worked for Democrats, Senator Patrick Moynihan and New York Governor Mario Cuomo was given the keys to Meet The Press. Russert largely came through, being as equally tough on Democrats as he was Republicans. The same cannot be said for former Tom Harkin operative, Chuck Todd, who has been known to show favoritism towards Democrats and has been tougher on Republicans.
The worst however, is George Stephanopoulos of ABC’S This Week. Stephanopoulos is a former operative for the Clintons and seemingly has shown no interest in even pretending to be fair. He brow beat Peter Schweizer, author of ‘Clinton Cash’ without having disclosed he was a donor to The Clinton Foundation. He nearly single handedly created the bogus “war on women” meme Democrats seized on in 2012 with a completely irrelevant question about states banning contraception during one of the GOP debates.
The situation has not gotten better over time. This weekend, Stephanopoulos was interviewing Chris Christie. They were discussing the shooting in Oregon and after Christie said events such as this are the exception, Stephanopoulos said the following (skip ahead to 2:07):
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CHRISTIE: I would. And I – and I’ve heard doctors in my state say, the laws are so difficult and murky. Let’s work on those kinds of things. I think that makes sense.
But let’s remember something else, in many of the places around this country where they have the toughest gun laws, they have the highest violent crime rates. And we focus on a tragedy like this. It’s an awful tragedy. It’s terrible. But it is the exception to violence in America. Violence in America that’s happened on our streets in our cities, like Chicago, up 19 percent, the murder rate. New York, up 11 percent. And you have some of the most aggressive gun laws in cities like that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But – but –
CHRISTIE: So let’s enforce the law. There’s lawlessness out there, George, that we are not enforcing the law in the (INAUDIBLE) ways we should. And as a former prosecutor, I believe we should.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But there’s no question the pace of mass shootings is accelerating, happening more frequently than anywhere else. If it’s not the gun, then what is it? What is the answer? What is so unique about American culture and American psychology?
There’s only one problem: it is not true.
While it is true that such shootings are up during Obama’s two terms, the overall trend doesn’t show there is any kind of “crisis” “epidemic.”
James Alan Fox, a criminology professor has done the research and what he has come up with data between 1976 and 2012 reveals the following:
There is no major upward trend during that time. There has been the addition of 24 hour news stations, the internet and of course social media which has allowed such news to spread very quickly. As Fox points out in a recent column in USA Today:
More important, the increase in cases, if there was one at all, is negligible. Indeed, the only genuine increase is in hype and hysteria.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype. Of course, President Obama must make everything about him so naturally he runs before the cameras after such tragedies looking to blame Republicans and the NRA for preventing him from “doing something.” Naturally, the President and his allies can never truly say what that “something” is, but apparently, it makes them feel better to say it.
Because facts are irrelevant when they can score political points.