House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came under fire this weekend for claiming in a recent interview the entire country shares some responsibility for unrest at the Capitol earlier this month.
During a “Full Court Press” interview with former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, McCarthy rejected the idea that President Donald Trump was entirely responsible for “inciting” the riot as Democrats attempt to impeach the former president after he’s left office.
“I thought the president had some responsibility when it came to the response. If you listen to what president said at the rally, he said, ‘demonstrate peacefully.’ And then I got a question later about whether did he incite them. I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility,” McCarthy told Van Susteren, according to a transcript obtained by Newsweek.
Trump detractors immediately seized on the comments, vilifying the Republican for declaring an uncomfortable reality.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) January 23, 2021
“We stand for the traditional American virtues of personal responsibility and accountability. Also did I mention not excusing bad behavior?”
“What about Donald Trump?
Hey man, who’s to say who’s responsible for what? And we gotta move on!”https://t.co/aRF6rCc08t
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 23, 2021
Dear @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy: You weren’t the one who, in the words of Liz Cheney, “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” Stop trying to take credit for the insurrection.
Only one person could have unleashed this mob: the former President. https://t.co/0tg1JF7YAP
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 23, 2021
A McCarthy spokesperson spun the California congressman’s comments in a statement to Newsweek claiming the House minority leader is merely being misunderstood, arguing instead McCarthy meant to reiterate genuine calls for unity as a task placed on everyone.
“I understand that some might want to spin McCarthy’s comments as spreading culpability of the actual rioters to everyone, but that’s just plain wrong. He has maintained since the attacks that we all have a responsibility to lower the political temperature across the spectrum that has been building for years and unite as Americans—this isn’t the first instance of political violence,” a spokesperson told the magazine.
McCarthy also released a video chronicling his consistency condemning the violence, a consistency absent among Democrats when left-wing militants frequently broke out in riots in the name of social justice last year.
From the minute the Capitol was attacked, I called for the rioters to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and have repeatedly said that it is incumbent upon every person in America to help lower the temperature of our political discourse. pic.twitter.com/8tLz1t5ABm
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 23, 2021
The initial interpretation of McCarthy’s remarks however, weren’t entirely wrong to begin with. They’re just an uncomfortable reality legacy media refuses to reckon with.
No writer has explained corporate media’s culpability in the Capitol attacks as succinctly as Federalist Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky in her article, “To Heal, We Must First Acknowledge Plummeting Public Trust Is Reasonable.”
Jashinsky highlights the story of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old veteran who served in the military for 14 years before she was shot and killed storming the Capitol. Below is one of Babbitt’s final retweets on Twitter.
“People I trust in DC … 1) President Trump – the end,” the post reads.
I’ll say this one more time in 2020 …
People I trust in Washington DC …
1) President Trump
– the end
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) December 31, 2020
While it might be misguided, these sentiments are emblematic of how many Americans feel towards Washington. U.S. institutions including Congress have failed them time and time again while lying and mocking them. Evidence of that is made clear on what happened Jan. 6.
They’ve watched their mayors and governors violate their own regulations for the sake of leisure or personal convenience or politics, crippling business and workers while they eat crabs. They then watched the media’s nakedly unbalanced coverage of it all, wild bias from bonus-pocketing journalists purporting to be arbiters of fact and undisputed occupants of the moral high ground.
Their lives, like all of our lives, have been upended in just over a decade by products tech oligarchs promised would make us happier. Those same billionaires now join the chorus of elites who treat them as ‘irredeemables’ and ‘deplorables’ because they disagree with full-throated progressivism.
Now Democrats have passed a snap impeachment of a president already voted out of office, not featuring a single hearing with a single witness, forcing the Senate to conduct a trial for an ex-president. There’s no context for unity with the backdrop of impeachment, let alone a process playing out to punish a man only to be made a martyr from the partisan procedure.
Legacy media’s conduct doesn’t justify what happened at the Capitol several weeks ago. Nothing does. But legacy’s media’s conduct did contribute to the unraveling of trust in the nation’s institutions, leaving millions, if not thousands, looking to Trump as the only figure they felt spoke with truth. So did the Democratic Party’s normalizing political violence, the Republican Party’s clinging to electoral fiction, academia breeding aggressively woke children running the nation’s newsrooms, and Hollywood unfairly mocking those refusing to conform to their left-wing standards.
Former Fox News Host Megyn Kelly, who now runs her own podcast with no allegiance to Trump, made the same point on BBC below, earning her the same scorn from the same sort of people refusing the same responsibility for playing any part in fomenting the the divisions that ultimately stormed the Capitol.
Megyn Kelly lost her Fox News TV show and was forced to hire a security detail to protect her children after she asked Donald Trump one tough question at a presidential debate. She better than anybody should know that objective coverage of Trump would of course be very negative https://t.co/mYxNHfDcNg
— David Frum (@davidfrum) January 23, 2021