CBS’s Schieffer: Joe Wilson Shout ‘Ugly Sign of Mindless Meanness’

At the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer denounced South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson: "The irony of a congressman trying to heckle a President in the midst of a speech that was, among other things, about the need for civility, is just one ugly sign of the mindless meanness that has settled over our politics."

Apparently Schieffer forgot this passage of President Obama’s speech last Wednesday: "Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim...that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple." Calling your critics liars hardly sounds like a call for "civility."

Schieffer began his rant by claiming: "And when that congressman hollered ‘you lie’ at the President, we did get a snapshot of the nation’s state and it was not a pretty picture. The country is in an angry mood." He went on to portray all health care reform protestors as extremists: "Congressman being shouted down at town hall meetings, where constituents sometimes show up with guns. And at rallies like the one yesterday in Washington where people carried signs such as ‘Bury Health Care With Kennedy.’"

He went on to call for unity over health care reform similar to that after the 9/11 attacks: "How different it was in the aftermath of a far more difficult time, those days after 9/11...I remember watching then not far from where that congressman hurled his insult as senate Republican Leader Trent Lott put his hand on the shoulder of his Democratic counterpart Tom Daschle to announce the Senate had passed a $40 billion emergency appropriations bill and passed it unanimously." Schieffer concluded: "Put aside, for the moment, who’s right and who’s wrong in the current debate and ask yourself, can anyone really be proud of the side of America this argument is bringing out?"

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC