Mark Shields on Friday actually asked Charles Krauthammer if Sarah Palin unintentionally made last Saturday's shootings about herself and not the tragic event.
Krauthammer not only set the substitute host of PBS's "Inside Washington" straight, but also called for an apology from all those that shamefully tied the former Alaska governor to this awful tragedy (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MARK SHIELDS, SUBSTITUTE HOST: Charles Krauthammer?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I think the President actually put an end to that malicious and scurrilous innuendo that was started in the mainstream press, particularly by the New York Times and Obama’s allies on the left, who claimed from the beginning without a shred of evidence that this attack was a consequence of supposedly a climate of hate created by the political right. The President refuted that, as he should have, which I think was healthy, but I think it is a scandal what happened in the four days between the attack and the President's speech of these unwarranted, unsupported, and now obviously discredited attacks from on the left, which essentially made people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and others accessories to a murder, a series of murders, of which they had nothing to do.
SHIELDS: And comforter in chief?
KRAUTHAMMER: He did that as well, but I think it was important to stop the malice and the in-civil discourse that had characterized all the days leading up until the service.
SHIELDS: Nina Totenberg?
NINA TOTENBERG: So we can’t even have a two-minute conversation here without a little bit of finger-pointing, but…
KRAUTHAMMER: You don't think it was merited?
A few minutes later, Krauthammer expounded on this theme when asked about Palin's Facebook comments:
SHIELDS: Pundits, bloggers, and TV talkers had a lot to say about Sarah Palin this week. She released a video on Facebook to comment on the Tucson shootings. Did Sarah Palin unintentionally make the story about herself and not Tucson? Charles Krauthammer?
Astonishingly stupid question, wouldn't you say? It suggests that Shields doesn't feel the slightest bit of remorse or regret over how the media behaved last week:
KRAUTHAMMER: She didn’t make it about herself. Within hours of the shooting, of which there was no connection to her whatsoever, her name was linked in the AP, New York Times, by all over the airwaves, linking her and linking other conservatives with the shooting. This is a speech that should never have had to be made. There was never a shred of evidence about any connection, and in fact, by midweek, we learned from a friend of the shooter, of Loughner, he didn’t listen to political radio, he didn’t watch TV news, he wasn’t interested in the news, he wasn’t in politics, he wasn’t of left or right. This was the act of a probably paranoid schizophrenic. There’s no question he was acting under mental illness. There was not a shred of evidence of, and why did her name come up? Those who brought it up are the ones who have to answer to that. That was a calumny, and it was unwarranted. I am waiting for apologies from those who raised that name from the beginning.
The last week has been a huge embarrassment for the media, and if those that were quick to point fingers had a shred of decency, they'd be vigorously apologizing for their behavior.
Failing that, the bosses of those involved in this blood libel should be making statements themselves about their employees' conduct and promising the public it will never happen again.
Don't hold your breath.