As media quickly accused conservatives of inciting the tragedy in Tucson two weeks ago, they ignored the fact that one of those they were pointing fingers at was a friend of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.).
On Monday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly what it was like for her that fateful Saturday morning to not only find out that someone close to her had been shot, but also that she was being accused of causing it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now, last week a terrible week in the country Congresswoman Giffords who you know very well by way, right? She came in with you, right?
BACHMANN: Yes, we came into Congress together. So we have a lot of the shared -- same shared experiences. She is a lovely, wonderful friend.
O'REILLY: Did you talk to her a lot? Were you guys, pals?
BACHMANN: Yes we were friends. We were. And we also appeared together on television once in a while as a point counter point. And I have a great deal of respect for Gabby.
O'REILLY: And she is a nice woman, right? She is not one of this bomb thrower hater or anything like that, right?
BACHMANN: She is -- she is a wonderful, lovely individual. And you know, we shared her experience when she got married. And so it was really fun to serve with her in Congress.
O'REILLY: Ok, so she gets shot. And then I'm sure because she is your friend, as soon as you hear that she is shot, I mean, you are emotionally you know, going "what can I do? And you know, sure, anybody's friend who gets shot reacts that way.
And then within hours, then, your picture is up there along with Sarah Palin and me and Glenn Beck and other people as accessories to the murder because other people were murdered, six people were murdered and her -- her wound.
And -- and I just wondering, and I want you to be honest with me Congresswoman. And you're always honest. But I want you to go a little bit further than you usually do. When you first heard that, those vile accusations, what went through your mind?
BACHMANN: Well, I was horrified because they were politicizing a tragedy that had happened to my friend. And I was almost rendered speechless. I -- I didn't go on TV for a long time after that because I was appalled that the media would completely abandon the truth in this situation.
Anyone watching this within two minutes knew that this was a deranged lunatic. And to -- to use names of people in the media that people had a political grudge against just struck me as so not only unhelpful but just wrong. It was wrong. And this is Gabrielle.
O'REILLY: Ok so when you -- when you Michele Bachmann -- when you see an injustice like this do you get angry? Do you get sad? What -- how do you -- what happens to you as a person?
BACHMANN: Well, first of all, I was crying. When I heard about this I was crying. My tears were flowing. I -- I couldn't believe that this has happened to someone that I knew, that I respected. And, again, I can't wait to give her a standing ovation when hopefully she marches through those doors in the House of Representatives.
But I was just appalled at the way they treated her. I felt like we needed a sacred interval of time. Gabrielle deserved a sacred interval of time, because this should be about finding the truth. And the media seemed like they could care less. They wanted to pin your name, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin. All they could do is look for someone that they could point their finger to but they could care less about the truth. And anybody could see that. And it was just appalling to watch it happen.
O'REILLY: All right --
BACHMANN: So I didn't want to get into it, I didn't want to get into the middle of it and dignify what they were saying.
O'REILLY: -- so -- so you -- and I can understand that. All right, because you knew her. Now -- so you get sad and you -- all right. Now, I get angry. That's how I deal with injustice. I get angry. That's me.
So then I came on Monday night and I don't know whether you saw it or not and I just ripped them. I -- I just, bang. "New York Times," Krugman, MSNBC, just missile after missile after missile. And then the game was on; the game of who was right and who was wrong and this and that. They lost as President Obama's speech indicated, they being the far left.
O'REILLY: They lost. So, do you think that the victory is temporary or is the far left damaged now forever in this country?
BACHMANN: Well, I think already quite a few people in the media are somewhat discounted or seen as dinosaurs because they aren't truthful. And again, I think shows like yours, for instance, I think are highly rated because people feel they can come here and they can get a big dose of the truth. That's what people want.
And so for all of those people that were out there with their wild hair ideas, I really think that they have hurt their credibility enormously because people simply want the truth. That's the casualty out of all of this.
O'REILLY: All right, well, I think you're right.
BACHMANN: -- aside from Gabrielle.
O'REILLY: Because that MSNBC outfit; big, big reorganization over there.
O'REILLY: Bernie Goldberg is going to deal with a little while.
Congresswoman thanks very much. We appreciate it, we'll be watching you tomorrow night.
BACHMANN: Bill thanks.
Bachmann of course was right: The big casualty here other than those that were shot and their families was to the media.
Once again, America saw the true colors of so-called journalists today, and it wasn't pretty.
The President's speech in Tucson the following Wednesday as well as the upcoming State of the Union might currently be diverting attention from the media's deplorable performance following the shootings, but America is not likely to soon forget the way its press behaved during this national tragedy.
The only question remaining is what the long term consequences of their actions are.
Will the ratings of ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS continue to plummet along with subscriptions to leading newspapers in the country like the New York Times and the Washington Post?
Will these organizations be economically forced to start acting as news outlets rather than left-wing propaganda tools?
Good questions both with answers emerging in the fullness of time.
(H/T Right Scoop)