The Ed Show | January 10, 2011
>>> now let's get rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories. get their thoughts on extreme political rhetoric in this country. what is the responsibility of the politicians, the left and the right? are they equally to blame? with us tonight, bill press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and tony blankly , syndicated conservative columnist. great to have both of you with us.
>> hi, ed.
>> good to be here.
>> does -- does the rhetoric of michele bachmann , bill press, saying that she wants all minnesotans to be armed and dangerous . should she take that back, or is that all just part of politics today?
>> i don't think that it's part of politics today. i don't think that it should be, look, i want to say what you said at the top, right, and we all agree. this act was committed by one unhinged, mentally unstable young man. but you can't escape the fact that he committed this attempted political assassination in this fiery political rhetoric -- headquarters, if you will, of arizona. and he went after a congresswoman who herself was the victim of personal violent rhetoric for the last year, and then in a climate where you had sharron angle talking about second amendment rights, and michele bachmann with armed and dangerous , and sarah palin with her map. and i think all of those people who've used that gun-filled rhetoric tonight, ed, have to do some real soul-searching.
>> what do you think?
>> look, i think that very regretfully throughout american history , going back to colonial times , our rhetoric has been violent and our actions have been violent. we've had more assassinations, political assassinations, than any other democratic country.
>> is it always going to be like this.
>> well, if the last 240 years is any indication. but let me make a point here. because in fact, it is on all sides. you talked about sarah palin 's gun site stuff. i've seen a democratic national committee posting, where in 2004 , they had gun sites. they had it called "behind enemy lines" the same phrase that you were quoting in the previous segment. i quoted pelosi, calling people who opposed obamacare nazis, et cetera .
>> tony, look --
>> it's on all sides and equally.
>> no, it's not. no, it's not. and ed made that point earlier. there's no morrow equivalency here. listen i wrote a book about this called "toxic talk," tell you something, i listened to all of the talk radio on the right and on the left. this is 24/7, the specialty of right-wing talk radio today.
>> bob, you can say --
>> tell you something else, a big difference between colonial days and today. and the difference today is that that ugly hate talk from michele bachmann and sarah palin , it's around the world within seconds. it never was in colonial times . so get off of that.
>> well, that's a little aggressive yourself, bill. but look --
>> because i feel strongly about this.
>> tony, go ahead.
>> the fact is that speaker pelosi , steny hoyer , senator reid, all used the words "nazis," "disenders," "un-americans" to describe their opponents. this is part of the american politics .
>> harry reid 's used the term nazi?
>> again, show me when.
>> no nancy pelosi , harry reid used to call people who were opposed to him, evil. that's the word. i have it from a column that i wrote late last year. this is a reality. we all know that this is an ugly part of american politics and it always has been. i hope it changes -- i hope it changes but i don't think that it's going to.
>> listen to me -- ed, i think that you made the point, ed. you made the point that all of us should be cooling our jets and all of us should be searching in looking at the words that we use, everybody should.
>> my prediction is, nothing will change because the passion on both sides and the ideological divide is so great in america, i don't think that anything is going to change when it comes to the conversation. bill press, tony blankly , good to have you with us tonight.