Politics can get ugly, as if anyone in 2017 needed proof. If the media had any self-awareness, they might realize the reason people aren’t taking pity on them recently is they don’t seem to remember just how complicit they were in bringing things to a crisis point.

Looking back, the fuss over the rise of “violent rhetoric” in politics would seem almost quaint if journalists and political opponents hadn’t tried to tie Sarah Palin to the shooting of Gabby Giffords over some stupid graphics on an electoral map.

That whole mess was debunked, but in trying to cover all bases Wednesday night, the New York Times really, really needed some balance for its editorial on the Alexandria shooting. Vox’s Ezra Klein had done a test run earlier in the day and it seemed to fly with some, so why not?

The link to political incitement was clear? Are they seriously reviving that myth to “balance out” the piece?

It really is the very worst sort of response: just shrug and contend that “both sides are just as bad.”

Glenn Greenwald had his own beef with the New York Times, which decided that those belligerent “Bernie Bros” were a sign of the rage “buried in some corners of the progressive left.”

Yes, the alleged shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter, which compelled Bernie himself to disavow any connection during a speech on the Senate floor.

But tell us again about this rage that’s, um, “buried” among the progressive left? Because the giant fire set in the middle of the Berkeley campus vandalized by leftists was pretty darn visible. And the riots in Portland right after the election were pretty easy to spot, especially if a progressive leftist had smashed out your windshield. And if you missed the first Portland riots, you just had to wait a bit for another to come along.

And that doesn’t even count the fights and sucker punches and vandalism and riots outside of Trump’s campaign rallies in Albuquerque and San José.

Do better, New York Times. Dragging out old lies to provide political balance isn’t solving anything except your need to sound sincere to your readership right now.

Let’s see if the Washington Post is doing any better.


* * *