What is our reaction to the news that an armed man was arrested in the vicinity of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home after allegedly stating to the police he intended to kill the Justice?
Well, horrified, of course.
At the same time, Republicans attempting to score political points are leaping out in front of the facts in an effort to either create some sort of moral equivalency with, or a distraction from, the revelations of the January 6 Committee, and that’s a balloon worth puncturing.
Fox News has a self-congratulatory post on their website pointing out that none of the other networks covered the alleged attempt at assassination on their Sunday news programs. “In the following days after the assassination attempt, mainstream media largely underplayed the news, instead suggesting that ‘both sides’ of the abortion debate are guilty of violent rhetoric By Sunday morning, the story was ignored by all the major Sunday shows except for ‘Fox News Sunday,'” Associate Editor Lindsay Kornick wrote for the site.
This from the same network that deliberately counter-programmed to the prime time January 6 committee hearings, even going so far as to run Tucker Carlson commercial free to prevent dial-spinning to something Fox News executives didn’t want you to see.
Kornick actually compares the differences of coverage of the two events without, of course, offering any criticism of her own network. “Most Sunday morning attention was given to discussing Thursday’s Jan. 6 congressional hearings which had received massive promotion by liberal hosts and Democrat politicians,” Kornick wrote. “The hearings aired on a rare primetime schedule with reports that a former ABC News executive was hired to help produce the event.”
So we have our talking point, a false equivalence, but Kornick fails to give any reason why the Sunday talk shows should have talked about the alleged failed assassination. I can give reasons why they need not have bothered.
The alleged potential assassin, Nicholas Roske, was not arrested in the actual act of attempting to assassinate Kavanaugh.
“As detailed as Roske’s plans may have been, court records and newly released 911 calls also document how quickly he abandoned them,” The Washington Post reported. “Once arriving to the Maryland home early Wednesday, Roske spotted two deputy U.S. marshals, part of Kavanaugh’s security detail, standing outside a car, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court. He walked away, turned a corner and called 911 to turn himself in.”
Roske had not fired a weapon, which was still in a zip-tied suitcase. He was not even at the Kavanaugh home yet when he allegedly called police for help because he was contemplating suicide. His stated reason for wanting to kill Kavanaugh was to give Roske’s life some purpose. This is looking less and less like an assassination attempt and more like a desperate cry for help. If anything, Roske is looking more like a potential John Hinckley or Mark David Chapman rather than a political assassin, only Roske lacked the will to try to see it through.
At best, the case for discussing Roske seems to come down to how a mentally disturbed person was able to be so heavily armed.
On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that the January 6 violence at the Capitol was political in its intent, was directed at actually using the threat of violence to overturn an election and, had it not been for the courage of members of the Capitol police force, may have resulted in the political lynching of the Vice President of the United States and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. These violent political acts, we learned Thursday night, would have been a satisfactory outcome for the then-President of the United States Donald Trump.
If Kornick had turned off Tucker Carlson Thursday night, she might have been able to keep up with the conversations on Sunday discussing how the president was ready to let an angry mob commits real assassinations in his name.