It’s somewhere between unfortunate and nihilistically bleak that we have a national routine for commenting on mass shootings, but here we are: Every time there is a mass shooting, regardless of whatever manifesto the shooter leaves or cause he claims to advance, someone will attempt to shame the public for “politicizing” said shooting. So it goes again today, with Fox News blaming Planned Parenthood for politicizing the deadly shooting that took place Friday in Colorado Springs.
The charge that something has been politicized is always question-begging in that something can only be politicized if it was previously devoid of political content. But in this case the accusation is especially bizarre. Not only did Robert Lewis Dear, the suspected shooter, reportedly mention “baby parts” following his arrest (presumably in reference to a series of secretly recorded videos released over the summer of Planned Parenthood officials dealing in fetal tissue), the Secret Service has also joined the investigation due to remarks Dear allegedly made about President Obama during or after the shooting. If bringing up purportedly illegal fetal tissue sales (and perhaps by extension the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood that followed those accusations) and threats against the president of the United States don’t signal some political intent, then nothing really does.
Which is a bullet Fox will likely continue to bite, in their valiant struggle to keep politics away from guns.