Within hours after the tragic killing of two New York City police officers by one clearly disturbed individual, several conservative pundits and talking heads seized the opportunity to politicize the situation by blaming numerous groups and individuals, from protesters to the president. Here are five of the most outrageous reactions to the killings of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
1) Rudy Giuliani, a man who has repeatedly proved that there is no politically cynical low to which he will not stoop, blamed President Obama for the shootings. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” Giuliani stated, “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police.”
He went on to bring up the right’s favorite red herring, black-on-black crime, before stating that “the people who do the most for the black community in America are the police."
He also suggested that Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Rev. Al Sharpton have all, in criticizing systemic inequalities in policing and criminal justice, created "an atmosphere of severe, strong anti-police hatred in certain communities."
2) Tucker Carlson proved his bowtie was tied a little too tightly during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” on Sunday night. Carlson initially stated that he didn’t want to “start speculating about why this happened or casting blame unfairly. Again, we know who pulled the trigger, he is ultimately responsible.”
He then went on to speculate and cast blame, saying, “[I]t’s such an emotional thing, it’s so wrong, immoral, unfair, that it’s almost hard not to point at some of the people who have been whipping race hatred in this country for the past couple of months, and saying, you know, they do bear some responsibility for this.”
The pundit and his TV “friends” went on to play a clip that made more specific which leaders Carlson was referring to: Obama, Atty. Gen. Holder and Rev. Al Sharpton.
Carlson wrapped up the segment by going after President Obama for ever having associated with Sharpton in any context, ever: “For [President Obama] to embrace Sharpton, who is just an open bigot and a criminal and a tax cheat, who’s been whipping up race hatred in New York for all these decades. For the president of the United States to embrace this guy as a personal friend, and adviser, to show up at the NAN meetings, to have him in the White House again, and again, and again, and again, to endorse his message....Boy, no wonder you’ve got craziness going on in the streets.”
3) Convicted felon and right-wing blowhard Bernard Kerik penned a piece for TIME in which he stated there’s a “war on cops” that is “as dangerous as any global enemy we face” — including “ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban” and other “radical extremists.”
Kerik’s crazy gets nuttier from there, with the crooked ex-cop suggesting that “some in the media,” Sharpton and de Blasio have been convincing people that “nearly all of America’s local and state police are out to kill minorities.”
Kerik states that “it’s a lie that has inflamed the hearts and minds of many and turned them against every cop in the nation. It’s a lie that has the potential to rip America at its seams and cause damage far worse than any attack on our country, including that on 9/11/2001. It’s a lie that has caused protests and riots all over this nation, communities to be burned to the ground, police officers to be attacked and beaten, and horribly, two New York City police officers to be assassinated.”
Kerik spends much of the rest of the column basically suggesting that Michael Brown and Eric Garner got what they deserved and that racism isn’t really a thing. He concludes with this gem: “NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated over the weekend because their assassin believed the lies perpetrated by de Blasio, Sharpton and others.”
4) Peter King, a Republican Representative from Long Island, New York, clearly also got the memo. King appeared on Fox where he did a fantastic job of sticking to his talking points:
“[I]t’s really time for our national leaders, the president, it’s time for the mayor of New York, and really for many in the media to stop the cop bashing, to stop this anti-police rhetoric.”
“I mean, for the last four months, we’ve basically heard nothing other than the cops are guilty, presumed cops are guilty, then the grand jury says they’re not going to be indicted. People demonstrate, march in the streets, and it’s so slanted.”
5) Roy Blunt, a Republican senator from Missouri, suggested that criticism from Ferguson protesters and others should be blamed for the killings. Because critiquing police brutality is, in his topsy-turvy thinking, tantamount to advocating for violence.
“You got the police out there protecting the protesters and themselves and being constantly criticized for everything they’re doing and now that may be from that constant criticism something may have gotten into this man’s head,” Blunt stated.
“We have to wonder about was there anything going on in the national discussion that led to the deaths of those two officers.”
And yet, Blunt has never wondered aloud what in our national character might’ve led to the deaths of so many others he’s ignored.