On Tuesday morning's "Morning Joe," MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin summarized the recent response to the Arizona tragedy with the audacious claim that politicians and the media "behaved pretty well." But with one caveat: the "good behavior" can't be extended to conservative commentators.
"I just want to single out one thing," Halperin said. "I don't want to over-generalize but I think the media and the politicians have behaved pretty well so far. The thing I'm most concerned about now is the anger on the right-wing commenatariat: on Fox, and George Will, and other conservatives are, in some cases justifiably upset at liberals. But they're turning this right now, in the last 24 hours, back into the standard operating procedure of all of this is war and fodder for content, rather than trying to bring the country together."
That caused host Joe Scarborough to do a double take: "Wait a second, Mark. I think they would say that you have that backwards. That a shooting was turned into fodder to attack conservatives."
Halperin reached into the biblical analogy bag to respond. Conservatives, he said, just should have turned the other cheek: "They're right. But rather than seizing on it and turning the other cheek, they are back at their war stations. And that's not going to help us."