Mary Katharine Ham, one of the few conservative commentators at CNN, blasted a top CNN reporter Friday after he attempted to fact-check her criticism that the media underreported on the 2017 attempted assassination of Republican congressmen.
What is the background?
The focus of Ham's criticism lay on the substantial attention the media have devoted to the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riots at the United States Capitol as opposed to the 2017 shooting.
In fact, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) highlighted the apparent disparity of attention given to the riots over the left-wing political activist who targeted Republican Congress members practicing for a charity baseball game in 2017. That shooting critically wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was House Majority Whip at the time, and left three others injured by gunfire.
The perpetrator was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Last year, the FBI classified him as a domestic terrorist.
Responding to a New York Times reporter who downplayed DeSantis' remarks, Ham explained that she lives near the baseball field where the attempted assassination of GOP lawmakers occurred and in "under 48 hours, the news vans were gone."
"I was on TV, live from the baseball field where they played the game a day later, after almost being canceled by mass murder, but my topic was 'Mike Pence reportedly hired a lawyer,'" Ham explained.
She added that her observation does not downplay covering the anniversary of Jan. 6, but noted that "Scalise's return to Congress was very sparsely covered, and the anniversary was barely mentioned."
In response, CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski fact-checked Ham.
"It looks you discussed the baseball game?" he responded, posting a screenshot photo of Ham.
Ham quickly responded to her CNN colleague. She explained that the segment he posted was not the one she was referring to and highlighted a larger problem with Kaczynski's attempted fact-check. Where was his criticism of Chris Cuomo and Jeffrey Toobin?
"Hi, Andrew. Yes, this is within 24-48 hrs that this was a story. This segment was based on the galactically stupid Sanford contention that it was *Trump’s rhetoric* that caused it, bc of course. Pointed out Nats Park hit bc it was overlooking the game & yet not focused on this," Ham began.
"Do you need the rest of my itinerary from that day and the day after, which again, were basically the only days this was a national story, which was my point?" she added. "Got jack to say about Cuomo and Toobin, but gotta fact-check me when he’s got nothing."
Regarding Cuomo and Toobin, Ham continued, "One jacked off in front of female colleagues and one violated every conflict of interest rule in journalism, lied about it, and got fired, but I’m the issue bc I think the Congressional baseball shooting was covered too lightly and taxes are too high. Sure, dude."
In other comments, Ham explained how the media downplayed the political motivations of the perpetrator who opened fire on Republican lawmakers by contrasting the media's focus on the perpetrator of the 2011 shooting that critically wounded then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.).
"Media incredibly made Giffords’ schizophrenic shooter w no political motive into an indictment of [Sarah] Palin/right while a Bernie bro’s motives trying to murder a Congressional delegation were apolitical/ignored," Ham said.
She explained again, "The coverage of motives in Giffords was just so egregious, the Palin stuff and rhetoric (and they've stuck with it!). Then an actual professed Bernie bro plots the murder of a Congressional delegation for a month & it's like 'moving right along.'"