Newly sworn in Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) blamed the media for some of the divisiveness in the country because they hypocritically call for behavior that they themselves ignore in their coverage of the news.
"This culture we have now where the first instinct is to jump to this sense of outrage I think is really problematic," Crenshaw said.
He spoke to Graham Allen of "Rant Nation" on Monday when he made the comments.
'The media doesn't care about bipartisanship'
"You always gotta wonder what's going on inside their heads," he said of political culture, "are you really that angry? Are you really that angry? It can't possibly be true."
"My very short time on Capitol Hill," he explained, "actually, what I do see a lot of is a lot of the left and the right behind closed doors, very friendly with each other."
"And a lot more bipartisan bills pass than anybody really understands," he added. "Why? Because the media doesn't care about bipartisanship."
"They care about the anger," agreed Allen.
"They like to point out that there should be bipartisanship," Crenshaw said, "but then don't cover the bipartisanship that actually happens. Those good news stories don't get out."
'It's a cheap shot'
"There are the fringes on both parties that really just lob bombs at each other," he continued later in the interview.
"You know again I always kinda go back to those basic parameters for rules for debate," Crenshaw explained, "which is just don't attack somebody's character, don't attack their intent. As conservatives I feel like we're always getting our intent attacked."
"OK you can't possibly believe that for a good reason," he said as an example of attacks heard against conservatives, "it's because you're a bad person and a racist bigot or whatever."
"That's an intellectual shortcut," he added, "to making an argument and attempting to undermine the other person's ideas by attacking them."
"It's a cheap shot and we should be pointing it out," Crenshaw concluded.
Here's the video of Crenshaw's comments:
Crenshaw gained national notoriety after he was unfairly mocked on Saturday Night Live by comedian Pete Davidson. Rather than attack back, Crenshaw appeared on the show with Davidson and called for all Americans to raise the level of political discourse. The very humorous segment was universally praised by both left and right.
He later won his election to the U.S. House of Representatives.