On Friday, Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith sparred over whether or not President Donald Trump's rhetoric played any part in bombing suspect's Cesar Sayoc horrendous act.
“You just can’t ignore the politics of this, even if you wanted to,” Smith said, after naming the political figures who received bombs. “These are people the president has gone after rhetorically. These are people this guy targeted. It goes to the tone and tenor of the political discourse and the words that the president uses in his rallies.”
According to Wallace, Trump can't be held responsible for Sayoc's actions.
"I don't think you can draw any particular link or any responsibility on the part of the president for this action," Wallace explained. "As [White House Press Secretary] Sarah Sanders said, and was just repeated by [Fox News' White House Correspondent] John Roberts, a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up the Congressman [Steve Scalise] at the baseball game practices. Is Bernie Sanders responsible for that?"
Nobody is saying he's responsible," Smith replied. "The rhetorical discourse has devolved over time and the president says we need to unify. Some of that begins with the rhetoric, does it not?"
"It would certainly be good, but I think it’s separate and apart from the actions of this guy," Wallace replied. "This is a twisted person."
Wallace then accused Smith of holding the president responsible for Sayoc's alleged actions.
"I think that it’s really incorrect to hold the president either by implication or directly responsible in any way for the misdeeds of a person that is a psychopath," Wallace repeated.
"Nobody did that, Chris. Don’t say I did," Smith insisted. "All I said is when the rhetoric gets loud, the crazies come out sometimes."
At what point do we hold people responsible for their actions? When we don't place blame on those who commit these heinous acts, we're setting the groundwork for future monsters to commit crimes without any fear of repercussions.