Misinformed? MSNBC viewers blame ‘political rhetoric’ for Tucson shooting

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Despite overwhelming evidence that accused Tucson shooter Jared Loughner was not motivated by either left wing or right wing political rhetoric, a large majority of MSNBC viewers seem to be under the opposite impression.

On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Newsnation,” fill-in host Richard Lui revealed the results of a viewer online poll asking if the accused gunman was “solely to blame for the shooting.”

“So far, 36 percent of you say, ‘Yes, the fault lies with the accused shooter’ and 60 percent of you say, ‘No, political rhetoric is also to blame’ and 4 percent are ‘Not sure,’” Lui said.

In contrast, a recent CBS News nationwide telephone poll found a majority of Americans rejected the view that heated political rhetoric was behind the deadly events in Arizona.

“Overall, 57 percent of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32 percent who felt it did,” CBS News reported Monday.