When did MSNBC’s Ed Schultz become Rush Limbaugh?
Sure Ed has been known to take a hard line when making a point. Like…remember the time he called political commentator and talk show host, Laura Ingraham a “right wing talk slut”?
Yeah. Ed was suspended for that. But that didn’t bother me too much. I’m a liberal and I probably would’ve had some harsh words for Ms. Ingraham myself. But what Mr. Schultz said last night? The baseless accusations that cut deep across party lines was what left me slack jawed. During a passionate on air rant addressing the recent shootings at a Washington D.C. Navy Yard, Schultz ran through a veritable laundry list of possible causes for the actions of the shooter, not the least of which was his enthusiasm for video games.
Here’s the video. Take a moment to watch. I’ll wait.
I don’t know where to start. First of all, humans have been killing each other long before video games showed up. But to make a sweeping generalization that all parents who allow their children to play Grand Theft Auto are “lousy parents” is a straw man argument at best. It harkens back to Tipper Gore and her crusade against rock music.
The real issue here is mental health, the warning signs that were ignored in this case and why this guy was given security clearance after he himself reached out for help. The fact that he also happened to have an interest in video gaming is beyond the point. Mental instability is mental instability. Hell, he could’ve had a wicked interest in baton twirling and if the voices told him to beat his victims with a baton, we’d be talking about the dangers of baton twirling and accusing the parents of seven year old girls of being irresponsible.
Yes there is a difference between violent video gaming and baton twirling, but at the core of the argument is the fact that we as parents know our children and we do “pay attention” to them and teach them the difference between reality and pretend. Our cowboys and indians are today’s gangsters. Do I condone Grand Theft Auto? I’m not crazy about it. But I don’t think average kids are starting to fantasize about stealing cars and shooting hookers. If anything, they’re getting their aggressions out in a virtual world with their friends.
But when things like this happen the media looks for a scapegoat. Last night Ed decided it would be parents of kids who play video games instead of a system that needs to be reformed with regard to how it addresses the issue of mental health in this country.
Last night – watching my beloved MSNBC – I felt the harsh wrist slap that Ed dished out. And it stung. But I’m over it.
I’m just glad it didn’t come from Rachel Maddow. I might never have recovered from that.
photo credit: Huffington Post