First Reaction: Liberal Journalists Blamed Conservative Pols And Talk Radio For Oklahoma Mass Murder


Barring a last-minute court win, Timothy McVeigh will die Monday because he killed 168 men, women and children on April 19, 1995. In the days and weeks after McVeigh's murderous attack, some liberal journalists used his Oklahoma City bombing as an opportunity to take cheap political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio hosts. Recall:

"In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years with hot talk on radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of the '90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast." - Time senior writer Richard Lacayo, May 8, 1995.

"The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one's suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the President....The list of those the President may have had in mind is at once long and familiar. Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan and others take to the air every day with basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue." - Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, April 25, 1995. - Rich Noyes