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(NewsBusters) – Much of the world awoke Friday to news that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been assassinated by a deranged suspect with a homemade shotgun. Instead of eulogizing Abe and expressing condolences to the Japanese people, CBS Mornings decided it would join the Associated Press and National Public Radio (NPR) in smearing Abe as “a polarizing figure,” “right-wing nationalist, and conservative” whose “political opinions were controversial.”

Foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer’s piece began as one would expect, stating from Tokyo that “[i]t would be hard to overstate just how much of a shock this is in normally nonviolent Japan. People are really feeling traumatized.”

Palmer shared what we know thus far about the assassination and remarked that “[a]lthough…Abe was giving a stump speech in a wide-open area” for a member of his party, “security…wasn’t particularly tight” since “this is a country where yearly gun deaths typically number in the single digits.”

A fan of the Iranian regime (such as hereherehere, and here), Palmer then uncorked her hot takes, trashing the murdered former world leader as “[a] polarizing figure…a right-wing nationalist and conservative and a fierce supporter of Japan’s military.”

Ignoring Abe’s ties to Presidents Biden and Obama, Palmer framed him as a Trumper:

He fought to amend the country’s pacifist constitution in the face of the rising threat from China. While in office, Abe met former President Donald Trump several times to reaffirm Japan’s military and trade alliances with the United States.

Palmer wasn’t done taking digs at Abe, insisting “the country is united in shock and sympathy at the news of his death” even though “[h]is political opinions were controversial.”

Back live, socialist co-host Tony Dokoupil wondered if the shooting has already led to a discussion about further tightening Japan’s near-ironclad gun control laws. Palmer noted they are indeed “so strict” (which she trumpeted last month as something the U.S. should consider emulating):

DOKOUPIL: Interesting. Liz, let’s go back to why this happened in the first place. You mentioned it’s shocking. It’s so stunning because the country has so little gun violence, I think in your piece you said single-digit deaths by guns every year. Given that fact, what’s the response been when it comes to gun policy?

PALMER: Well, people take huge comfort in the fact that their gun laws are so strict and there’s a big mental health test. There hasn’t been an attack on a sitting national politician for more than 60 years, and that was by a sword, so this has just come out of the blue. And the fact that the gunman appears to have made the gun and maybe guns at home has people feeling vulnerable and really shaken.

DOKOUPIL: Yeah. It’s a very new dimension to all this.

But to reiterate, NPR went first, reminding many of why they should be defunded, writing this in a since-deleted tweet:

The tweet came from the lead of an Associated Press article about the attack, which said in part:

TOKYO — Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.

NPR tried again, stating in another tweet and article of their own that he was an “ultranationalist” who “angered China” and “failed to achieve his most cherished political goal, and that of his party: to revise Japan’s pacifist, post-World War II constitution.”

CBS’s smearing of an assassinated public figure was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Colgate and Downy. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

Relevant CBS transcript from July 8:

CBS Mornings
July 8, 2022
7:03 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Former Japan Prime Minister Assassinated; Shinzo Abe Has Died After Being Shot at Campaign Event]

ELIZABETH PALMER: It would be hard to overstate just how much of a shock this is in normally nonviolent Japan. People are really feeling traumatized.

(….)

7:04 a.m. Eastern

PALMER: Japan’s current prime minister, Fumio Kishida, visibly shaken told the nation, “we cannot accept that this violent act took place during an election, the foundation of democracy. In the strongest terms, I condemn it.” Although former Prime Minister Abe was giving a stump speech in a wide-open area, security around him wasn’t particularly tight. After all, this is a country where yearly gun deaths typically number in the single digits. Abe was Japan’s longest serving prime minister when he left office in 2020 due to ill health. A polarizing figure, he was a right-wing nationalist and conservative and a fierce supporter of Japan’s military. He fought to amend the country’s pacifist constitution in the face of the rising threat from China. While in office, Abe met former President Donald Trump several times to reaffirm Japan’s military and trade alliances with the United States. His political opinions were controversial, but the country is united in shock and sympathy at the news of his death. Now as for motive, the police say they don’t really understand it yet, but apparently, the gunman has said he did have a grudge against Abe, but surprisingly it wasn’t political, it was personal.

TONY DOKOUPIL: Interesting. Liz, let’s go back to why this happened in the first place. You mentioned it’s shocking. It’s so stunning because the country has so little gun violence, I think in your piece you said single-digit deaths by guns every year. Given that fact, what’s the response been when it comes to gun policy?

PALMER: Well, people take huge comfort in the fact that their gun laws are so strict and there’s a big mental health test. There hasn’t been an attack on a sitting national politician for more than 60 years, and that was by a sword, so this has just come out of the blue. And the fact that the gunman appears to have made the gun and maybe guns at home has people feeling vulnerable and really shaken.

DOKOUPIL: Yeah. It’s a very new dimension to all this.

Reprinted with permission from NewsBusters.

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