Conservative media figures have offered up several bizarre excuses in order to deflect attention from the role gun violence played in the murder of Kasandra Perkins by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
In order to evade the gun issue, conservatives have explained -- in detail -- alternative methods in which Belcher could have committed murder. In addition, they have attacked NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas for even broaching the topic of gun violence, suggesting that it was inappropriate to do so during an NFL broadcast, while others compared it to racially charged commentary from Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus.
Conservatives Suggest Alternative Murder Methods
Conservative media figures went into lurid detail while making the argument that Belcher's decision to murder Perkins had nothing to do with easily accessible firearms.
- On the December 3 Hannity, host Sean Hannity, in comparing this crime to the O.J. Simpson murder trial, said "there was no gun used" in the O.J. Simpson case. He continued to argue that "somebody's hell bent on killing somebody" they "don't need a gun to do it."
- On the December 4 Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson lamented the focus on the gun that was used as the murder weapon. Carlson, arguing that the weapon used was irrelevant, said that "every single day" domestic violence victims are killed by "a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a spouse with their hands, with a knife, with a hatchet."
- On the same episode of Fox & Friends, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham agreed with Carlson. Ingraham described how Belcher could have asphyxiated his girlfriend, or had the option of "hook[ing] up a hose into his garage" to kill her.
- Appearing on NRA News, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre speculated "there's a lot of different ways this crime could have been committed," noting that since Belcher was an NFL linebacker "he could have strangled her to death."
Conservatives: Sunday Night Football Is "Sacred"
Bob Costas made his commentary about the murder during the halftime segment on the December 2 edition of NBC's Sunday Night Football, leading some conservatives to opine that he violated the "sacred" airtime with a political opinion.
- On the December 3 edition of On The Record, host Greta Van Susteren said there was "something sacred" about Sunday Night Football, lamenting that Costas violated the apparent sanctity of prime time football to "lecture" audiences about gun violence.
- The chyron during On The Record's segment read: "Hijacking Half-Time: Bob Costas Schools Sports Fans On Gun Control"
- On On The Record, conservative columnist Byron York said the timing of Costas' commentary was "totally inappropriate" and more suited to a Sunday morning news program than a football broadcast.
Conservatives Compare Costas Commentary To Other Incendiary Rants
In the eyes of some media conservatives, not only were Costas' comments poorly timed, they were as inflammatory as previous racially charged rants and insults.
- In his On The Record appearance, Byron York argued that Costas' comments were in the same category of Rush Limbaugh's racially charged comments about quarterback Donovan McNabb on ESPN that eventually led to Limbaugh leaving the network.
- Fox anchor Megyn Kelly and conservative radio host Lars Larson compared Costas to country singer Hank Williams, who was removed from Monday Night Football after comparing President Obama to Adolph Hitler.
- Larson also compared Costas to Don Imus, who was fired after referring to women from the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."
If conservatives addressed the actual issues raised by this tragedy - the role of easily accessible firearms in domestic violence, for instance - they may not sound so absurd while attempting to dodge the issue.