Mary Katharine Ham, one of CNN’s few conservative commentators, took a network colleague to task after he attempted to fact-check some comments she made following the Jan. 6 anniversary.
The back-and-forth started following remarks that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) made last week about the manner in which the media covered the events of January 6 this year, saying: “This is their Christmas: January 6. They are going to take this and milk this for anything they can to be able to smear anyone who ever supported Donald Trump.”
“I just look back and compare when I was in Congress. One event that we faced was the attempted assassination of Republican members of Congress on the baseball game. I actually was on the field,” DeSantis noted further.
“If you do not have the Capitol Police there, you probably would have a dozen people assassinated. That was like a one-day, two-day story. That was not something that the Capitol-based press wanted to talk about. Why? Because it totally undercut their preferred narratives,” he said.
The governor’s remarks led New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman to respond: “He’s arguing the shootings didn’t get much coverage? Pretty sure they were a huge story.”
At that point, Ham intervened.
“I lived a block from the baseball field. Under 48 hours, the news vans were gone. I was on TV, live from the baseball field where they played the game a day later, after almost being canceled by mass murder, but my topic was ‘Mike Pence reportedly hired a lawyer,’” Ham noted on Twitter.
You're welcome to talk yourself into idea that a similar murder attempt on an entire team of Democrats would have gotten the same treatment. I think the shooting of Gabby Giffords is pretty analogous and disproves that theory. Even without that data point, it's just not true.
— Mary Katharine Ham
“You’re welcome to talk yourself into [the] idea that a similar murder attempt on an entire team of Democrats would have gotten the same treatment. I think the shooting of Gabby Giffords is pretty analogous and disproves that theory. Even without that data point, it’s just not true,” she continued.
“And it doesn’t mean Jan. 6 doesn’t deserve coverage. Moving on after 48 hrs would be wrong for that and for Gabby Giffords! But the coverage was what it was, Scalise’s return to Congress was very sparsely covered, and the anniversary was barely mentioned,” Ham continued.
“I checked at the time, and it is real. News vans were staked out at the home of the parents of Elizabeth Lauten, the GOP staffer who criticized Obama’s daughters on Facebook that time, for longer than they were at the practice baseball field. That’s not just a news cycle issue,” she wrote.
I checked at the time, and it is real. News vans were staked out at the home of the parents of Elizabeth Lauten, the GOP staffer who criticized Obama's daughters on Facebook that time, for longer than they were at the practice baseball field. That's not just a news cycle issue.
— Mary Katharine Ham
At that point, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski jumped in, tweeting an apparent screenshot from Ham’s appearance on CNN at the time and writing: “It looks [like] you discussed the baseball game?”
“Hi, Andrew. Yes, this is within 24-48 hrs that this was a story,” Ham replied. “This segment was based on the galactically stupid Sanford contention that it was *Trump’s rhetoric* that caused it, bc of course. Pointed out Nats Park hit bc it was overlooking the game & yet not focused on this.”
“Do you need the rest of my itinerary from that day and the day after, which again, were basically the only days this was a national story, which was my point?” Ham continued. “Got jack to say about Cuomo and Toobin, but gotta fact-check me when he’s got nothing.”
“One jacked off in front of female colleagues and one violated every conflict of interest rule in journalism, lied about it, and got fired, but I’m the issue bc I think the Congressional baseball shooting was covered too lightly and taxes are too high,” she concluded. “Sure, dude.”