CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Jane Sanders spar over media after baseball practice shooting

CNN's Wolf Blitzer clashed Thursday with Jane Sanders, the wife of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn defense of incrementalism: A call for radical realism Thomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality Trump will soon be out of office — but polarization isn't going anywhere MORE (I-Vt.), about media responsibility following Wednesday's shooting during a congressional Republican baseball practice.

Jane Sanders's appearance on CNN comes after reports Wednesday that the shooter who opened fire at a congressional baseball practice was a supporter of Sanders's presidential campaign.

Jane Sanders said during the interview on CNN that violence is not acceptable.

"This is not OK, and it's certainly not what Bernie preaches," Sanders said on CNN.

Blitzer asked Sanders whether her husband went too far when he said that the current president is perhaps the "worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country."


"I don't think so," she responded.

"We have to be able to discuss the issues without demonizing the opponent and honestly, Wolf, I think the media needs to look at itself as well," she said.

"The media characterizes every conversation as an adversarial one. Your job, the media's job, I think, is to illuminate the facts, not fan the flames ... And the media continues to cover the latest scandal, the latest back and forth, but not the issues so much."

Blitzer shot back: "If a president or a senator or someone of authority is making very, very strong statements, you want us to simply ignore those statements, if there's a social media post, a tweet and the president says something really, really strong ... do you want us to censor those words as part of the news media?

"What are you suggesting?" he added.

Sanders recommended that the media do some "self-reflection."

In response, Blitzer offered a defense for the media, saying it is doing "a lot of self-reflection" and is always looking back and learning. He noted a robust democracy needs a robust media.

"This is not a perfect science by any means," he said.

"We certainly aren't going to try to censor very strong statements from people of responsibility."

Sanders talked further about the importance of focusing on the issues, saying that an informed electorate demands civil discourse and real discussion.

"What we need to do is to focus more on the issues," she said. "Let's focus on the matter at hand rather than who said what. My hope is that, we believe at the Sanders Institute, that democracy, vital democracy, requires an informed electorate."

Throughout the interaction, Blitzer maintained a stern face as Sanders shook her head.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was one of several people wounded in the shooting Wednesday. Scalise remains in critical condition.