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Ed Schulz, the liberal host of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” seemed to agree.

“The ideological divide is so great in America, I don’t think anything is going to change in the conversation,” Schulz said on his show.

The geographical divide between MSNBC and Fox News Channel is only a few blocks along Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue, and Schulz expressed the need to be honest on his show, “because there’s a lot of stuff, especially across the street, that is not the truth, that is embellished to the point where it might make somebody think that doing something radical is the right thing to do.”

On Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” conservative host Bill O’Reilly decried “the far-left MSNBC line. The hatred spewed on that cable network is unprecedented in the media.”

But overall, the liberal media “are furious that their far-left vision is falling apart,” he said, “so they are using a terrible tragedy to attack their perceived political enemies.” These, he said, include conservatives, Palin, Fox News and himself, the target of “far-left loons” for years. “I have to have security around the clock,” he said.

No one on the networks seemed to question that the 22-year-old suspect is the responsible party in Saturday’s assault. But the MSNBC hosts broadened the discussion to address other factors.

Schulz cited “a crisis among the under-treated mentally ill who can’t get the help they need.”

Lax gun-control laws was a common theme among the MSNBC hosts.

Rachel Maddow began her show with an excruciating list of more than a dozen firearm massacres in the United States in the past 20 years. As more facts emerge about the Tucson shootings, she said, “What is consuming the national debate is whether the heated political rhetoric in our country was a contributing factor to it.”

Then she posed a larger question whose answer remains elusive: “Do we have any tools to stop the next American gun massacre?

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, meanwhile, discarded his satiric approach to news Monday night and turned serious.

“As I watched the political pundit world,” he said, “many are reflecting and grieving and trying to figure things out. But it’s definitely true that others are working feverishly to find the tidbit or two that will exonerate their side from blame or implicate the other.

“Watching that is as predictable, I think, as it is dispiriting,” Stewart said.


AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report.