Lisa Ling Says CNN Bomb Threat "Not Shocking" in Political Climate

Lisa Ling - Getty - H 2018
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

"The president has a responsibility to try and unite this country. He's been the arbiter of so much of this vitriol," the CNN host told The Hollywood Reporter.

CNN host Lisa Ling said the attempted bombing of the news outlet on Wednesday is “not shocking” given today’s political landscape.

“It's terrifying what happened today, but unfortunately it's not shocking because the climate in this country has become so ugly,” Ling told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday night after a panel in Beverly Hills hosted by Women in Film and Ralph Lauren Fragrances.

On Wednesday morning, CNN’s Time Warner Center office in New York was evacuated after the discovery of a package containing an explosive device. Similar packages were sent to former President Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democratic politicians.

Ling, who lives in Los Angeles and hosts CNN's This Is Life With Lisa Ling, told THR that politicians are expressing “the vitriol and the hatred” with increased regularity.

She advocated for people having conversations with those they disagree with, rather than continuing to be combative, pointing to President Donald Trump as “the arbiter of so much of this vitriol, and I think both sides are really aghast that this is happening.”

Leadership starts from the top down, Ling said, adding that the president has a “responsibility to try and unite this country.” 

Ling said she reached out to colleagues upon hearing the news, but didn’t speak with anyone who was on-air, though she added “they did a great job" covering events they were experiencing firsthand.

Given that no one was harmed, Ling added that the FBI should conduct the investigation and “let’s move on.” She blamed the 24-hour news cycle for creating “so much alarm” when in fact “it doesn’t need to be constantly discussed.”

“Just slow everything down. It was scary, but everyone’s safe,” Ling said.