One could expect the strident left to politicize the tragic shooting in Arizona in shameless effort to demonize the conservative majority in America. I am, however, greatly bothered by the general media’s propensity to serve as spokesperson for the radical left.
While conservatives lean to individual responsibility, liberals always look for the larger social phenomenon. It is always the non-liberal society that is at fault due to ignorance, mean-spiritedness or downright evil.
The media pundits and talking heads immediately blamed the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the death of six innocent bystanders on right-wing rhetoric generally, the Tea Party Movement collectively, and Sara Palin individually.
No matter how nonsensical the left’s accusations were, the media gave them credibility by trumpeting the “party line.”
Never mind that the shooter, Jared Loughner, was described as “liberal” and “left-wing” by those who knew him. No matter that Giffords was a conservative, blue-dog Democrat – “targeted” by the left in the primary. No matter that the assassinated Judge John Roll was a staunch conservative. The media still made Loughner the tool of the right.
Evidence seems to suggest that Loughner was provoked to violence by Gifford’s perceived inadequate answer to his question at a previous public event. By liberal logic, does she bear some responsibility for her own fate?
In citing the acrid political atmosphere, virtually all media commentators cited “examples” of conservative comments and imagery. Most notable was Palin’s website graphic with crosshairs on congressional districts, including Giffords’.
In one of the greatest examples of gall and hypocrisy, Markos Moulitsas, of DailyKos, blasted the Palin graphic while ignoring his own “target” icon on Giffords’ district because of her conservative leanings.
In targeting the right (no pun intended), the media ignored innumerable examples of gun and violence metaphors pouring from the left, and even some outright threats. They failed to note President Obama’s “threat” that “if they bring knives, we will bring guns.” These words were not uttered by a largely unknown Tea Party rallier, but by the President of the United States. Is he culpable in the rampage in Tucson?
On the other side of the coin, what is the effect of all the shrill, accusatory rhetoric coming from the left and the media? Will Tea Party leaders be assaulted by vengeful mobs? Is Sara Palin now at higher risk of being the victim of another deranged leftie? Is the left essentially “targeting” these people?
Furthermore, do these baseless accusations of the left provoke the rage of those so wrongfully blamed, whether individually or collectively? I know that watching MSNBC Keith Olbermann spewing his arrogant vitriol against me, via my philosophy, got my ire raised.
Being old enough to have experienced the Days of Rage in the 1960s, I find it interesting that the widespread and clearly politically motivated violence of the left in those days was largely excused by the press. While there was lip-service condemnation of the wave of deaths and destruction, the cause was justified and celebrated. What is the example when society takes two murderous terrorists – speaking of Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadette Dorn – and makes them “distinguished” college professors to help influence and mold the minds of thousands of impressionable students?
Is the modern-day repetition of young adults becoming crazed mass murderers due to political rhetoric and the availability of guns? Or, should the call for national discussion include the breakdown of the American family? Violence on television and in the movies? Participatory fantasy violence in computer games? Or even … the oppressive policies of our increasingly authoritarian governments?
In seeking political advantage by blaming conservatives, the left wing media did a great disservice to the truth, to journalistic integrity and to identifying the real reasons why a guy like Loughner goes sufficiently nuts to kill innocent people en masse.
Finally … gun metaphors are ingrained in our language and our culture. They do not breed violence. Sane people do not take them literally, and deranged people don’t need them to act out their personal insanity.