Two days in a row, New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney has suggested that Arizona’s heated conservative rhetoric may have created a toxic atmosphere for gunman Jared Loughner to function in.
Yesterday Nagourney commented on a speech by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer the day before addressing the shootings in Tucson, in an article with the leading headline “Governor Strives to Restore Arizona’s Reputation.” As if Arizona bore some blame for anything one of its six million residents may have done.
Her remarks, a downstate reprise of the official State of the State address she gave to lawmakers in Phoenix on Monday, illustrate the challenges Ms. Brewer faces. She is eagerly trying to defend a state whose reputation has been battered in recent years, particularly since the massacre here on Saturday.
But fairly or not, Arizona’s image has been forged in part because of Ms. Brewer herself, who has been identified with the tough law aimed at illegal immigrants, budget cuts that include denying aid to people who need life-saving transplants and laws permitting people to take concealed guns into bars and banning the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools.