Barbara Walters Defends Sarah Palin: Blaming Her For Giffords Shooting 'Very Unfair'

Sarah Palin found a very strange ally on Monday.

With media outlet after media outlet disgracefully accusing the former Alaska governor of inciting Jared Lee Loughner to go on a shooting rampage in Tucson Saturday, Barbara Walters said on "The View," "To blame Sarah Palin as some are doing I think is very unfair to her" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Now the country is, is still in shock trying to make sense of Saturday’s insanity in Tucson, where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is in critical condition after 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at her public appearance, killing six people, including a nine-year-old young lady called Christina Taylor Green and federal judge John M. Roll. And, you know, there is a lot being said because, you know, there are so many -- we've become so vitriolic. We talk about this on the show so often. Is this what happens because we've become so vitriolic that, you know, people who are unstable are hearing things, saying go and get these people? Because this woman, this Congresswoman, she was one of nine of the Congress people who, particularly Democrats, who had been targeted by several different organizations. I mean, it's just crazy.

BARBARA WALTER: Because she voted, in part because she voted for healthcare.

GOLDBERG: Yeah.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Right. There was an interview you remember in the press. As of late, there's been a ton of criticism over the, was it Facebook page of Sarah Palin when she had the crosshairs over different districts and she said something like don’t something reload or something.

BARBARA WALTERS: That's a different thing. She had, she had, this was an ad she had with the crosshairs about who you should vote for or not. But she also, what you're talking about is she tweeted at one point, conservatives and so on, she said, “Don't Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”

I'm feeling bad for Sarah Palin, because what -- I don't think that's what she should have said and certainly crosshairs are very scary. This is a deranged young man. This is a Timothy McVeigh. Whether this happened because there is violence, you know, too much commentary, too much violence, as you say, we’ve talked about it. Sometimes we do it here, we get so angry. Whether that really speared him on or whether he's just a very sick person, we don't know, and we don’t know what his motives are. And, and we can hope the all the vitriol calms down.

But to blame Sarah Palin as some are doing I think is very unfair to her. She has, she issued a statement offering her condolences and hasn't said more. But I don't think this is the time now to start finding – you should excuse me - other targets to blame.

HASSELBECK: But they seemed to that she was the first target, I mean it was her, right? They seemed to say, “Okay, this is the direct link.”

SHERRI SHEPHERD: If you look at the map with the crosshairs, Giffords' name was on there.

GOLDBERG: I just want to point out, she was, Sarah Palin was one of several people who put crosshairs on this young lady.

WALTERS: That’s right, that’s right, she’s the one being condemned the most.

HASSELBECK: And all of which, I mean, we talked about it here on the show. I remember saying it seemed extreme and almost inexcusable that crosshairs would be put over everybody, and because you put a crosshair over someone, or a district and does that, in fact, if you were not the person behind the gun, are you then to blame?

I mean, just the morning of the shooting, hours before, the New York Post had this as its cover. Crosshairs saying “STOP HIM” over Peyton Manning's face. Now, are they then to blame if God forbid anything were to happen to Peyton Manning?

Great point, Elisabeth.

More importantly, a classy job of Barbara to stand up for a much-maligned woman that is once again being grossly mistreated by members of the media.

Brava, Barbara! Brava!

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.