NYT: 'It's Legitimate to Blame Republicans and Their Most Virulent Supporters in the Media'
As we move into the second day following the horrendous attack on innocent citizens in Tucson, Arizona, the media's blame game continues.
Although the New York Times editorial board stopped short of claiming Republicans and the Tea Party were responsible for inciting Jared Lee Loughner to commit this heinous crime, the Gray Lady made it clear it feels the Right are the cause of a "gale of anger" dangerously sweeping the nation:
Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting [Rep. Gabrielle] Giffords, killing a federal judge and five other people, and wounding 13 others, appears to be mentally ill. His paranoid Internet ravings about government mind control place him well beyond usual ideological categories.
But he is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of politicians and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery.
And that's where things got ridiculous:
The federal judge who was killed, John Roll, had received hundreds of menacing phone calls and death threats, especially after he allowed a case to proceed against a rancher accused of assaulting 16 Mexicans as they tried to cross his land. This rage, stirred by talk-radio hosts, required marshals to give the judge and his family 24-hour protection for a month. Around the nation, threats to federal judges have soared for a decade.
That may all be true, but there's no way that Loughner would have known Roll was going to be in that crowd as the judge who lives in the area had according to reports spontaneously decided to visit his friend Giffords at her political event.
As such, Roll's only crime as far as Loughner was concerned was his attendance. At this point, we don't even know if Loughner knew who Roll was.
But there was more:
It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.
And whom did the Democrats and their media minions demonize in 2006 and 2008 to take back the Congress and the White House in subsequent elections?
Much like the rest of the carping and whining media, the Times has developed a convenient amnesia of the virulent rhetoric directed at the Bush administration as well as all Republican elected officials that led to sweeping Democrat victories at the polls.
Given the sheer volume of liberal media outlets joining in the evisceration of the Right back then, what we've seen in the past 24 months pales by comparison.
But the Times doesn't see it that way, or at least it's not willing to admit it.
Instead, like the rest of the pandering press, the Gray Lady views this incident as a way to browbeat conservatives into silence while possibly getting the public behind stricter gun laws.
What all these media outlets are missing is this blame game will only further divide the nation, increase the invective, and grow the public's distrust of politicians as well as those that cover them.
In essence, they're throwing gasoline on a forest fire with total disregard for the acreage at risk.
Makes you wonder where it's all going to end.