For going on six days, dishonest media members have blamed prominent conservatives for inciting last Saturday's tragedy in Tucson.
On Wednesday, radio host and attorney Mark Levin threatened to sue anyone - including MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Joe Scarborough - that tried to tie him to that event (YouTube audio follows with transcript and commentary):
MARK LEVIN: Now I’m going to tell you something. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I will. I’m waiting for an allegation that is very specific against me because I’m going to sue. I don’t care if they’re bloggers, I don’t care if they’re television hosts, I don’t care if they’re radio hosts. I’m going to drag your ass into federal court. Oh, you’ll have due process. It’ll all be nice and legal. I’m going to personally depose you. I’m going to drag you in front of a jury, and I’m going to get your assets.
Somebody has to stand up to this. Somebody has to draw the line. Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough – test me. Test me. David Frum, you little weasel, test me. All of you.
I believe in the law. I believe in free speech. I believe in responsible speech. Now, you want people to tone it down? Okay, good. Anybody who accuses me of inciting mass murder in Tucscon, Arizona, is going to be sued. Period. I don’t mean, “Oh his rhetoric is incendiary.” I don’t. Anybody who tries to tie me to that monstrous event.
I’m going to tell you why. When you get behind this microphone every day, and you speak from the heart, and millions of people are listening, and family and friends, they’re listening, too. They’re affected by all these things. Now I’m a public figure. I’m a big boy. I can handle this. The question is whether these other boys can handle it. You think I’m kidding? Try me, because I’m not kidding. The laws of libel are actually older than the first amendment.
According to the American Spectator, Levin moments before this issued a challenge to Matthews:
"I challenge Chris Matthews, I'll put $100,000 on the table, to find any example where Sarah Palin has promoted the murder of anybody," said Levin -- specifically excluding terrorists and the Taliban.
Levin went on: "A hundred thousand on the table if Chris Matthews can find anywhere Mark Levin has urged the murder of people who have different political viewpoints. That's the murder of politicians …where I said go out there and kill X,Y,Z…go out there and kill A,B,C. I challenge him right now. Sarah Palin. Me. Go ahead."
Levin, as usual, was 100 percent right.
What we've witnessed in the past six days has been a national disgrace.
Within minutes of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) getting shot, media members began accusing conservative politicians and pundits of inciting the shooter. This was before anyone knew anything about him.
We have since learned that whatever politics Jared Lee Loughner had, they were certainly not right-wing, and that he apparently didn't watch television or listen to talk radio.
But this didn't stop the folks responsible for disseminating the news via the airwaves, cable and print to continually and dishonestly misrepresent to their viewers, listeners, and readers that folks like Palin, Levin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and members of the Tea Party all had a hand in this incident.
This nonsense has to stop, for what these shameful accusers in the media don't understand is that it's they that are exacerbating the heated rhetoric and ideological divisions in this nation.
Every time they jump to malevolent conclusions and disseminate their evil assumptions, their viewers, listeners, and readers feel greater antipathy and hatred for fellow Americans.
Ed Schultz less than 72 hours before Giffords was shot told his viewers, "This is an ideological war. I say it on camera tonight here on MSNBC - I will fight these [Republican] bastards every night at 6 o’clock."
In reality, Schultz was speaking for almost all liberal media members who deep in their hearts agree that this is their charge as so-called journalists: to fight Republican "bastards" while advancing the agenda of the Democrat Party.
Part of this battle includes demonizing conservatives and whenever possible depicting them as being responsible for all that ails the country.
Within minutes of an act of extreme violence being committed in this country, these folks immediately begin telling their viewers, listeners, and readers the assailant must have been impacted by the words and statements of prominent right-wing figures.
If these people now calling for civility actually want the rhetoric to be toned down, they should begin doing so in their own TV studios, radio booths, and pressrooms.
Failing that, they should stop pointing their hypocritical fingers at anyone else or be sued for libel.
Bravo, Mark. Bravo!