I agree with President Obama. When it comes to politicizing random violence, he and his supporters have been "far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than" they do. Recognition is the first step toward reconciliation. It's time to recognize the poisonous pervasiveness of the Blame Righty meme.
For the past two years, Democratic officials, liberal activists and journalists have jumped to libelous conclusions about individual shooting sprees committed by mentally unstable loners with incoherent delusions all over the ideological map. The White House now pledges to swear off "pointing fingers or assigning blame." Alas, the Obama administration's political and media foot soldiers have proved themselves incapable of such restraint.
President Obama is receiving uniform praise for his memorial remarks in Tucson, Ariz. Even conservatives are saying he hit the right notes, substantively and tonally. I agree, with a few qualifiers and gentle cautions.
Obama was eloquent in his tribute to the victims and appropriately acknowledged that "none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack ... or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind."
More importantly, he said: "But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. That we cannot do. ... Let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy; it did not."
Earlier this morning, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) president Brent Bozell sat down with C-SPAN's Libby Casey for an interview on "Washington Journal."
Among other topics, Bozell addressed media coverage of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) shooting.
"Where's the harm in having this discussion about civil discourse?" Casey asked Bozell.
"I think it's a very good discussion, don't get me wrong.... But don't tie it to what happened [in Arizona]," Bozell answered. "Don't say it's because Sarah Palin and the crosshairs [on her PAC's targeted midterm race map]."
For the excerpt, check out the video embedded below the page break or click here for MP3 audio.
Ah, the perils that befall Chris Matthews when he brings a non-liberal on his show. Maybe this is why it happens so rarely.
MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan made an astute observation on Thursday's "Hardball": people who continue to blame Sarah Palin or any other conservative for Saturday's shooting in Tucson - people like Chris Matthews - are the new conspiracy theorists. They bear striking resemblance to 'Truthers' and 'Birthers' in their refusal to allow evidence to alter their views (video below the fold - h/t Jeff Poor).
Jon Stewart on Thursday again jumped to the defense of Barack Obama, slamming those who questioned the cheering at Wednesday's memorial for the Arizona shooting. After playing a clip of Michelle Malkin complaining about the event, he derided the conservative: "You're not a primitive nematode, capable only of autonomic response to outside stimuli. You have a choice."
Trading jokes for straightforward insults, Stewart mocked, "You went to Oberlin." (Malkin attended Oberlin College.)
The liberal comedian expressed outrage over the fact that Brit Hume dared refer to the blessing, involving feathers and given by the University of Arizona's Carlos Gonzales, as "peculiar." Stewart mocked, "Yeah, yeah, I like my benediction like I like my coffee. Christian!"
"The Second Amendment that guarantees the right to bear arms is part of America’s founding fabric. So is senseless violence brought about by guns also American?" asked Newsweek's Daniel Stone in a January 13 post at the magazine's website.
Stone noted that his question was inspired by a similar query posed recently by a Russian journalist Andrei Sitov to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.:
Is occasional violent tragedy a distasteful byproduct of a free society? I walked out of the briefing room with Sitov, who appeared to realize the impact that his question had on the roomful of Americans. “It’s an obvious question and nobody asks that question,” he told me through his thick Russian accent. “This is a cost that your country pays for freedom.”
Of course the cost of freedom with any right is that evil and/or deranged people will abuse it to the harm of others, but Stone's piece seems to focus on civilian gun ownership as though it is mostly a societal liability without considering the real benefits private gun ownership have in protecting life, liberty, and property.
For example, since 1958, the National Rifle Association has been collecting news clippings from across America of everyday citizens using a firearm to defend their lives and property.
On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Erica Hill noted President Obama "calling for a little bit of a detente" in the wake of the Tucson shooting and wondered, "is this civility going to last?" Political analyst John Dickerson argued: "There will be one small test next week as House Republicans bring up the repeal of the health care bill."
Dickerson criticized the name of the repeal legislation: "What used to be called the 'Job-Killing Health Care Bill,' which now of course has – operates in a much different context." Hill followed up: "Can the President make that, I guess, good will, for lack of a better word, last past the State of the Union in a couple of weeks?" Dickerson asserted: "Health care will be a bit of a sideshow because it won't really go anywhere after the House does it its work on that bill. But on the budget, on lifting the debt ceiling, on some of these other issues, there will have to be actual cooperation."
In the wake of last Saturday's shooting spree in Arizona, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing on Friday wondered if the phrase "jobs-killing health care" bill is now taboo. Speaking to a former speechwriter for Condi Rice, Jansing also speculated as to whether Barack Obama's address at a memorial service will "take some of the wind" out of the Republicans' sails.
Talking to speechwriter Elise Jordan, Jansing warned, "...Are you bothered at all by the fact that they refused to stop calling it a jobs killing health care repeal in this current environment?"
A new poll just released by Quinnipiac University finds very few Americans agree with the media's view that heated political rhetoric was responsible for Saturday's tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
What should also surprise all of the so-called journalists that have been accusing conservative politicians and pundits for inciting Jared Lee Loughner to commit this heinous act is that people feel liberals are more responsible for this rhetoric than folks on the right (emphasis added throughout):
Unfortunately for liberals, airbrushing history is so much tougher these days, what with Google and long memories and all.
Here's MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday disparaging Sarah Palin for her condemnation of liberals' kneejerk "blood libel" against conservatives in the wake of the Tucson shooting (audio) --
MADDOW: Also, for the record, blood libel is not a generic term. It is not a tough, vivid way of saying, don't say that mean thing about me! Blood libel is a specific historic thing. Maybe the best, less said about that the better, though.
More conveniently for Maddow and ilk, the less said the better about previous allegations of "blood libel" beyond its historical origin as a calumny against Jews.
"Rush Limbaugh needs to choke to death on his own fat," deranged left-wing radio show host Mike Malloy hissed on his February 18, 2009 program.
Michele Bachmann should "slit [her] wrist!" Montel Williams told his Air America radio show audience in September 2009.
"We ought to rip [Dick Cheney's heart] out and kick it around and stuff it back in him," MSNBC's Ed Schultz blustered on his February 24, 2010 radio program.
Those are just three examples of left-wing hate that the mainstream media haven't denounced while accusing conservatives like Sarah Palin of engendering violence in the wake of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting.
"Have you ever heard any reporter... denounce these examples?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Fox News' Sean Hannity after watching the montage during last night's "Media Mash" segment on "Hannity."
[For the full segment, watch the video below the page break or listen to the MP3 audio here.]
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):
The Gray Lady's star columnist has already demonstrated the amazing extent of his hackery. But even the paper's "straight news" (I know, I know) reporters have managed to twist the facts in an apparent attempt to paint Jared Lee Loughner as having conservative views. Ann Coulter spotted this bit of leftist dishonesty in an early piece on Loughner (via Ace):
In the most bald-faced lie I have ever read in The New York Times -- which is saying something -- that paper implied Loughner is a pro-life zealot. This is the precise opposite of the truth.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R.-Texas), a former prosecutor and judge and a current member of the House Judiciary Committee, is offering some advice to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who has gained national attention since Saturday for his suggestions that radio and television talk shows were somehow responsible for the shooting attack in Tucson that took the lives of 6 people and wounded 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Agreed, the parallels between Palin and bin Laden are uncanny. To say nothing of women appearing so frequently to speak on behalf of al Qaeda.
If liberals have a strong case against Palin, why do they say such stupid things about her? (audio) --
HARTMANN: (After music at start of segment, "Give Peace a Chance," from bellicose pacifist John Lennon): Sarah Palin. She hasn't come out of her cave up there in Alaska. Sarah bin Palin, should we call her? But she has issued a video!
What makes Hartmann's criticism on his radio show Wednesday all the more peculiar is that it came after Palin released her seven-minute video statement on liberals' unhinged reaction in according blame for the rampage in Tucson.
While the liberal media, particularly Obama acolytes at MSNBC, immediately jumped down former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's throat for her use of the term "blood libel" in a video statement yesterday, it appears the network has not always thundered with righteous indignation at the use of the term.
Tthere was no reaction from MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2000 when Jack Kemp used the term to describe a harsh radio ad the NAACP had used against then-Gov. George W. Bush (R-Texas) nor in 2006 when Mike Barnicle used the term in reference to Sen. John Kerry having been criticized by a group of Vietnam War swift boat veterans.
Kemp used the term on the December 19, 2000 edition of "Hardball," while he and Matthews were discussing why so few black Americans actually voted for Bush. In that exchange, Kemp lamented as "blood libel" a harsh ad the NAACP National Voter Fund ran that suggested Bush had blood on his hands for failing to support a hate crimes bill.
During a bipartisan panel discussion with members of Congress on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric asked about the role of political rhetoric in the Tucson shooting, to which Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz replied: "After my daughter heard...Gabby [Giffords] had been shot, the first thing she asked me was...'Mommy, are you going to get shot?'"
Schultz went on to recall: "...the next thing she said to me was – and this is where you don't realize how closely they're watching – 'But Mommy, Florida's going to pass an immigration law like Arizona and then people are going to be mad at you.'" The Congresswoman concluded: "The civil discourse is very important because it's not just – it's not just adults that – that this permeates. It's our children." Couric did not challenge Schultz's suggestion that the enforcement of stronger immigration laws would cause violence.
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell will appear on tonight's "Hannity" as well as tomorrow morning's "Fox & Friends" and C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
All three appearances will focus on the media's biased coverage in the wake of Saturday's assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona).
Tonight's "Media Mash" segment on "Hannity" should air around 9:30 p.m. EST. Bozell's live interview on "Fox & Friends" should commence live around 8:15 a.m. EST tomorrow morning.
Just after the "Fox & Friends" appearance, Bozell will sit down at C-SPAN's Washington Studio for the January 14 edition of "Washington Journal," a call-in interview program. That appearance is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. EST.
For an archive of NewsBusters coverage of bias following the Giffords shooting, click here.
Former Texas Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on Thursday's Today show, was cornered by NBC's Matt Lauer on his anti-gun control stance, as Lauer pressed: "In the wake of...that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona, do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?" DeLay was invited on to discuss being sentenced in his campaign finance case but Lauer felt the need to shoe-horn in a question about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he attempted to guilt DeLay into rethinking his support for overturning the assault weapons ban back in 2004.
First up, Lauer's colleague, Norah O'Donnell, foreshadowed the anti-gun bias turn in the interview, in her set up piece as she reported: " In Congress, DeLay was known for his ruthless ability to make his fellow Republicans tow the line, blocking renewal of the assault weapons ban in 2004, in the news again today because of Saturday's Arizona shooting."
Lauer then advanced that line to DeLay in the subsequent interview segment as seen in the following January 13 Today show exchange:
At the top of Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric lamented: "The President tries to comfort a nation in mourning, but even on a rare day of unity, politics and controversy intervene." A clip was then played of Sarah Palin's Facebook video reaction to the Tucson shooting and media finger-pointing: "Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel."
Later, correspondent Chip Reid reported that in his speech at the memorial service for the victims, "one thing we're told he [President Obama] will not do is get into the political battle that's developed over this tragedy." Reid then added: "a battle that became even more heated today when Sarah Palin joined the fray."
Chris Matthews on Wednesday said that as a result of her use of terms like "blood libel" and "bull's eyes," Sarah Palin "shouldn't be President of the United States."
Such happened after Matthews spent much of the first half of his "Hardball" program excoriating the former Alaska governor for her videotaped response to the tragic shootings in Tucson Saturday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Yet another poll released Thursday by USA Today suggests that the American public has not bought into the media's ridiculous spin on Saturday's Tucson massacre.
According to the poll, conducted by Gallup, a majority of Americans think that attempts to link Saturday's shooting to conservative political rhetoric amount to "An attempt to make conservatives look bad." Only about a third of respondents said it was a "legitimate point."
While self-identified Democrats were predictably more likely to say blaming rhetoric from the right is a legitimate argument, a full third of Democrats agreed that it was just a partisan stunt.
Yet another example of the pathological left-wing meme in response to the Tucson bloodbath -- do as we say, not as we spew.
Here's Bill Press on his radio show this morning, telling all dozen of his listeners what he thought of Sarah Palin's remarks yesterday on the "blood libel" of liberals blaming conservative rhetoric as root cause of the gunman's rampage (audio) --
To me, it reminded me of those hostage videos we've seen where there's a terrorist on each side holding a gun to a person's head and they're forced to read a script, while she read the script, first of all, yesterday saying don't! don't! let's not criticize each other now.
It is crystal clear that whatever Sarah Palin does, she is going to be mercilessly lambasted by America's so-called journalists.
Roughly 24 hours after attacking the former Alaska governor for having not spoken publicly since Saturday's tragic shootings in Tucson, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann criticized Palin for issuing a videotaped statement the morning of that event's memorial (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Ann Coulter):
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday fretted about Sarah Palin and the use of the term "blood libel," deeming it a "loaded term." Reporter Claire Shipman chided that "what was meant to be statesman like, set off another round of controversy."
Shipman even featured clips from angry leftists such as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and ex-Clinton aide Paul Begala. The Democratic operative derided the term, used by Palin as a defense against those who would associate her with Saturday's shooting in Arizona, calling it "narcissism of the extreme." Olbermann mocked, "Sarah Palin, quote, 'could not have come up with a more inflammatory phrase.'"
While reporting for GMA, Shipman has frequently hammered Republicans while fawning over Democrats. In 2007, she famously described the primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as one of the "hot factor" versus "fluid poetry." Additionally, her husband, Jay Carney, is the Assistant Director of Communications to Vice President Joe Biden. He's rumored to be a possible replacement for Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs.
Former NBC Nighty News anchor Tom Brokaw visited the Today show set, on Thursday, to play referee, or more specifically daddy, in the debate surrounding the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as he pontificated that it was "time for the parents to say time out" on the heated political rhetoric. However he then went on to question how Sarah Palin could dare to respond to all the personal attacks on her, many by some of Brokaw's colleagues on MSNBC, as he opined: "I was surprised that she waded back into it frankly."
On to discuss Barack Obama's performance at a memorial service for victims of the Tuscon shooting, Brokaw told Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, that even though the service, as Vieira herself noticed, seemed more like a "pep rally" at times, Obama was simply doing his best to "Keep the mood of the crowd ebullient." Brokaw then scolded: "I would think that on the political, what I call the political poles, on both ends, it's probably time for the parents to say time out. You know let's, let's take a break here for a couple of days and reflect on what we've been through and where we need to go."
Later on in the segment Vieira prompted Brokaw to weigh-in on the temerity of Sarah Palin, to dare to defend herself as she asked: "Talking about pointing fingers...your views on Sarah Palin and her accusing the journalists of blood libel for blaming political rhetoric on what happened?" Brokaw responded:"I was surprised that she waded back into it frankly...I was surprised that she got back into it in the way that she did. I think we gotta move beyond that."
There are many heroes who showed indomitable courage and grace under fire during this weekend's horrific Tucson massacre. Blowhard Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik was not one of them.
If the White House has any sense, President Obama will stay far away from the demagogic Dupnik and his media entourage when he visits Arizona on Wednesday to memorialize the victims. Indeed, if the White House is truly committed to unifying the country, it will explicitly disavow Dupnik's vulture-like exploitation of the shooting rampage.
Within hours of the bloody spree, Dupnik mounted more grandstands than a NASCAR tour champion. A vocal opponent of S.B. 1070, the popular state law cracking down on illegal immigration, Dupnik immediately blamed Arizona for becoming a "mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
As NewsBusters previously reported, Chris Matthews on Tuesday blamed conservative talk radio hosts Mark Levin and Michael Savage for supposedly creating the climate of hate that led to Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
On Wednesday, FBN's Don Imus and his sidekick Bernard McGuirk responded to the "angry," "vile," "psycho," "spittle-spewing" MSNBCer (video follows with transcript and commentary):