Although it's long been proved that Sarah Palin and so-called violent political rhetoric had absolutely nothing to do with January's tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona, CNN's Piers Morgan felt it was necessary to bring her up during Wednesday's interview with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) husband.
For his part, astronaut Mark Kelly was only too happy to take the bait and run with it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Within minutes of the tragic shootings in Tucson, the Left and their media minions were sure that violent rhetoric and gun imagery were responsible for inciting Jared Lee Loughner to that heinous act.
Now, just 23 days since that horrible event and after all kinds of calls for a toning down of such rhetoric, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has issued a press release entitled "DCCC Launches 'Drive to 25' Ad & Grassroots Campaign in Targeted Districts" (image courtesy World Net Daily:
Prior to calls for civility and what turned out to be a disastrous "date night" for the Democrats, Barack Obama was nicely set up to catapult himself into a fabulous 2011 approaching next year's reelection campaign with an enviable head of steam.
Having been all but considered dead - am I allowed to say that post-Tucson? - after his shellacking at the polls in November, the President eked out win after win in the lame duck session, and did a very admirable job with his memorial speech.
Even conservatives like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer were singing his praises.
The nation was also getting a proverbial thrill back up its collective leg according to polls making the coincidence of all these stars aligning so perfectly right before the State of the Union address almost Capraesque.
One would expect an editor of Time Magazine to argue with more logical force than a college freshman. But alas, in his effort to dismiss a looming congressional investigation into homegrown Jihadist terrorism, Romesh Ratnesar, Time's contributing editor-at-large, demonstrated a profound inability to lay out a coherent argument.
Among the article's highlights: the Fort Hood massacre wasn't actually terrorism and is therefore irrelevant to any discussion of Jihadist violence; most American Muslims are opposed to Jihadism and therefore the few who do endorse the ideology are not really a threat; and because recent terrorist attacks have failed, there is not a serious threat of future attacks.
As media quickly accused conservatives of inciting the tragedy in Tucson two weeks ago, they ignored the fact that one of those they were pointing fingers at was a friend of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.).
On Monday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly what it was like for her that fateful Saturday morning to not only find out that someone close to her had been shot, but also that she was being accused of causing it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Thursday actually showed a graphic image of the Capitol building with a red target on it and crosshairs in the foreground.
This hypocritically occurred moments before a lengthy segment on "Hardball" about violent rhetoric wherein he complained about "over-the-top references to guns all the time by people like Sarah Palin" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Thursday attacked the media's recent bogus call for civility in politics.
"The worst in uncivil discourse that we have had in the last decade occurred in the Bush years when the President was vilified, attacked, he was demonized, compared to Nazis," he told Chris Wallace on Fox News's "Special Report." "I do not remember the Times or the mainstream media all of a sudden wagging a finger and pulling a chin about the rise of uncivil discourse at the time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After days of relentless attacks by media across the fruited plain, Sarah Palin's unfavorable rating hit an all-time high this week.
A look at the assault by television and radio news organizations since bullets were fired in Tucson will give you an idea how the press accomplished their mission (image of Palin was found via a Google search and was not created by NewsBusters or the Media Research Center):
In a fine example of the new civility at MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday actually yelled at an Arizona Congressman who didn't agree with him about the need for gun control following the shootings in Tucson.
The discussion on "The Last Word" really got heated after the host made the case to Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that additional security at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) Congress on Your Corner event wouldn't have mattered because "The overwhelming majority of bullets fired by police officers always miss their target" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Saturday, both ABC and NBC ran stories fretting over the Crossroads of the West Gun Show that was held over the weekend in Tucson, Arizona. On ABC, at one point, correspondent David Wright seemed surprised that the large number of people showing up at the event were customers instead of protesters. After relaying that some members of Congress want more gun control laws and cautioning viewers that they should not "hold your breath for them to pass," he continued: "If you wonder why, just check out the crowd at today's gun show. These aren't protesters, they're customers."
Over on the NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kristen Welker noted that it is legal to carry concealed weapons in Arizona, "just as Loughner did last Saturday," as if a person with homicidal intent would decide to obey a law against carrying concealing weapons:
KRISTEN WELKER: Guns are permissible almost anywhere in the state, including many public buildings, and it is legal for people to conceal those weapons and carry them around, just as Loughner did last Saturday.
PAUL HELMKE, BRADY COMMISSION PRESIDENT: Arizona is only the third state in the country to allow people to carry loaded, hidden guns without any permitting process at all.
On Saturday, the New York Times's Public Editor offered a milquetoast apologia for the paper's leading role in falsely ascribing blame for the Tucson massacre to conservative pundits and politicians.
Nowhere in the column did Public Editor Arthur Brisbane address columnist Paul Krugman's false smear of Rep. Michele Bachmann, noted in a letter sent by NewsBusters to Brisbane's office on Friday.
Brisbane attributed the rush to blame, at least in part, Sarah Palin and other conservatives for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others at a Tucson Safeway to the Times's generic efforts "to define the context of a story, to set up a frame for it, sometimes before the facts can be fully understood."
Keith Olbermann on Monday cherry-picked a new poll to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to elected officials.
As he discussed new findings in a Daily Kos/Public Policy Polling survey about who thinks violence against the current American government is justified, the "Countdown" host highlighted the Tea Party's number while conveniently ignoring demographic groups that responded at an equal or higher rate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Keith Olbermann started his Special Comment Monday boasting that he was the only political commentator in America that has "expressed the slightest introspection, the slightest self-awareness, the slightest remorse, the slightest ownership of the existence" of violent rhetoric in the nation.
Roughly twelve minutes later, the "Countdown" host concluded his nonsensical blathering by stating, "In an actual open and shut slam dunk case in which a partisan of the Right attempted to kill one of the Left, the Right would blame the victim" (video follows with transcript and loads of commentary):
As most of the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Day while attempting to move passed the tragic events in Tucson, CNBC's Donny Deutsch decided to ask Reverend Al Sharpton if Arizona should secede from the union.
Such happened on Monday's "Morning Joe" as the crew discussed gun laws in the wake of the shootings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NewsBusters asked Saturday if ABC's "This Week" would fully report a Tucson shooting survivor issuing a death threat to a Tea Party leader at a special town hall meeting taped earlier that day.
Although host Christiane Amanpour, in a brief, 30 second after-thought at the close of Sunday's program, told viewers J. Eric Fuller's threat was directed at a Tea Party member, she omitted Fuller saying "You're dead" to Trent Humphries (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Greek playwright Euripides said you can judge a man by the company he keeps.
On Friday, roughly 24 hours before J. Eric Fuller was going to be arrested for publicly threatening the life of a Tea Party leader at an ABC News town hall meeting, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann praised him via Twitter:
On the evening of the tragic shootings in Tucson, Fox News's Geraldo Rivera, like so many other liberal media members, went out of his way to connect the event to the Tea Party.
Seven days later, the host of "Geraldo at Large" told his viewers, "There was a very public death threat today in Tucson that prompted police action. Ironically, it came from a hard-core liberal" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, a survivor of last week's Tucson shootings issued a death threat to a Tea Party member Saturday in the middle of a taping for a town hall meeting to be aired on ABC's "This Week."
For some reason, ABC World News Saturday in its report about the gathering chose to omit the seriousness of the threat and that it was made to a Tea Partier (video follows courtesy Mark Finkelstein with transcript and commentary):
Greg Gutfeld on Saturday went after "hacks with an axe to grind" whose "rush to judgment" concerning last Saturday's shootings in Tucsocn "revealed the media's not so secret biases towards certain political personalities and movements."
Offering his opinion at the end of "Fox News Watch," the "Red Eye" host specifically named Jane Fonda, Paul Krugman, and "the creeps at Daily Kos" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fox News Watch panelists on Saturday named some villains concerning last week's tragedy in Tucson.
Aside from the shooter himself, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos were mentioned for their terrible coverage of this awful event (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Media outlet after media outlet panned Sarah Palin's video response to last Saturday's Tucson shootings with some going so far as claiming it ended any chance she might have of becoming president assuming that's even her goal.
Destroying this myth was a new poll published by Media Curves that actually found Americans seeing the former Alaska governor as more likeable, sincere, and believable after watching her speech:
During an impromptu reunion of CNN's "Crossfire" Friday, Pat Buchanan told his old sparring partner Bill Press, "You’ve got to get beyond being a fringe talk show host."
In the middle of a very heated debate on MSNBC's "The Ed Show," Buchanan strongly cautioned the host and his liberal guest, "I think this last week, there’s been a climate of hatred built up against [Sarah Palin] who did nothing and I tell you, if she does run for president of the United States, I pray to the lord she’s given secret service protection from day one" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Mark Shields on Friday actually asked Charles Krauthammer if Sarah Palin unintentionally made last Saturday's shootings about herself and not the tragic event.
Krauthammer not only set the substitute host of PBS's "Inside Washington" straight, but also called for an apology from all those that shamefully tied the former Alaska governor to this awful tragedy (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Two particularly peculiar bits of reasoning Friday night from Bill Maher on the season premiere of his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, starting with his bizarre explanation for why Jared Lee Loughner was able to commit mass murder. After panelist Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Thomson Reuters, trumped how her native Canada has “universal health care,” Maher jumped in to assert:
Because we don't have government health care, that's one reason why a crazy person gets a gun because, you know what, it’s hard for a crazy person to get a job, so therefore it’s hard for them to get heath care in a country that doesn’t have government- (Audio: MP3 clip)
The conversation moved on and Maher never offered any further explanation, if there could even have been any which made any sense.
Within minutes of the news breaking that Jared Lee Loughner had killed six and wounded 12 in a rampage outside a Tucson safeway store, including a critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the news media immediately leapt to the conclusion that the harsh tone of our political discourse – led by conservative talk radio -- surely must be to blame.
That narrative turned out to be hogwash, but another one has emerged during the investigation into Loughner’s psyche, yet virtually no one wants to discuss it. Was the shooter inspired by the entertainment media?
Why would violent movies or music be left out of the rush to judgment? Perhaps it’s because pop-culture defenders never tire of arguing that no one can blame the “artists” – be they musicians, movie-makers or video-game manufacturers – for youth violence. So it becomes awkward, to say the least, that everyone’s discussing the need to curb a national appetite for angry rhetoric, when it was disturbing music and movies that were influencing Loughner’s mind, and they are ignored.
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):