Media members that have been shamelessly blaming Sarah Palin for helping to incite Jared Lee Loughner's shooting rampage in Tucson on Saturday have been in the past couple of days ridiculing her silence since the event.
On Wednesday, just hours before the President is set to speak on this subject, the former Alaska governor posted her thoughtful response to the tragedy - as well as the press's abhorrent behavior since - at her Facebook page (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
While lambasting Sarah Palin for using violent imagery with her now infamous crosshairs election strategy map as well as her "Don't Retreat - RELOAD" Twitter posting, MSNBC's Chris Matthews used an expression concerning the former Alaska governor that could easily be misconstrued as a threat.
As he chatted with Cynthia Tucker and Richard Wolffe on "Hardball," the host said, "If she doesn't get off of this and stop trying to have somebody else skate her off of it like Glenn Beck or this person Mansour, she is going to be erased as a potential candidate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews, joined by two liberal talk radio hosts on Tuesday's Hardball, essentially blamed the likes of conservative hosts like Mark Levin for creating the climate of hate that led to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as the envious MSNBC host proclaimed: "People like Mark Levin, Michael Savage...every time you listen to them are furious, furious at the left with anger that's just builds and builds in their voice and by the time they go to commercial, they're just in some rage, every night, with ugly talk....They must have an audience. I looked at the numbers today. They have big audiences! And I guess that's the question. Why and is it ever going to stop if it keeps working?"
Before that Matthews rant, Philadelphia area radio host Michael Smerconish coined a word in his attack on conservative chatter as he talked about "the hatriolic comments" he's heard and in referring to a scene he saw at a town hall meeting worried: "These are people who are on the edge and if somebody pushes them over, God help us all."
E. Steven Collins, another Philly area talker, sided with Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik who attacked Rush Limbaugh, as he hailed: "The sheriff in Tucson was absolutely right...It does impact people who may have a mental problem or may not" and added that there was a "direct relationship" with Sarah Palin putting crosshairs on her Web site over Giffords' district and the loss of a life of "that little girl who went down to meet the congressperson."
Bill Maher on Monday compared the psychological makeup of Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of Saturday's Tucson massacre, to that of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.
Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the incident, Maher disgustingly said, "Glenn Beck is also a little nutty. You know, I mean, this Jared guy's chalkboard in his basement, I'm not sure it wouldn't look that different than Glenn Beck's chalkboard" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is Ed Schultz really this dumb or simply incapable of honesty?
Within the first 10 minutes of his radio show yesterday, Schultz was bellowing about an alleged connection between the massacre in Tucson and remarks by Rep. Michele Bachman, House candidate Jesse Kelly and other Republicans (audio) --
SCHULTZ (initially referring to Congresswoman Giffords' medical condition): The latest medical update is she is responding, it's been consistent since they started to try to get responses out of her, which is very positive. But if you want to talk about the political climate in this country, if you really want think the conversation in this country plays into the fear-mongering, or should we say that the conversation in this country leads to the angst and the anger, well then hell, let's just have that conversation. In fact, let's go back to Jesse Kelly. Any of you know who Jesse Kelly is? Here's a name that hasn't been thrown out during the coverage. He was Giffords' tea party opponent! Congresswoman Giffords! Ran against Jesse Kelly! Now listen to what he said during the campaign.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell just can't let go of the media spin that political rhetoric, specially from conservatives like Sarah Palin, is somehow partly to blame for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as on Tuesday's Today show, she questioned if Palin's use of crosshairs on her Web site to target Democratic districts was "inflammatory?" Mitchell couldn't even report that "There is no direct link" from Palin to the shooting suspect Jared Loughner without adding, "as far as investigators know."
Mitchell actually began her story airing a soundbite from outer space with Giffords' brother-in-law, astronaut Scott Kelly, linking political rhetoric to the attack on Giffords:
ANDREA MITCHELL: From the space station, Gabrielle Gifford's brother-in-law, her husband's twin, fellow astronaut Scott Kelly.
SCOTT KELLY: These days we're constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words.
While Mitchell did eventually allow conservatives to have their say, as she aired soundbites from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and David Frum, she finished her piece with words from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Giffords, that left the impression harsh discourse was to blame for the tragedy.
While folks in the media blame conservatives for violent rhetoric they dishonestly claim led to Saturday's massacre in Tucson, they continue to hypocritically ignore their own toxicity.
No finer or timely example occurred just three days before the shootings when Ed Schultz on the program bearing his name angrily said, "This is an ideological war. I say it on camera tonight here on MSNBC - I will fight these bastards every night at 6 o’clock" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There’s no evidence political vitriol of any kind drove Jared Loughner’s murderous rampage, ABC, CBS and NBC all acknowledged, but that didn’t deter them on Monday night from taking up the left-wing line holding conservatives culpable as NBC, incredibly, managed to castigate Sarah Palin and go back more than five years to find an incendiary quote from Glenn Beck – but couldn’t find anything over the line from its own Keith Olbermann or Ed Schultz.
“It was, by all accounts, a lone and very disturbed man who shot that gun on Saturday,” ABC’s Diane Sawyer noted, “but nonetheless, as we all know, a lot of people began asking questions for different reasons. Is this a moment we can talk about what is civility and respect in America?” From Tucson, on CBS Katie Couric set up a story: “We may never know for sure what drove Jared Loughner to open fire here last Saturday, but some, on both ends of the political spectrum, say the vitriolic rhetoric we hear every day was a factor.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams intoned: “Has political speech in this country become too charged, too toxic, and did it play a role in this tragedy?” Reporter Andrea Mitchell contended any link to the shooting is irrelevant: “Whether or not there is any connection between Saturday's shooting and angry rhetoric, it has certainly reignited the debate over political speech between right and left.”
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):
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Lee Cowan, inspired by Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik's blaming political rhetoric for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, highlighted Sarah Palin's Web site map featuring crosshairs on Giffords' district, as he scolded: "Not since Timothy McVeigh attacked the federal building in Oklahoma City has a crime sparked so much attention on anti-government rhetoric. That map Sarah Palin put up on Facebook last year, targeting Congresswoman Gifford's seat, made Gifford nervous, even then."
To underscore Dupnik's charge about political rhetoric, in addition to citing the Palin crosshairs map, Cowan aired clips from various health care and immigration protests, but paid close attention to those opposed to the Democratic agenda including Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, as seen in the following excerpt:
Managing Editor's Note: Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following statement after a thorough, two-day review of how the media have covered the tragic shooting in Arizona.
Implicating a conservative tie to this heinous act of violence or to Jared Lee Loughner, who is no conservative, is nothing short of a naked campaign to criminalize conservative thought.
Sadly, those who point their finger are at the nexus of hypocrisy. Take the unidentified “veteran Democratic strategist” who told Politico that, ‘they need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers … Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.’
NBC's Matt Lauer, at the top of Monday's Today show, alerted viewers that Sarah Palin was being drawn into the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he teased an upcoming Andrea Mitchell story this way: "Sarah Palin has been coming under some criticism. While there is no evidence her Web site featuring a target on Giffords' district had anything to do with this attack, some are asking if today's political rhetoric is inspiring the lunatic fringe?" For her part, Mitchell made sure to point out "while there is no indication that this suspect was inspired...by political speech" she then proceeded to devote most of her story linking Palin to the attack.
In a story entitled, "Crosshairs Controversy, Palin Criticized For 'Targeting Giffords'" Mitchell noted: "The attack has reopened criticism of the way Palin targeted Gabby Giffords and 19 other Democrats in last year's campaign." Mitchell then went on to report that after Giffords' congressional district, along with 20 others, was targeted with crosshairs on a map on Sarah Palin's Web site, "Giffords' Tuscon office was vandalized" and then aired a clip of Giffords slamming Palin.
Reporting on the political fallout of the Tucson shooting on Monday's CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "Now some are questioning whether the increasingly angry tone in politics could have contributed to a culture of violence."
Cordes noted how "members of Congress took their soul searching public, Sunday," followed by sound bites of two Democrats lamenting heated political rhetoric. Cordes observed: "Look no further than recent campaign ads....Filled with images and rhetoric that would once have been considered off limits." Two clips were played as examples, the first from West Virginia Democratic Governor and then Senate candidate Joe Manchin, going after his own party, using a rifle to shoot a bullet through proposed Cap and Trade legislation. Cordes failed to identify Manchin as a Democrat. The other ad was from Alabama Tea Party candidate Rick Barber, with a depiction of Thomas Jefferson calling on conservatives: "Gather your armies."
Good Morning America's Jake Tapper on Monday provided some balance to the numerous journalists who are attempting to blame the spree shooting in Arizona on Sarah Palin. The ABC journalist said of Jared Loughner, "The shooter's motives remain unclear. One acquaintance from 2007 described him as liberal."
Tapper discussed the "cross hairs" graphic created by Sarah Palin's Political Action Committee in 2010 (which targeted Democrats for political defeat). Unlike other journalists, however, he pointed out that the investigation into Loughner's interest into Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords "ties back to 2007, three years before Palin's map."
As the MRC's Brent Baker reported on Sunday, many network reporters attempted to make a connection between the shooting and Palin, the Tea Partiers and conservatives in general. ABC's graphic on Monday announced, "Politics of Vitriol: Is Rhetoric Getting Too Rough?" Additionally, Tapper played a clip of talk show host Joyce Kaufman asserting, "And if ballots don't work, bullets will."
Sunday’s New York Times led with the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a three-term Democrat representing Tucson, in an assassination attempt in which six others were killed, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.
The suspect in custody is 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. The suspect’s Myspace and Youtube pages are filled with crazed syllogisms, dominated by thoughts of mind control. Loughner also recommending a video of an American flag being burned, and is evidently an atheist.
Not exactly the profile of a Sarah Palin fan, right? But that didn’t stop the Times from imposing a “violent rhetoric” template on its front-page Sunday story by Congressional reporter Carl Hulse and Tea Party beat reporter Kate Zernike, “Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics.” The unasked for and unprofessional speculation of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (who used the term "vitriol" while going after conservative talk radio and TV) also featured high in the Times's recounting, while Times reporters linked to Palin's now-infamous campaign "target map" from March 2010.
The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others at a neighborhood meeting in Arizona on Saturday set off what is likely to be a wrenching debate over anger and violence in American politics.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Gabrielle Giffords shooting blame game has been in full swing since the moment shots were fired in Tucson Saturday.
With this in mind, Howard Kurtz invited conservative talk radio host Steve Malzberg and Mediaite editor-at-large Rachel Sklar on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" to fight over whether all the finger-pointing at right-wing figures like Sarah Palin is justified or another example of media madness (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“The shooter’s motivation is still unknown,” Katie Couric announced as she anchored Saturday’s CBS Evening News, but that didn’t deter CBS, nor CNN, NBC and ABC on Saturday night and into Sunday morning from forwarding attempts to blame Sarah Palin and, by implication, the Tea Party, for the Tucson shooting.
“Giffords was one of 20 Democrats whose districts were lit up in cross hairs on a Sarah Palin campaign Web site last spring,” CBS’s Nancy Cordes declared in referring to a political map, adding that “Giffords and many others complained that someone unstable might act on that imagery.” Hours later on CNN, Jessica Yellin noted “we don't know the motive” before she proceeded to raise how “on Twitter and Facebook, there is a lot of talk, in particular, about Sarah Palin.” On Sunday’s Today, leading into a clip about Palin, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asserted: “Giffords, a conservative Democrat, was concerned about heated campaign rhetoric from the Tea Party.”
ABC connected Palin to the Wild West, as David Wright reported on This Week:
Congresswoman Gabby Giffords liked to joke that her district includes Tombstone and the OK Corral. Until yesterday morning, most people here would have said that rogue gunslingers were part of the distant past. On election night in November, 18 of the politicians in the crosshairs of Sarah Palin's political action committee lost, but not Gabby Giffords.
Audio:MP3 clip, matches 2:45 video below compilation of six soundbites.
24 hours after the senseless killings in Tucson, Arizona, liberal media members are still convinced Jared Lee Loughner was somehow motivated by inflammatory comments he recently heard or read.
Despite there still being absolutely no evidence that this is the case, CBS's Bob Schieffer concluded Sunday's "Face the Nation" making the same silly point (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A conservative writer likely unknown to most NewsBusters readers scolded Politico's Roger Simon Sunday for trying to connect Sarah Palin to yesterday's shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
Surrounded by liberals on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle said what would be obvious to most journalists if they weren't always so quick to tie extreme acts of violence committed by a white male to prominent right-wing figures (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The colossal double standard revealed in the past 24 hours at CNN is a microcosm of the larger media reaction to the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords yesterday. In short, the reporters jumping at the chance to use the shooting to score points against conservatives would in all likelihood be demanding patience and temperance if the potential for political cheap shots weren't available.
The Washington Examiner's Byron York recalled CNN's reaction to the Fort Hood shooting in a post Sunday. The cable channel "became a forum for repeated warnings that the subject should be discussed with particular care."
As NewsBusters has been reporting since Saturday's tragic shooting spree happened in Tucson, liberal media members have predictably blamed the incident on prominent conservatives, in particular former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Appearing as almost the lone voice of reason, the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz Saturday evening denounced his colleagues for behaving so unprofessionally (photo courtesy AP):
As he hosted a special two-hour edition of Countdown on Saturday night to cover the violent attack on Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ended up delivering a "Special Comment" in which he called for an end to the use of violent imagery by political figures of all ideologies, even apologizing for his own history, but he also at one point seemed to describe Sarah Palin and other conservative public figures as "slightly less madmen" than the gunman who attacked Giffords. Olbermann:
We will not because tonight what Mrs. Palin and what Mr. Kelly and what Congressman West and what Ms. Angle and what Mr. Beck and what Mr. O'Reilly and what you and I must understand was that the man who fired today did not fire at a Democratic Congresswoman and her supporters. He was not just a madman incited by 1,000 daily temptations by slightly less madmen to do things they would not rationally condone.
Although the MSNBC host only provided one example of his own past misdeeds - which involved a comment he made about Hillary Clinton in April 2008 - Olbermann’s own history also includes a June 2006 case in which he depicted an image of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh as a target of gunfire, and in October 2008 when he showed a cartoon image of FNC’s Bill O’Reilly being beaten bloody by the Stewie Griffin character from a Family Guy DVD extra scene. And just in November of last year, Olbermann complained that President Obama would likely negotiate with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over tax policy "instead of kicking him in the ass."
While Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) fights for her life in a Tucson, Arizona, hospital, liberal media members continue to point fingers of blame for Saturday's tragic shooting spree at prominent conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck.
Jumping on this pathetic bandwagon Saturday was New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:
Capitalizing on the shooting in Tucson this afternoon, CBS furthered the lunatic left rhetoric that Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for this heinous crime. The theory being that the shooter was inspired by Palin’s midterm election map, which featured Gabrielle Giffords as a potential target.
“…critics of Sarah Palin have already drawn a link between the shooting and the fact that the former Alaska governor put Giffords on a "target list" of lawmakers Palin wanted to see unseated in the midterm elections.”
It’s a little concerning that CBS would fall for such a disgusting attempt to point the finger at Sarah Palin, a theory being perpetrated by liberal bloggers. But more concerning are the critics being cited in the article – commenters on Palin’s Facebook page. Impressive bit of journalism.
The first comment reads:
"What a hypocrite you are. You targeted this woman - literally with a target on her district - one of your freaky Fox followers hunted her down - and now you try to distance yourself from blame."
The Early Show on CBS and NBC’s Today show on Friday both gave attention to Lake Superior State University’s "list of words that should be banned in 2011 because of overuse or general uselessness," and both shows mentioned one or two words made famous by Sarah Palin as each show listed four or five out of the 14 words tallied. Both CBS’s Betty Nguyen and NBC’s Thomas Roberts noted the inclusion of "refudiate" on the list, but CBS also mentioned that the term "mama grizzlies" made the cut.
Two years ago, the Today show also noted the inclusion of the term "first dude" - made famous by Palin during the 2008 election - when the 2009 edition of the list came out. On the January 5, 2009, Today show, co-host Meredith Vieira labeled the term as "a little goofy." Notably, co-host Matt Lauer fretted about the inclusion of the word "green," as in "going green," on the 2009 list as he asserted, "I don’t think that should be banished. I mean, we should talk more about that one."
Appearing as a guest in a pre-recorded interview on Wednesday’s Parker-Spitzer on CNN to promote his film The Social Network, television and film producer Aaron Sorkin trashed Sarah Palin as an "idiot" and a "mean woman." Sorkin: "Sarah Palin's an idiot. Come on, this is a remarkably, this is a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman."
After the former producer of the television series The West Wing complained that the religious right had attacked the show as "anti-God," he also went after the GOP as the segment neared its end. Sorkin: "But the Democrats may have moved into the center, but the Republicans have moved into a mental institution. Okay? So I'll take the Democrats."
As co-host Eliot Spitzer started the interview by asking Sorkin about his views about the Obama administration, the liberal producer seemed to admit to having gotten a "goose bump experience" from President Obama in the past as he evaluated Obama’s current performance: "I think what a lot of people feel like they're missing is the goose bump experience that he gave us during the campaign."
How could anyone oppose big government activism when both Michelle Obama and Elmo the Muppet favor it? It was unfathomable to Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt in his December 26 article 'How did obesity become a partisan fight?'
To a doctrinaire liberal like Hiatt, it's illegitimate to question whether government should be concerned with personal nutrition. Instead, he belittles opposing views with his snarky quips. "Could anyone really object to White House assistant chef Sam Kass trying to interest Elmo in a vegetable-laden burrito? Well, yes, if Michelle Obama is for it, someone will be against it. Someone like Glenn Beck, for example, who was moved to rail against carrot sticks, or Sarah Palin, who warned that Obama wants to deprive us all of dessert."
What Hiatt failed to realize is the real debate over excessive federal intervention where it doesn't belong. After listing some of the first lady's 'Let's Move' initiative, he said 'All of this makes total sense, and historians will marvel (much as they will at climate-change deniers) that anyone could doubt it.' And since global warming is the real cause of the winter blizzard according to the December 25 New York Times so it must be true, right?