The irresponsible propagandists posing as journalists at the Associated Press are going to a frequently visited well tonight -- the one where any violence committed against a Democrat or liberal must somehow and in some way be due to a climate of hostility created solely by conservatives, Republicans, and more recently, Tea Party activists.
Never mind that the person who allegedly shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and murdered several others, Jared Loughner, is reportedly a marijuana-using loner who lists the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf as among his favorite books, or that the most recent items which could bee seen as potential incitements to violence against Giffords have come from the left, in response to her refusal to back Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader in the House just days ago (roll call vote here).
- Here's a link (partial screen grab here for when it comes down; corroborated by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge; HT Doug Ross) to Laughner's YouTube profile.
- Here's a screen grab of a DailyKos post from Thursday entitled "My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi And is now DEAD to Me!" Charming. Michelle Malkin notes that the post has been pulled. The post's author has left a comment stating: "i now am FULL of guilt after writing this diary. i am a proud atheist, so pray for yourself, not me. i don't need prayers, nor want them."
- It didn't take me long to find this comment at another "progressive" forum, where proprietor "Booman" travels into the realm of desiring thuggery: "Here's a list of disloyal jerkoff Democrats who didn't vote for Pelosi as Minority Leader ... I hope Pelosi crushes these idiots and makes their lives miserable. I'm not kidding."
Despite all of this, here are paragraphs from the Associated Press's 7:09 p.m. report (since updated; saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion) trying to pin the implied blame on the right:
Giffords has drawn the ire of the right in the last year, especially from politicians like Sarah Palin (Note: Sarah Palin is currently a private citizen -- Ed.) over her support of the health care bill. It's still not clear if the gunman had the health care debate in mind or was focused on his own unique set of political beliefs as witnessed in the Internet videos.
Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets.
Giffords' Tucson office was vandalized a few hours after the House voted to approve the health care law in March, with someone either kicking or shooting out a glass door and window. In an interview after the vandalism, Giffords referred to the animosity against her by conservatives. Palin listed Giffords' seat as one of the top "targets" in the midterm elections because of the lawmakers' support for the health care law.
... In the hours after the shooting, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her "sincere condolences" to the family of Giffords and the other victims.
... The shooting comes amid a highly charged political environment that has seen several dangerous threats against lawmakers but nothing that reached the point of actual violence.
A San Francisco man upset with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's support of health care reform pleaded guilty to threatening the Democratic congresswoman and her family, calling her directly on March 25 and threatening to destroy her Northern California home if she voted for health care reform.
In July, a California man known for his anger over left-leaning politics engaged in a shootout with highway patrol officers after planning an attack on the ACLU and another nonprofit group. The man said he wanted to "start a revolution" by killing people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation.
During his campaign effort to unseat Giffords in November, Republican challenger Jesse Kelly held fundraisers where he urged supporters to help remove Giffords from office by joining him to shoot a fully loaded M-16 rifle. Kelly is a former Marine who served in Iraq and was pictured on his website in military gear holding his automatic weapon and promoting the event.
"I don't see the connection," between the fundraisers featuring weapons and Saturday's shooting, said John Ellinwood, Kelly's spokesman. "I don't know this person, we cannot find any records that he was associated with the campaign in any way. I just don't see the connection."
Neither does anyone else, which is why it's incredibly irresponsible and cynically political to go there. If the AP couldn't resist, it was irresponsible of it not to mention the more recent left-related items I have noted above.
To be clear, I'm not blaming those leftists identified earlier for inciting Laughner's violence. My point is that Associated Press has no more business pinning implied blame on a right-wing atmosphere condoning violence than I would if I tried to claim that "Booman," the Kos poster and others encouraged Laughner to commit multiple murders.
But the Associated Press has irresponsibly gone where it had no business going, to the eternal shame of the wire service and the reporters involved: Terry Tang, Amanda Lee Myers, David Espo, and contributing reporters Pauline Arrilliga, Jacques Billeaud, Bob Christie, Paul Davenport, Matt Apuzzo, Eileen Sullivan, Adam Goldman and Charles Babington.
We can only hope that subscribing AP news outlets possess enough sense not to use the particularly execrable elements of this supposedly "objective" news story.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.