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Sarah Palin Blamed by Bloggers for Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords

3 years ago
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Some prominent liberal bloggers wasted little time before politicizing the horrific and tragic shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona on Saturday.

Almost immediately after the nation learned of the shooting of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others (including a federal judge), a few prominent liberal web writers sought to blame Sarah Palin and other conservatives for the action.

Linking to a map of U.S. House districts that Sarah Palin's pac wanted to "target" during the 2010 mid-term elections -- which sadly included crosshairs over Rep. Giffords' district (among others) -- DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas Tweeted, "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin."

The liberal blog Firedog Lake also went there.

Palin has deleted the image from her website, and issued a short statement on the shooting, writing on her Facebook page: "My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias Tweeted out several other examples of "violent rhetoric," including Rep. Michele Bachman saying, "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous" to block climate change legislation.

Tea party activists are reportedly already fearing they too will be blamed for this event.

A few personal observations...

First, it is sad to see folks immediately politicize such a tragedy. If your first response to such an event is to think of Sarah Palin, something is wrong.

Like it or not, the sort of rhetoric and imagery employed by Palin's PAC is not terribly unusual. Politicians constantly talk about "targeting" voters -- does anyone think they want to shoot them? Political consultants tell politicians to "hunt where the ducks are, " but they certainly don't mean to shoot voters. Ironically, Moulitsas has also previously urged his readers to "target" Giffords and put a "bulls eye" on her district because she "sold out the Constitution..."

To be sure, it is possible for a politician to use words to incite violence, but putting a target on a congressional district is clearly not an example of that.

Our culture is full of rhetoric that uses violent analogies for everyday events. Here is a headline I just pulled up: "Aaron Rodgers in the Eagles' Crosshairs...Literally." (Here's another: Lindsay Lohan in Sheriff's Crosshairs, Calif. Investigators Ask ..." (Clearly, we had better hope nothing happens to the Aaron Rodgers or Lindsay Lohan in the near future).

It's also worth noting that the majority of the most egregious comments were made on Twitter, an outlet that allows folks to Tweet before thinking.

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101 Comments

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topkop21

I didn't think M's Palins Targeting was in good political taste, but I certainly don't condone her as we have a right to free speech and expression and none of that had anything to do with that nut case that who committed those murders.

I think his parents should have gotten their head out of the sand years ago, but yet do not blame them he committed those haneous acts not his parents and I certainly think that had they known or summized their nut xcase son was capable of such an act they would have prevented it in some way.

Thank God for the freeedom to write and say most anything as long as it is not harmful to another.
Phil from Baltimore

January 19 2011 at 4:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tailgatrz

By the way people, they checked his records of visited sites,The report I saw said Palin and tea party was not one of them.

January 16 2011 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat

Lets move on and try to forget about S. Palin...she is not what the Republican Party is about....
John McClain had it right. I may stick with my Republican vote after all.

January 16 2011 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
trinitygrace

There's no proof yet, of the hateful talk and doings of Palin, TV and Radio shows, GOP, Tea Party and their supporters but there is proof that they all have been told of it's consequences and what it was causing. From their gatherings at the Capital and the GOP hanging in the window smacking pictures of Pelosi to bringing guns to political rallies it was questioned why and even asked to stop. From nasty and mean posters of Pres Obama to a nasty map targeting certain democrats with cross hairs for voting for the Health Care Bill. (But this map is now removed. (Why move it if you didn't think it could have contributed to these actions). And this list goes on and on... But remember America what the President of this country said at the Memorial in Tucson, "the forces that is trying to divide us is not even greater than the forces that unites us"! Americans, love your fellow Americans who don't want to think like you do and who don't look like you!

January 16 2011 at 2:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
You've got IT!

When Palin talks of "bulls-eyes" and all of her gun rhetoric, of course it riles up the crazies! If this taught her anything, it is to tone it down a notch or two. America is too good for all of her hating and accusing others of being haters just bc they call her out when she speaks without thinking. Or, heaven forbid, maybe she does think first and that's the best she can make of things. Now that she has that ex-screenwriter writing her tweets and updating her Facebook wall, she at least "sounds" better, but can she think any better? That remains to be seen. Everyone can change for the better. Everyone can learn. As long as they put in the time and want to learn. Hopefully she does.

January 15 2011 at 11:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ggurtowski

Canidates and elected politicians should be held accountable and legaly liable for everything they say. They should get jail time for actions as the result of and false hoods they utter.

January 12 2011 at 1:16 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
Palma Lee

This shooting may, indeed, have had no connection to right wing hate rhetoric, but it's difficult to defend it and difficult to say that this kind of rhetoric doesn't easily lead to tragic consequences. In years past, rabble rousers with hateful speech have created murderous mob mentality. Low-brow rhetoric of this sort needs to stop for the sake of all.

January 11 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
truthforfreedom

It's getting to the point that you can't say anything without it being taken out of context or the meaning distorted and twisted. Matt Lewis is absolutely correct in saying, "If your first response to such an event is to think of Sarah Palin, something is wrong." Well, I say something is very, very wrong and maybe the poster who said, "we are not in a world where people are not as mentally stable." Is that true? My God, I hope not. I'd like to think most people in our world are stable and this guy is just one of not many who would act out on his mixed up emotions.

January 11 2011 at 3:46 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
SLP

Americans are so fickle. A year ago, Mrs. Palin was America's new sweetheart. The media couldn't get enough of her. Today, she is being blamed for basically inciting the murderous actions of a man who was bent on causing destruction. This young man was a walking time bomb, and I am pretty certain that he didn't just get that way when Mrs. Palin emerged.

January 11 2011 at 3:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SLP's comment
tailgatrz

I missed it when the "Media" said they liked her.

January 16 2011 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vigoddess

Sarah Palin said to re-load.
Sarah Palin has supported violence since she got into office by attacking
Obama to get headlines, and there's no doubt that she encouraged people who
were insane with hate, and made it okay to do anything they want if they
agree with her.
She shot a defenseless animal from a plane and set an example to children,
and young people. How in all humanity, can she not be blamed for encouraging
this sort of tragedy against a woman, whom, she openly wanted to beat down
to get elected?
She should be charged alongside of this mentally sick person because she's
equally as sick as he is.

January 11 2011 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to vigoddess's comment
rhollinshed

I totally agree! She is responsible! Words have meaning. Take responsibility for your own actions.

January 13 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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