Now that I'm plugged in to Cable TV again, I can begin to see firsthand how the news from Tucson is playing out on TV.
The first thing I notice is that the media elites are working overtime to convince people that liberals are at fault for noticing that it is OK to target Democrats for murder threats and that if liberals object to this state of affairs it's their fault if one of their own gets hurt. On CNN, David Gergen disapproved of what he called an overreaction on the Left (regarding shrill protests directed towards Sarah Palin). He called it irresponsible.
Really, David! I'm sorry, but when Democrats get assassinated for being Democrats, there is going to be an overreaction on the Left!
I also noted how CNN did not challenge a libertarian blogger (Neal Boortz) when he made up, out of thin air, violent quotes supposedly uttered by Barack Obama, then blamed the deterioration of politics on the Left. And for this claptrap we need a media?
Last night, I even took a brief look at FOX News, specifically Geraldo Rivera's show. His guests (a sort of motley crew that included one person in a pinstripe suit who looked and acted like Tony Soprano) were intent on portraying the events in Arizona as a "tragedy" (It's unclear what the tragic element is - no hubris here - except, by removing the human element, it becomes more like a natural event and thus no one's fault.) When asked if the shooter could be politically motivated from the Right, everyone demurred and said no, of course not. The shooter was crazy (they used the term "Looney Tunes"). Warming up to the subject about the Left's concerns and Looney Tunes, the panel started laughing. Laughing. Right-wing thugs in suits, laughing on FOX News about murder.
It's always a difficult thing, going on the air to explain to a worried world about assassination. A degree of empathy is required. The behavior of this crew certainly crystallized my reaction. If the purpose of FOX News is to control the masses, I think they don't realize their own limitations.
Remember, the political atmosphere in Arizona has been deteriorating for years, as right-wing bullies swagger around down there with their menacing threats: sometimes about border issues, sometimes about Hispanics, often about health care reform. This shooting is just part of a long-running process.
And a national process too. Remember what Ann Coulter once said:
My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.And the Right endorses this kind of talk too. How nice!
Murder by proxy has been a long-running political game in the United States. If you ramp up the rhetoric long enough, and hard enough, some mentally-unbalanced person will take the hint and do your dirty work for you. It's the American Way. And look, clean hands! The Kennedys died this way. Martin Luther King too. Nothing has changed since the Sixties. And now the Right wants this tool at their disposal. Handy!
I find it interesting that probably half the people in the country believe John F. Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy, when the evidence regarding a conspiracy has several significant logical holes. That is one of the reasons I believe JFK was shot by Oswald alone - even the single-bullet theory is more convincing than some of the other claptrap one has to believe to make a JFK conspiracy work (refernce: Gerald Posner's excellent book, "Case Closed").
But here - here - the logical path from Sarah Palin issuing a kill order to Gabrielle Gifford getting shot is quite short and direct. If the FOX News people want to quell overheated speculation it's already far too late. We see, and we understand.
Times change, starting now. Pima County Sheriff Dupnik is trying to alert the world and stop this madness before more get killed. Is it too late?:
If you thought it was a problem with militia-types openly carrying arms at Barack Obama rallies, you'll really like it when Left-types start carrying concealed weapons to right-wing rallies.
Tragedy? You haven't seen tragedy yet....