Two exceptional essays by Byron York and Ed Morissey on the mass murder by Jared Loughner and the media / left's rush to tie this act to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. Byron York compares this rush to the media / left's actions after the Ft. Hood shooting by Nidal Hassan. Morissey builds on that, pointing to CNN's scurrilous reporting, and points to some words used by the left - the very tip of the iceberg - during the last campaign by Obama and the DNC concerning politics and bullseye's on targets for Democratic pickup.
This from Byron York:
On November 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at a troop readiness center in Ft. Hood, Texas, killing 13 people. Within hours of the killings, the world knew that Hasan reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar!" before he began shooting, visited websites associated with Islamist violence, wrote Internet postings justifying Muslim suicide bombings, considered U.S. forces his enemy, opposed American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as wars on Islam, and told a neighbor shortly before the shootings that he was going "to do good work for God." There was ample evidence, in other words, that the Ft. Hood attack was an act of Islamist violence.
Nevertheless, public officials, journalists, and commentators were quick to caution that the public should not "jump to conclusions" about Hasan's motive. CNN, in particular, became a forum for repeated warnings that the subject should be discussed with particular care.
"The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions," said retired Gen. Wesley Clark on CNN the night of the shootings.
"We cannot jump to conclusions," said CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. "We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever."
"I'm on Pentagon chat room," said former CIA operative Robert Baer on CNN, also the night of the shooting. "Right now, there's messages going back and forth, saying do not jump to the conclusion this had anything to do with Islam."
Actually, that was responsible reporting at the time, at least until it became conclusively shown that Nidal in fact was motivated by Salafi Islam to carry out his mass murder. But as York goes on to discuss, in the very hours after this murder, with no evidence initially and then with the mounting evidence to the contrary, the left wing generally, and the left wing media in particular, have been falling all over themselves to tie this to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and the rise in "hate speech" that the left wants everyone to believe is a phenomena unique to the past two years.
Ed Morrisey points out the massive hypocrisy of CNN to speculate that Palin and the Tea Party were responsible in any way for this mass murder and adds:
. . . as has been repeatedly pointed out in the hours since, Democrats have also used crosshairs and bulls-eye imagery in their own political communications, including one in Arizona “targeting” J. D Hayworth of Arizona. As far as the “reload” comment, it was less than three years ago that Barack Obama himself talked about responding to political opponents with a gun analogy:
Mobster wisdom tells us never to bring a knife to a gun fight. But what does political wisdom say about bringing a gun to a knife fight?
That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
The comment drew some laughs and applause. But it also struck a chord with his Republican rival. John McCain’s campaign immediately accused the Democratic candidate of playing the politics of fear. They also mentioned that Obama said he would use a gun that would be illegal under Obama’s plans to cut down on illegal firearms.
Getting hysterical about the use of war terminology in politics is about as hypocritical as one can possibly get, as Howard Kurtz explained yesterday, especially for journalists covering politics . . .
To add a few thoughts, as to the Tea Party at least, the left would like us to believe that a determination to stop deficit spending, to lower taxes, and an inchoate desire to return to the Constitution at the time of the founding somehow is an invitation to violence. To the contrary, it is a call for a return to law.
The same cannot be said of at least a portion of the violent left wing rhetoric that has been with us since the days of Vietnam. Indeed, that was a world that gave us The Weathermen and many others who called for violence and who, in fact, did commit politically motivated violence, murder and mayhem. And to pretend violent rhetoric is an artifact of the right is ridiculous. The left's violent rhetoric was raised to an art form during the Bush years and, indeed, is still with us.
And on a closely related issue, where is the media outrage when we have seen, over the past few years, vile reverse racism, all of it accepted without comment by the left. Seemingly at the drop of a hat, the left calls virtualy anything they don't like "racism," wholly irrespective of racial animus. These people in fact have motivated mass murders, including the sniper murders by John Allen Mohammed and the murders by Omar Thorton, who last year at a distributorship in Connecticut, killed eight of his co-workers.