Everything the media said in the first go round was wrong.
Giffords dead — wrong
Shooter an Afghan vet — wrong
Shooter a Tea Partier — wrong
Shooter inspired by the right wing — wrong
What is right is that the shooter was manifestly insane, His writings and videos are scary stuff, and it’s clear that schizophrenia, or some like mental illness, powered his thinking. To the extent his deranged mind had a political philosophy, it hewed left, but it would be error to blame the Left for his violence. He was crazy. That’s the beginning and end of the story, and crazy people like to target famous people.
As I said in an earlier email, though, my liberal facebook friends are linking like crazy to an old Palin political ad that had the generic “candidate in the crosshairs” imagery so often used in political advertising. My response is a disingenuous “You’re so right about the risks of famous people using violent imagery,” along with a link to Obama’s “gun to knife fight” quote.
UPDATE (10:00 a.m. PST): Verum Serum has a wonderful post showing how common the “cross hair” image is in political ads, including those emanating from the Left. Nor should we forget the relentlessly violent imagery towards President Bush.
UPDATE (10:08 a.m. PST): Rick makes the same point, really well.
UPDATE (12:35 p.m. PST): Byron York points out media hypocrisy, while Rhymes with Right focuses on its illogic. I’ll just add here that I’m getting quite belligerent on facebook, tackling with facts every non-thinking human being who mouths “Rush” or “Palin.” It’s interesting that none defend against my challenges.
UPDATE (12:37 p.m. PST): More on target/cross hair imagery in Democratic political ads. By the way, I’m not criticizing those ads. THEY’RE NORMAL. What Palin did was normal. Politics is a battle, and we use logically use battle metaphors to make our case.