On January 8, 2011, shortly after 10:00 AM, Democrat Representative Gabby Giffords and 18 other people were shot. Six died. Within minutes, every form of media was set ablaze with speculation. Before the clock had turned to 11:00 AM, news reports said Gabby Giffords was dead. Mark Kelly learned of her “passing” while listening to the radio.
As each hour turned into another hour, media added layer upon layer of speculation. Before the ink was dry on the gunman’s fingerprint sheet, the elected Sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupink passionately proclaimed that “political vitriol” was “absolutely to blame” for the shooting. By early afternoon, Jared Loughner a white male, had been identified as the shooter. Loughner was instantly linked to neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He was linked to the Tea Party and then to the “right wing” generally. The media reported that Loughner might be a veteran. Speculation swirled around the media toilet bowl that he was a “trained killer.” The yellow journalism machine was in overdrive when a grainy surveillance photo of a white man walking through a store was displayed on American TVs. The man in the photo was linked to Loughner, the talking head said. By 1:00 PM, media hacks had that “person of interest” entwined in a possible broader political conspiracy with Loughner.
By mid-afternoon, a graphic with crosshairs “targeting” Democrat districts was shown on CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post DailyKos, and dozens of other shows and internet sites about every 30 seconds. The map, they loudly claimed, was definitive proof that Sarah Palin’s PAC map had incited Loughner. Palin was to blame. The right was to blame. All Republicans were to blame. By nightfall, the torches were lit and the pitchforks were out. The mob was collectively screaming for blood; the mob wanted Palin’s head on a pike. With the Palin map to point at, media bobbleheads practically came off their neck-springs with red-faced rants. But facts got in the way.
Loughner wasn’t a skinhead white supremacist. He wasn’t a foot soldier in a grand conspiracy. He wasn’t a veteran. Loughner was described by acquaintances as strikingly anti-social. A weirdo. He was often seen talking to himself, and when he spoke to others, he made little sense. He didn’t watch TV and didn’t listen to talk radio. He wasn’t part of the “Tea Party” or any party or group for that matter. Loughner was a drifter, a loser. A nihilist. A mentally ill man. America soon learned that Loughner had attended several Giffords events three years before his rampage and apparently didn’t get the attention from Giffords he thought he deserved. Loughner felt slighted and he started to boil. For three years, he held a personal grudge against Giffords, and on January 8, 2011, he acted. This information, coupled with his complete disinterest in TV, cable news, or talk radio (and knowledge of his mental illness) should lead anyone with the IQ of a gnat to conclude that Loughner’s rampage was a personal vendetta of a sick mind.
But that didn’t stop Dick Durbin. He described Palin as part of the “toxic rhetoric” in politics. MSNBC’s mouth-breather Keith Olbermann also said that Palin must:
“repudiate her own part, however tangential, in amplifying violence and violent imagery in American politics” or be “dismissed from politics.”
Almost nothing media initially reported was accurate. Palin had nothing to do with Loughner’s personal grudge against Giffords. Within weeks, America knew conclusively that Loughner never saw Palin’s target map, and that “target maps” have been used for decades. That didn’t stop the New York Times from linking Palin’s map to the Giffords shooting in 2017. Palin sued The Times and lost — but not because The Times was right; it wasn’t. The paper prevailed because there was absence of malice.
Even knowing that Palin’s map had nothing to do with Loughner or his motives, that didn’t stop Mark Kelly, the man now running for Senate in Arizona from writing in the book “Gabby” that, if given the chance, he would have confronted Sarah Palin over her “target map” and he would have called her “irresponsible”. And Kelly was surprised that Palin didn’t call Giffords and Kelly. Why would she? In a 2012 interview Kelly said about Palin:
“Certainly the targets that she put over Gabby’s and other people’s districts, you know, in our opinion, was not the right thing to do …Sarah Palin certainly is not responsible for what happened. But I think the angry rhetoric in an election year is not — it’s not helpful.”
In subsequent years, Palin was blamed for something she had no hand in, and then was blamed for not apologizing for something she didn’t do. If this all has a ring of familiarity, it should.
Last Friday, a crazy hippie drug addict who lived in a broken-down bus broke into the home of Nancy and Paul Pelosi. Almost nothing we were told initially turned out to be correct. What we do know now, is that DePape is an illegal alien, and he’s been mentally ill for a long, long time. By example, for an entire year, he thought he was Jesus Christ. The Paul Pelosi attack has now been used by the Democrats as definitive proof that “the right-wing” including the GOP, Fox News, and every rando on Twitter, is to blame for inspiring DePape. If anyone ever said Nancy Pelosi was a jerk, that was evidence of inciting a climate of violence generally and targeting Nancy Pelosi specifically. The View’s leading dummy, Whoopi Goldberg, claimed that Fox News “has blood on their hands” because a nut attacked Paul Pelosi and wanted to kneecap Nancy with a hammer.
The human carrot occupying the Oval Office gave another political speech on Wednesday night and, along with other nonsense, Biden mentioned the DePape attack and claimed it was evidence of the “right wing” inciting violence.
Democrats tried this nonsense 11 years ago. They blamed the act of a crazy person on the right generally and “political rhetoric.” Even after the evidence proved that to be false, Mark Kelly still pushed a narrative that political ads Democrats don’t like are “irresponsible.” Biden and his party are doing it again.
Wash, rinse, repeat.