I have never seen anything like this. The storyline of blaming Sarah Palin/Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/the tea party/the right continues even though there is NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTING IT. I'm sick of arguing this in the abstract. I am getting to the point on the Arizona story that when I hear someone bring up talk radio, angry rhetoric, or political discourse I refuse to respond in any other way than: where is your evidence? Not "Where is your evidence that someone on talk radio said something you didn't like?" But, "Where is your evidence that this guy has any connection to what you're complaining about?"
This blog is designed to send to those who blame conservatives for the Arizona tragedy. Spread it around. Remember, there is no evidence whatsoever to back the claim that Jared Loughner and his murders had anything at all to do with discourse, radio, rhetoric, tea parties, evil right wingers, or evil left wingers for that matter.
Don't believe me? Here is essentially every major news organization saying so. It's simply amazing that this narrative continues somehow.
"Though there are no known ties whatsoever between shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner and Sarah Palin or any part of the Tea Party movement, the "crosshairs" became part of the media coverage of the Tucson shootings from the very beginning."
“Those seeking a coherent philosophy will probably be frustrated”, said Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League. "So far, most of his beliefs appear to be the product of his own mind, primarily," he said.
"All he did was play video games and play music," said Tommy Marriotti, a high school friend. Mr. Marriotti said much of Mr. Loughner's free time was devoted to the school band. He wasn't especially political, Mr. Marriotti said, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration"
Preliminary examinations of Loughner's web presence suggest he shared passions with both the far left and far right.
"Turns out the politics espoused by the alleged gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, are difficult to pin down.
"Judging from his Internet postings, Jared Lee Loughner is a delusional young man whose inner political landscape is a swamp of dystopian novels, left- and right-wing tracts, conspiracy theories, and contempt for his fellow human beings."
At this point, there's no evidence that any statement from any politician sent Jared Loughner over the edge.
"However, so far there is no evidence that he has any ties to any political group"
His exact motivation was not clear, but a former classmate described Loughner as a pot-smoking loner who had rambling beliefs about the world.
Megyn Kelly: “…I'm wondering is do you have reason to believe that this particular suspected killer was taking in information or was in any way influenced by the vitriol or the rhetoric that you are referring to on the airwaves" Sherriff Dupnik: "I have to be specific and say that I don't have that evidence. The investigation is in it's initial phases. My belief, and I've been watching what has been going on in this country for the last 75 years and I've been a police officer for over 50 years, There's no doubt in my mind that when a number of people try to inflame the public that there is going to some consequences from doing that and I think it's irrresponsible to do that."
Megyn Kelly: "Is that, Sheriff, it sounds like you're being very honest, but that's just your speculation. That's not saying it's fact based at this point."
Dupnik: "That's my opinion, period."
BLITZER: But the question is, is there any evidence that the suspected shooter in this particularcase was a Sarah Palin fan?YELLIN: No.BLITZER: Read Sarah Palin's website?YELLIN: Absolutely not.BLITZER: Watched her FaceBook, her tweets or anything like that?YELLIN: None at all and there is no evidence that this is even inspired by rage other healthcare.
Some liberals quick to point the finger are linking 22-year-old shooter Jared Loughner to the Tea Party—showing the same lack of restraint and tendency to demonize their ideological opponents that they accuse the right of having.
The evidence doesn’t suggest that any of the victims of the Jan. 8 shopping center rampage, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old child, who were both slain, were shot for their politics, right- or left-wing.
“there's zero evidence that the Arizona tragedy is somehow related to political speech”
"The shooter's motives remain unclear. One acquaintance from 2007 described him as liberal."
There's little evidence he has a coherent ideology. Loughner's philosophy professor says the 22-year-old acted like "someone whose brains were scrambled" and whose "thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world."
"Loughner's decision to affiliate as an independent rather than a Republican or Democrat would seem to affirm the sense that while he targeted Giffords in the attack, it was not a decision born of a set of deeply held political beliefs that fit neatly into either party."
And, let me end by giving credit where some credit is due—a few left wing publications also telling the truth about the story.
Barring any new evidence that directly links Loughner to any political activism or activities, Democrats will have a tough time pinning the blame on extreme rhetoric.
“around a third of the country that blames rhetoric for the attack, despite evidence that it had nothing to do with it.”
"Conservatives are furious that the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords is being pinned on them. Their indignation is justified. "
Some might say--"Hey, doesn't this prove that the media IS covering the truth about Loughner? What are you so upset about?"
Mainly because in many of the stories above, these are toss away sentences in an article or column that furthers the storyline. They include one sentence halfway down the page that basically says "oh, by the way, we have no reason to tie these killings with the right. Now, more about the right's rhetoric and the shooting..."
If you want to complain about our discourse...fine. That's your right. In fact, it's part of healthy discourse. But, conservatives have about as much to do with these shootings eggplant parmesan. Absolutely nothing. It would be nice if someone noticed that.