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Blame the Shooter, Not the "Rhetoric"

The New York Times shamefully—and stupidly—ties yesterday's shooting to...an old Sarah Palin ad?

FacebookFacebookWhen it comes to violence aimed at politicians, it turns out that Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is quick to blame "rhetoric" for gun attacks on politicians only when the perpetrator apparently disagrees with his ideology, isn't the only hypocrite and fool.

In a house editorial that is stunning in its intellectual laziness and mendacity, The New York Times manages to tie the actions of sniper James Hodgkinson not simply to today's over-the-top #NeverTrump #resistance rhetoric but to...Sarah Palin's fictitious role in the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords and a dozen other people in a Tucson parking lot. Seriously:

Was [Hodgkinson's] attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin's political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They're right. Though there's no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.

Read the whole thing here. Since its original publication, the Times has graciously seen fit to correct itself thus:

An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.

SarahPac.comSarahPac.comWhere to begin? For starters, only rankly opportunistic insta-commentary by hardcore Democratic partisans—including Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, who wrote "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin" within hours of the Giffords shooting—drew a connection between Sarah Palin's innocuous fund-raising graphic and the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. Indeed, it turned out that the madman was not a devotee of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sarah Palin, Fox News, or other right-wing media. Instead, he consumed a diet heavy on what Jesse Walker calls "New Age paranoia."

While the Times sees a "direct" "incitement" between one image from Palin and Loughner, whose online videos and history with law enforcement clearly suggested a fully deranged, psychotic personality, the Paper of Record studiously avoids pointing to Hodgkinson's public allegiance to Bernie Sanders and his violent language toward Donald Trump and the Republican Party (he joined a group that wants to "terminate" the latter). The result is similar to blaming John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas to a virulent climate of "right-wing hate," despite Lee Harvey Oswald's commitments to Cuba, the Soviet Union, and communism.

To be fair, right-wingers are pounding the table in the wake of yesterday's shooting, going so far to shout that "Rachel Maddow Has Blood on Her Hands" for calling Trump a Russian agent. Not to be outdone, Fox News' Eric Bolling called for liberals to censor themselves in the name of saving lives:

How many innocent people have to die before we realize that words do matter? Crazy people act on the crazy things they hear from politicians and celebrities. Think before you utter those blind, hateful words next time, liberals. Because there are crazy people out there taking your metaphors literally.

DNCDNCAll of the above assumes that contemporary political speech is both somehow more virulent than ever and responsible for any actual physical violence that happens. In reality, there are no grounds for either belief. In a country where political violence is vanishingly rare, gun violence has declined precipitously despite wider circulation of guns, and mass shootings betray no clear pattern of increase, it's ridiculous to blame words for increases in violence. As important, Bernie Sanders' and other progressives' often-incendiary rhetoric toward billionaires, plutocrats, the 1 Percent or whatever is no more responsible for James Hodgkinson's shooting spree than J.D. Salinger is responsible for Mark David Chapman's killing of John Lennon.

If there is any lesson to be drawn this early from the disturbing and chilling attack that left the House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, in critical condition, it's that immediately politicizing everything and seeking cheap, partisan gain yields no meaningful insight and further alienates the vast and growing swath of Americans who already feel a need to escape from political tribes that include fewer and fewer of us.

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  • damikesc||

    Nick, as the stakes get higher and higher, escaping from "political tribes" is just not realistic.

    You will be made to care. Like it or not.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    escaping from "political tribes" is just not realistic

    Well aren't you a bummer. Good thing you're wrong.

  • SIV||

    ^CUCK TRIBE^

  • ||

    Stop talking about your sexual fantasies.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And caring means embracing a tribe?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Not just any tribe, but it has to be the right tribe.

  • Robert||

    Or else, luckiest Arab in Ireland.

  • Libertarian||

    I don't think damikesc is promoting tribes, I think he's saying that, as the stakes get higher, polarization will increase. That's hardly an eccentric view.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    I disagree completely. I think it's more anti-individualistic bullshit.

    Anyone with a somewhat liberty-oriented mindset should be insulted when others immediately associate them with a political tribe, or insinuate they have to join a political tribe - before it's too late!!! It's insulting, and most of all, it's incredibly boring.*

    *It's like having a conversation with MJGreen.

  • paranoid android||

    Agreed; people who talk this way are always implicitly threatening that not taking sides will result in being treated as the Enemy.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    people who talk this way are always implicitly threatening that not taking sides will result in being treated as the Enemy.

    At the same time, people always think "it can't happen here" until it does. Plenty of people lived through the Terror, but it left a lot of innocent bodies in its wake as well who probably wanted nothing more than to be left alone regardless of who was in charge.

  • Zeb||

    At the same time, people always think "it can't happen here" until it does.

    I don't know. I've encountered a lot of people thinking "it can happen here". And so far it never does.

    I think that in the US there is still a very healthy number of people who either aren't engaged with politics or don't particularly like either team/tribe/whatever. I don't really know if more people are picking sides now, or if the people who had done so are just getting more polarized and annoying.

  • Presskh||

    I'm not an alarmist, but I do agree with Red Rocks that it could, indeed, happen here. Human nature and tendencies have not changed. Looking back at the 1970's, you wouldn't have dreamed that Venezuela would now be in such a desperate situation. All it takes is for a strong-personalitied populist politician to come along promising free "goodies" to the masses and paying for it by taking "unfair" accumulated wealth and property from those who have been successful, combined with government takeover of critical industries, all in the guise of "government knows best". It's happened to relatively advanced countries throughout history and, as the number of government dependents is purposefully increased in our own country, there is no clear reason why it could not happen here.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Well if he's saying that the prog are going to get even more vicious and violent, then he's right. As they become more aggressive it will get harder to ignore that aggression.

    In other words, Nick might not want to admit we're at war with the prog, but they certainly see it that way, and as things escalate it will get even harder to ignore their war.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Just like Islam!

  • widget||

    As far as joining tribes go during a conflict, at some point prison ethics kick in, where there is no neutral corner. The question is not if you join a tribe, but when. I think we are far away from that, just sayin'.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    There's always a neutral corner, especially when it comes to goddamn politics.

  • MarkLastname||

    Join the neutral tribe!

  • Mithrandir||

    Can I join the, "Everbody fucking sucks" tribe?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Can I join the, "Everybody fucking sucks" tribe?

    Yes, you cis-shitlord, you can join your alt-right buddies--and die.

    What? you didn't say you wanted to do that? But you said "Can I join the, "Everybody fucking sucks" tribe?", right? You actually had the temerity to think anyone wanted to hear you say something. That means you're a fascist. And THAT means we can do violence upon you with impunity.

    There is no neutral corner. We live on a sphere.

  • ||

    I don't trust these neutrals. With someone evil at least you know where they stand, but a neutral....could be anything!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Neutral neutral, or are we talking like chaotic neutral, lawful neutral, neutral good, or neutral evil.

  • Ron||

    the left of late though is not letting people even be neutral they have taken the "your either with us or your against us" meme to new levels. anyone who does not get involved is considered just as evil, as if neutrality is tacit approval of actions

  • ||

    Yeah, this totally doesn't apply to the alt-right.
    What I've learned from the alt-right: Being pro-immigration means your a "race traitor" who "hates white people". And anyone who isn't a "race realist" is a "social justice warrior".

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yeah there are soooo many of those folks, compared to the millions and millions of vicious progressives out there.

  • ||

    It's really hard to tell which group is more numerous,from where I sit. You may be vastly overestimating the strength of the wacky campus left, and underestimating the number of closeted racist douchebags out there.

  • JFDeplorable||

    Yeah, cuz' that worked so well for France in the 1930s.

  • damikesc||

    If the choice is Tribe A who wants to take away 50% of my rights and Tribe B who wants to take away 75%, then I'd have to embrace A as the east bad option.

    I don't much like Trump. Ill defend him because his critics are worse.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Good for you. That doesn't mean we're all bound by rationality to do the same.

  • Zeb||

    If the choice is Tribe A who wants to take away 50% of my rights and Tribe B who wants to take away 75%, then I'd have to embrace A as the east bad option.

    Fortunately, the choice is never strictly binary. You don't have to embrace anything.

  • Zeb||

    Meh. I find myself caring less and less as people keep claiming that the stakes are getting higher. As far as I can see, all that means is that you can't take what anyone says seriously.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    IF YOU'RE NOT WITH US YOU'RE AGAINST US!

  • WakaWaka||

    Damikesc is wrong to talk about joining a tribe, but the Left has already come after libertarian commentators. They do get lumped in as 'Nazis' along with conservatives. Anyone who believes in free markets is a Nazi in their minds, so you don't have to join anything- you've already been lumped in

  • Citizen X - #6||

    So... all i have to do is keep on not being a Nazi, and anyone who calls me a Nazi will be wrong. So what?

  • WakaWaka||

    Bike lock to the face

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I think you're pretty vastly overestimating the danger.

  • MarkLastname||

    If you don't have a Trump sign in your yard and a maga cap on your head you're basically a mitleufer.

  • ||

    You don't understand Citizen X. If you don't want to be called a Nazi, you're obligated to defend Nazis. See? If anyone is allowed to be called a Nazi, even actual Nazi's that means sooner or later, non-Nazis will be called Nazis too.

    Don't you get it? First they came for the Nazis, and I said nothing ...

  • Azathoth!!||

    Here, let me help, I know your limited understanding often requires explanations that even infants would deem insulting to their intellects...

    First, they called everyone to the right of Stalin a Nazi--and then, they came for them, whether or not they were actual Nazis--like SJW professor Brett Weinstein. And you did nothing.

    There. That's the remains of the maggoty high horse you're trying to wallow in.

  • ||

    Is it okay to call Richard Spencer a Nazi?

  • JFDeplorable||

    Except those same progs who resort today to name calling will ultimately resort to legislation and regulation to ensure your "Nazi" ways will cease to exist. The progs ARE wrong, but YOU'D best be prepared to exercise a vigilant self defense in order to maintain what liberty you still have.

  • paranoid android||

    In my experience, we get lumped in with "SJWs" and "libtards" by conservatives with about the same frequency, when it's convenient.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    See: Reason.com.

  • WakaWaka||

    That must be why libertarians only get a platform on Fox News, The Federalist, and other conservative publications. How many left leaning publications allow a platform for libertarians?

  • Zeb||

    WaPo publishes stuff by Volokh and Balko. I've heard Gillespie and KMW on NPR more than once.

    Of course, that's pretty limited and you do get more libertarian-ish stuff at least from conservative outlets.

    So maybe not the same frequency, but pretty often. Especially when talking about issues on which libertarians and conservatives tend to differ.

  • ||

    I've heard Gillespie and KMW on NPR more than once.

    de Rugy, too.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The difference is that libertarians, like Stossel get their own shows on Fox. They often hold positions that run counter to strict conservative dogma. NPR and the like only bring on libertarians to perform like trained seals when they can use them to provide the prescribed anti-conservative response.

    Hardly the same thing.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    MSNBC, Vice, Real Time with Bruno Mars, the Niskanen Center. He may be wrong about the frequency, since there is a lot more historical and political affinity between the American conservative and libertarian movements than there is with modern progressivism/liberalism, but come on, of course there are tons of conservatives out there who lump us in with libertine progressives seeking to undermine the country. You do that, for fuck's sake.

  • WakaWaka||

    I do no such thing. I only point out when some 'libertarians' conveniently avoid principles, because it is not fashionable. I think Zeb had a good list and I'd agree with some of the ones he listed. I don't know of any libertarians on MSNBC, but they do have some Reason contributors on there sometimes. I more so meant shows.

    Also, were you trying to be funny with the Bruno Mars thing? Cause that was funny

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He meant VERONICA Mars.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I would much rather watch that.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I'd say the cosmo complaint is the same phenomenon, with the argument serving as proof: libertarians talk like lefties to sway lefties, but that's stupid because lefties call them Nazis anyway. The leftist's not convinced because they know the libertarian is just a conservative and not really liberal. Now swap out the names: supposed progressives talk like libertarians to sway libertarians and libertarian institutions toward progressivism, but true libertarians aren't convinced because they know that libertarian is just a progressive. I dunno, I think the nature of the argument is the same.

    I thought the Niskanen Center would be the more appreciated joke. To add on to Zeb's mentioning of NPR, they do have a popular show inspired by the work of a University of Chicago economist. Fox does have libertarian-hosted shows, but so far relegated to their business channel. Still, I agree that there's not comparable exposure.

  • Lester224||

    I've heard the progressive argument is that a libertarian is a conservative who likes pot and prostitutes. I've also heard the conservative argument is that a libertarian is a hippie cop-hater who dislikes regulation.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    I thought that in some recent survey, the US military had a huge libertarian contingent - which was a bit surprising to me. I remember the military also supporting Ron Paul a lot more than most other candidates, so people's impressions about the average libertarian are way off. The Libertarian Party debate (very high quality, substantial, and substantive) gives us a glimpse into libertarians - very diverse folks with a higher than average IQ.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Why does one have to 'join' them?

  • esteve7||

    oh don't go there... lefties can't stand that attitude. They think politics IS life, not just another part of life. I've been told many times when I say something along the lines of "it's just politics, live your life, politics doesn't need to invade everything in life, etc" that ... wait, let me get these right:

    "i think you're very fortunate to live your life such that "politics" do not invade of their own accord. spare a thought for those who aren't afforded this opportunity."

    "News flash….Politics is real life. Politics is part of everything in this world."

    "Wake up dude...The future of humankind depends on it. The right wing depends on you staying asleep."

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    They think politics IS life, not just another part of life

    It's not just the left, home piece.

  • 68W58||

    Who exactly is it again that pushes particular talking points for Thanksgiving dinner?

  • MarkLastname||

    Hitler?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Yes, yes it is.

    It IS just the Left, Crusty, because ONLY the left embraces the idea that the state should control all aspects of life.

    Hell--it's not even a problem for them--it's the prize!

  • Zeb||

    The left is probably worse. But there are plenty of obnoxious conservatives out there who have to turn every conversation toward politics.

  • esteve7||

    agreed, but it's not the concern trolling of the left, at least in my experience. I do live in the bay area so it is skewed a little.

    "spare a thought for those who aren't afforded this opportunity"

    Yeah I should feel guilty that privilege is what lets me not obsess over politics every waking moment of my day.

  • ||

    ONLY the left embraces the idea that the state should control all aspects of life.

    This is where we start asking if national socialists count as left wing or right wing.
    Or whether were debating between all and most. Or even if what you really mean is different.

  • Azathoth!!||

    There is nothing 'right-wing' about national socialists.

    Both the racism and the nationalism that are commonly used to attach Nazism to the right are forms of collectivism.

    Any system that values the state or society over the individual is left-wing out of the gate.

    And there's no debate about 'all' or 'most'--the idea that the state or society is more important than the individual is a primary tenet of all leftism.

  • ||

    So basically, the Republicans are now a left-wing party. So how am I supposed to fight leftism by voting for Republicans?

  • Zeb||

    Well, too bad for lefties, then.

  • ThomasD||

    Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

    Not to say that the "rhetoric" has anything to do with, you know, events...

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Leave it to Michelle to turn her husband's fairly anodyne campaign blurbs for social unity into a hectoring manifesto of implicit threats.

  • ThomasD||

    "her husband's fairly anodyne campaign blurbs for social unity"

    They are both red diaper babies. Of the two I'd agree the Michelle is the more doctrinaire one. But mainly what she has is serious backbone. Barack is way more the slacker.

    The anodyne campaign was by design, and wasn't all that anodyne if you paid attention and got past what was being hidden (from bankrupting coal, to Reverend Wright, to the Khalidi tape that the LA Times still will not produce, etc.)

  • NoVaNick||

    I have decided to associate myself with the "don't give a shit anymore" political tribe because its the only right thing to do, when both the red and blue tribes have gone nutzoid. If asked by anyone, I can support it with FACTS:

    1. there is an infinitesimally small chance my 1 vote matters.
    2. politicians will only listen to anyone who can write them a six figure check; voters only have the illusion of choice.

    My vote for Gary Johnson was my last. From now on, I abstain from voting until they allow more tribes in as something other than a sideshow.

  • callahan2211||

    I have decided to associate myself with the "the rent is too damn high party". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcsNbQRU5TI

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Read the whole thing here.

    I will not. I need no further inducements to drink.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Little know factoid: In solidarity with his cats, Citizen X will only drink running water. This leads to some strange requests to the bartender at the local pub.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    What are you talking about, Nick? This is what the op-ed says:

    Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin's political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.

    Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They're right. Liberals should of course be held to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.

    It'd be supremely silly for the same editorial board to have written both versions of these two paragraphs.

  • Cyto||

    This is the "corrected" version. It still is completely wrong, but less wrong than before.

  • Cyto||

    To clarify, the left loudly and repeatedly blamed the actions of an insane left-wing activist (Loughner) who was obsessed with a left wing politician on right-wing rhetoric, based entirely on their own internal voices.

    In this case we have another left wing activist who has been very loudly railing against Trump and the Republicans both online and in the streets, acting in an environment of loudly virulent left-wing political rhetoric that is actually using the language of violence in mainstream contexts, not just in some imagined hidden agenda of an election map.

    Yet the original editorial made the direct claim that the first instance was a clear and direct case of right-wing rhetoric leading to a political shooting (which was clearly not true, not just "not proven"), while excusing the second instance as not being particularly political or particularly tied in any concrete way to the rhetoric of the left.

    In other words they very loudly and overtly got the whole thing backwards in a way that could only happen if you are drinking the cool-aid for team D.

    The republicans (once again) are playing a game of "tu quoque" with the democrats, judging them by their own standards. Which everyone on the left immediately rejects as not applying in their case, and people from the center or other non-democrat affiliated groups (like Nick) immediately reject as either hysteria or hypocrisy.

    The NYT editorial was not fit for HuffPo, and they should be embarrassed.

  • WakaWaka||

    You should change your name from 'unlabeable' to 'insufferable'

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    Finally we agree upon something.

    Welcome to Team Crusty.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • John DeWitt||

    You don't know either?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Since its original publication, the Times has graciously seen fit to correct itself thus:

    An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.

    Read the entire thing before jumping to the comments section...

    BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!11!!11!!!!!!!! Who am I kidding, this is H&R, no one actually reads the articles. Hell, I'm just impressed you read past the headline.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Psst... Nick edited that in, probably thanks to my tireless efforts here. And unlike the pros at the NYT, he didn't note this change in the post. Awful!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Fair enough, I didn't see the original post, I was late to the party as usual.

    unlike the pros at the NYT, he didn't note this change in the post.

    And he wonders why they won't hire him. /sarc

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    You're not supposed to reply like that! I was using this as an excuse to avoid more work so that I can whip this up. And I was going to say, "Suck it, Cynical."

  • Cynical Asshole||

    You're not supposed to reply like that!

    Alright, how's this:

    Fuck you! I call bullshite! Nick wouldn't do something like that, you fucking faggit! Pics or it didn't happen, shit heel!

    Better?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Thank you.

    *cracks knuckles*

    SUCK IT, CYNICAL.

  • WakaWaka||

    The paper edition contains the exact same language and the 'pros' at the NYT still suggest that Palin is to blame for Tucson. They only removed the part saying that there is proof that she was responsible

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And I'm the insufferable one?

  • WakaWaka||

    Alright, fair point

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    To clear the air of my lovely snark, I was hoping we'd have a bigger laugh about how transparently awful their correction is. They don't remove the implication that Palin maybe was sorta involved, and they rewrite it as if they totally knew there was never any connection made. That is well known and has always been the Times's position. They've been saying that since 2011, dontcha know.

    Shit, more snark.

  • 68W58||

    Left wing mouthpiece pushes left wing narrative, lefties in the comments herp and derp.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    And also right wing mouthpiece pushes right wing narrative, righties in the comments herp and derp.

    I will never understand why some people just can't get out of the tribalist herdthink. I guess it is the same aspect of our biology that makes someone cry when their sports team loses. Wake. The. Fuck. Up.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    Years ago post-Iraq and pre-social media I remarked to a friend who's now an expatriate living in Denmark that the most belligerent war in the 21st century wouldn't be a military one but the war for information. 'Tribalist herdthink' is not just a biological imperative it's a business model and the basis for most of our consumption of modern news. Black-and-white thinking, us versus them, it's a profitable model of thought.

  • John DeWitt||

    That's pretty much why both sides are talking about how "the stakes have never being higher". The trend over the last 10 years indicates that a lot of momentum for the folks who are questioning the current tribal system:

    http://www.people-press.org/in.....-id-trend/

  • ||

    ^ This.

    For Teams Red and Blue, the stakes have never been higher. They both are facing existential threats in the widespread disgust most people feel toward both of them.

    For the rest of us, the stakes are "meh."

  • John DeWitt||

    That's pretty much why both sides are talking about how "the stakes have never being higher". The trend over the last 10 years indicates that a lot of momentum for the folks who are questioning the current tribal system:

    http://www.people-press.org/in.....-id-trend/

  • 68W58||

    "And also right wing mouthpiece pushes right wing narrative..."

    Can you point to where that happened here? The comments from the NYT continue to try and place the blame for what happened yesterday on Republicans. That's some powerful herp and derp.

  • WakaWaka||

    I'm going to have to agree with 68W58 on this one. There was a lot of nasty things being said about President Obama from the Right during his term, but it never appeared on the pages of the WSJ or NY Post. It's easy to find columns comparing Trump to Hitler and his supporters to racist knuckle-draggers from the WaPo and NYT.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Trump has undoubtedly already faced about ten times the vitriol at this point in he's presidency than Obama did collectively over two full terms. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    The right-wing narrative here is that left-wing rhetoric is responsible for the shooting, and may even push us into a civil war. And it'd be silly to deny that righties in comments sections don't herp and derp, because any comments section will have herping and derping.

  • 68W58||

    "The right-wing narrative here is that left-wing rhetoric is responsible for the shooting..."

    Useful insofar as the next time the left plays the guilt by association game this can be thrown back I their face. As the NYT editorial shows they will strive to make even the most tenuous rationale fit-make then live by their own rules.

    I never denied that there is herp and derp in any comments section, but when I read the comments attached to that piece no one called bullshit on such specious nonsense (I admit that I could only stand so much), that's extra strength herp and derp.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Sure, if you're asking for derpy conservative comments in an NYT piece, the few that are posted are likely to be buried. You'd have to go to more conservative outlets. Or look at some of the comments posted here yesterday.

  • 68W58||

    I don't think calling bullshit should be limited to any particular political persuasion or properly characterized as derp. In any event there weren't any, just doubling down on the stupid-and in the "Paper of Record" no less.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Left wing nut spouts lefty nonsense around Sanders, Bill Euille (former Democratic Mayor of Alexandria, VA) and other lefties and was deemed a nice guy not a nut.

    That is very telling. What he talked about with them made sense and was acceptable political recourse.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The right-wing narrative here is that left-wing rhetoric is responsible for the shooting, and may even push us into a civil war

    But it is.

    The mainstream leftist talking points include how it's okay to use violence against the 'fash'--and the 'fash' is routinely defined as 'anyone a leftist doesn't like'. And this is all over the MSM and elected Democrats and DNC functionaries--it's not coming from obscure websites or weird youtube channels. This is the standard.

    So yes, there is very definitely rhetoric on the left that has inspired this--encouraged this, even. Ignoring it isn't going to make that fact go away this time.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Yes, that's the narrative I'm talking about.

  • grrizzly||

    And there's a third narrative: some herp and derp non-stop whenever one of the two sides is found to be not as despicable as the other.

  • GeoffB1972||

    How about the left and right are both despicable but at least the right are wimps at the moment which makes the left scarier right now?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Is it still a 'narrative' when it's a recitation of factual information?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Riot when the lady you wanted to win actually lost?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The New York Times shamefully - and stupidly - ties yesterday's shooting to...an old Sarah Palin ad?

    Oh, FFS... There's nothing left to say at this point. I give up, I don't want to live on this planet anymore with stupid simps like the kind who write this kind of horseshit.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    To clarify, I'm refering to the NYT's horseshit, not Reason's horseshit.

    Although it's all horseshit all the way down.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    How can you even tell NYT and Reason apart??

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    The levels of smug are on different orders of magnitude.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    The Times' farts are more refined, mostly because of the higher-quality cocktails they consume.

    Those leftists over are TREASON are all about the bottom shelf.*

    *Much like MJGreen's dating preferences.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    I don't know what MJGreen did to set you off, but seeing Crusty go after someone for non-sexual reasons is rather entertaining.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    Why would you assume it's non-sexual?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Because no one goes after me for sexual reasons.

    :(

  • MarkLastname||

    'Bottom shelf'
    Someone else here is into midgets? That's pretty cool.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I guess I'll still take hipper than thou old guy in a leather jacket libertarian smugness over progressive smugness.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I know right? Everyone knows that Reason is just a bunch of progtards pretending to be libertarian for a paycheck. The only reason Nick is criticizing the NYT is because he's pissed that they haven't hired him yet. /sarc

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Oh shit, I might have accidentally lit the Mikey signal. Sorry everyone.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    [douses Cynical Asshole in copious amounts of fire extinguisher foam]

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    [with]

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • Rhywun||

    Sick, Jell Aspy

  • WakaWaka||

    That better be sarcasm. Everyone knows that Gillespie is angling for a job with WaPo- not NYT.
    /sarc (?)

  • Zeb||

    Nick seems pretty comfy where he is in his role as presentable hipster libertarian.

  • ||

    sniper James Hodgkinson

    Retardedly Fucking Stupid; Didn't Read.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    He definitely wasn't a very good sniper. Unless the definition of sniper has been changed to "any asshole with a rifle shooting in the general direction of other people."

  • Rat on a train||

    Why not? Assault rifle has been redefined to scary looking rifle.

  • ||

    He definitely wasn't a very good sniper.

    Sniping also connotes hiding and force multiplication via skill/intelligence. Walking up to a baseball field and asking "Are those Republicans?", opening fire without any sort of cover, and not exactly killing anyone while getting killed yourself is the opposite of sniping. Calling this guy a sniper makes Leeroy Jenkins seem like a reasonable military strategist.

  • WakaWaka||

    I don't understand why people are surprised. Are we still pretending like the NYT is still a legitimate publication? They've had several Russia-gate fever dream stories shot down already. It's become a race to the bottom to see who can become a bigger parody unto themselves, the WaPo or NYT.

    The real blame doesn't belong on hyperbolic speech, but it does rest with those who have ignored, encouraged or explained away violence against speech. That would include the editorial board at the NYT and some people on your staff.

  • Microaggressor||

    I'm thinking it's only a matter of time until the NYT is indistinguishable from Salon. WaPo, too, but with the added bonus of hot anonymous, totally real, insider scoops.

  • WakaWaka||

    With this Op-ed, I think that time has passed

  • MarkLastname||

    NYT still publishes Greg Mankiw; that's basically what sets them apart. Mankiw is probably the last person that writes for them worth reading.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    They also added Bret Stephens as a regular op-ed contributor, much to idiot leftists' chagrin. It probably was motivated by an effort to appear more balanced.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Read the whole thing here.

    No thanks. The small snippet quoted here was enough to make me want to rip my hair out and scream in frustration. Political rhetoric has never moved me to violence, but you know what might? Idiotic blathering of morons who tie themselves into pretzels attempting to blame literally every bad thing that ever happens anywhere on their political opponents. Jesus titty-fucking Christ, I hope every editor at the NYT gets Lou Gehrig's disease, I really do. Fucking idiots.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot Representative Giffords and killed 6 others, was officially diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic and clearly according to his various social media postings suffered from florid persecutory delusions. James Hodgkinson, while deeply partisan and angry, appears clearly legally sane, and his published rhetoric is that of any anonymous poster on any random political blog.

    As far a 'blame the shooter not the rhetoric', yes of course but that doesn't sell clicks. The victim drama (victim, persecutor, rescuer), its own form of psychological confirmation bias, is the new coin of the realm. Feelings are the new facts.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    To be fair, right-wingers are pounding the table in the wake of yesterday's shooting, going so far to shout that "Rachel Maddow Has Blood on Her Hands" for calling Trump a Russian agent.

    And they're fucking morons too. Here's a novel idea: how about partisan hacks everywhere stop trying to politicize everything and stop trying to link every bad thing that ever happens to the other TEAM. I know, I know, that's crazy talk.

  • Cyto||

    I dunno. Maddow has made a career of making exactly this sort of claims about her political opponents. And she has very loudly been at the forefront of the "Trump is a russian agent and probably guilty of treason or some other heinous crime" #Resistance crowd.

    So lobbing her own rhetoric back at her might not be the most mature response, but it is certainly an understandable response.

  • Ron||

    "So lobbing her own rhetoric back at her might not be the most mature response, but it is certainly an understandable response."

    It amy also be a needed response to get people to start watching their own rhetoric without having to go the full government sensor ship method which the left keeps proposing

  • WakaWaka||

    I agree with your sentiment and Nick is right that blaming hyperbolic speech is ridiculous. But, I think it's fair to say that the 'literally Hitler' stuff that has been pushed by the mainstream Left is pretty overheard and should stop. There were similar sentiments about Obama during his term, but it wasn't being published in the WSJ or NY Post. The NYT and WaPo have been behaving pretty irresponsibly since the primaries with their regular columns comparing Trump to a fascist, strong man and calling all his supporters racist, stupid, etc.

  • mtrueman||

    "Here's a novel idea: "

    Mind your own business and let partisan hacks mind theirs. They have every right to try to politicize anything they wish to. I know, I know, that's Libertarian talk.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    And I have every right to point out that they're morons. And I also have the right to tell you to go fuck yourself.

  • mtrueman||

    "And I have every right to point out that they're morons. And I also have the right to tell you to go fuck yourself."

    Nobody is disputing that. Can you do it in a way that is new and interesting? I know, I know, that's Smart People talk.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    Can you do it in a way that is new and interesting?

    You mean, like the following fascinating and completely novel suggestion...

    "Mind your own business"

    ...?

  • Zeb||

    OK, maybe we should all just go fuck ourselves and regroup in an hour or so.

  • chemjeff||

    Or in Crusty's case, 30 seconds

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    Someone is never a spot on TEAM CRUSTY, or as it is also known, TEAM THE COOLEST EVER.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    On it!

  • Rhywun||

    Is it lunchtime already?

  • Brian||

    If you're going to appeal to libertarianism, then you must take it seriously.

    Congratulations for embracing he light of freedom.

  • mtrueman||

    More whining about newspapers, if you wish to be taken seriously.

  • Brian||

    How could you possibly know how to be taken seriously?

  • mtrueman||

    Because I whine about newspapers from time to time.

  • RabbitHead||

    But is it the right sort of whining, about the right sort of newspapers?

    There are subtleties.

  • MarkLastname||

    We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start givin'...

  • Karen24||

    The shooter had one run-in for punching a friend of his foster child. The only thing all these guys, including the Pulse shooter, the Bastille Day attacker, and the Manchester suicide bomber, have in common is a history of violence with friends and family members. ISIS actually recruits these guys -- "weaponizing losers" as I've heard it phrased. The occasional attack by a crazed loon is, apparently, the price of a free society. I have no good suggestions here.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    KCCO

  • Jeep's Blues||

    "The only thing all these guys, including the Pulse shooter, the Bastille Day attacker, and the Manchester suicide bomber, have in common is a history of violence with friends and family members."

    Perhaps, but incidence of domestic disputes doesn't guarantee one turns into a terrorist or would-be political assassin. As far as applicable remedies, recurrent violent behavior is usual a symptom of deeper pathology. Hodgkinson's run-ins with the law were mostly minor in nature though had they been adjudicated differently may have prevented him from being able to purchase or keep a firearm. Either way his unresolved anger, primarily driven by politics, clearly drove him to act.

    "I have no good suggestions here".

    To your point in a free society there is no as yet constitutional way to assess when or whether a 'crazed loon' will act violently if at all. The 'weaponization' likely occurred long before that and in stealth.

  • Karen24||

    I agree completely. Most violent bastards confine themselves to their spouses, kids, and pets, which is bad enough but not likely to be the headline on CNN anytime. It is my opinion that terrorists mostly start out as violent bastards whose pathology can be channeled into politics.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Most violent bastards confine themselves to their spouses, kids, and pets"

    Sounds like your typical neighborhood SJW.

  • B.P.||

    "As far as applicable remedies, recurrent violent behavior is usual a symptom of deeper pathology."

    We could call it.... Hodgkinson's Disease.

  • Robert||

    That's both good & bad news, because wars are always started by hotheads. The history you're taught in school doesn't say this, it's just true. It's always a hothead who takes the 1st shot. Unfortunately there's always an adequate supply of hotheads for that.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    People here keep talking about equivalency between the progressives and the conservatives. Which does not exist. The real equivalency is between progressives and groups like ISIS.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    Back in my day we just blamed the Jews for all of our problems, and I think that's what we again should be doing.

  • WakaWaka||

    Finally, someone sensible

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    Suddenly the worls makes sense again

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    world*

  • ||

    Jared approves. All publicity is good publicity.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Look at Gillespie trying to pretend he wasn't thrilled about what happened yesterday.

    If anything, he and his fellow left-wing scumbags in the JournoList are disappointed the guy didn't hit a lot more of his targets.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    Hey, I was happy to see you finally finished your book, Weigel; congrats!

  • WakaWaka||

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That's Tulpa. Or Mary. Or me.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I called him a retard, but it's not the same.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    This is a piss poor article by Nick..........but WTF?

  • Drake||

    WTF are you talking about, you goat-fucking retard?

  • Dillinger||

    Sniper?

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    What is Billy Zane's best work?

  • Dillinger||

    +1 Daily Double

  • GILMORE™||

    Bernie Sanders PAC "Our Revolution" (click and read it) features the following 'infographic' prominently in the middle of the page

  • GILMORE™||

  • Zeb||

    Consistency doesn't seem to matter. Electoral politics is loaded with violent metaphors and military symbolism and always has been (even "campaign" is a military term originally). It's easy to find it from both parties and many candidates. Yet people lapped up the idiocy about Palin's target map and ignore the many other examples of exactly the same thing.

  • ThomasD||

    They didn't so much lap it up as have it forcefully rammed down their throats by a complicit media.

    It's not accident, it's design. The only way it ends is when they have to live on the receiving end (of their rhetorical tar brush, that is.)

  • Zeb||

    They didn't so much lap it up as have it forcefully rammed down their throats by a complicit media.

    Nobody had it rammed down their throats that wasn't asking for it. It was obvious bullshit to anyone not ready to believe absolutely anything negative about Palin and republicans.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Nobody had it rammed down their throats that wasn't asking for it.

    Are we still talking about the media's idiotic rhetoric about the Sarah Palin map or what happened last weekend at Crusty's?

  • ThomasD||

    Well, that certainly explains why it got broadcast far and wide. Clearly all those people repeating the 'bullshit' knew they were doing nothing more than self identifying as total bullshitters.

    It's a wonder any of them are still employed.

    A total wonder I tell ya...

  • Zeb||

    It got broadcast far and wide. And people who weren't committed to gun control or believing that Palin was the devil incarnate saw that it was a load of shit.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    And yet people remember that because the best way to sell a lie is to state it boldly, shamelessly, and repeatedly. People who are rational get tired of having to repeat their explanations of how bullshit it is because it's more time consuming to disprove a bogus claim than to simply make it.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    And yet people remember that because the best way to sell a lie is to state it boldly, shamelessly, and repeatedly. People who are rational get tired of having to repeat their explanations of how bullshit it is because it's more time consuming to disprove a bogus claim than to simply make it.

  • ||

    The only way it ends is

    You misspelled "It gets perpetuated."

  • ThomasD||

    Wrong. Tit for tat is well established as the only reliable strategy for eliminating bad behavior.

  • GILMORE™||

    Consistency doesn't seem to matter.

    I don't even think its a matter of 'consistency'. Because their argument actually applies far more clearly to this Hodgkins character than it did to Loughner

    Loughner wasn't even a republican. He didn't shoot her because of any political motivations, he shot her because he was *batshit insane*

    Whereas this Hodgkins character is a die-hard Bernie activist who regularly posted about "Terminating the GOP"

    My point is that the NYT's own logic works against them. If they think "Rhetoric" is what leads to violence, then they've some of the prime contributors to that rhetoric.

    I don't care that they want to stab Trump in effigy during Shakespeare in the Park. But if they're going to embrace that sort of thing, and regularly describe republicans as some KKK/Nazi/Rape-Apologist hybrid, then fucking own it.

    their problem is that they want to have their cake and eat it too.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    "diehard Bernie activist"

    I don't know how you can say that doesn't qualify him as batshit insane

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Well, complete insanity would be the proper way to emulate his idol. Seriously, Bernie belongs in a piss soaked alley in NYC. Shouting his ideas at a garbage can.

  • ||

    their problem is that they want to have their cake and eat it too.

    ^ This.

    They imagine a 60s protest, and they are simultaneously the yippies throwing Molotov cocktails and the hippies putting flowers in the barrels of the rifles.

  • GILMORE™||

    exactly.

    (*tho, are yippes the right example? I think SDS/Weathermen might be the better contrast.)

  • ||

    In my parlance yippie=SDS=Weathermen. I think of yippies as angry Berkeley activists, hippies as flowery Haight-street dropouts. It's not totally fair, but it's my shorthand.

  • ||

    We don't really know how batshit insane he is at this point.
    Anyway, the comparison should't be Loughner vs. Hodkinson. There are people like Dylan Roof out there and people like that dipshit who shot up the Holocaust Museum.
    Point is that there are nutjobs on both ends of the political spectrum. And it's really stupid to get into a debate about whose nutjobs are worse - because they you get cornered into defending the nutjobs on "your" side, as if you had something to do with them. Tribal politics is bullshit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There is zero equivalency here. If there was, then you would have seen the TEA party doing shit like the SJW's did burning down Berkeley. Instead they were so meticulous about cleaning up after themselves they usually left things cleaner than they found them after a rally.

  • ||

    This isn't about equivalency, it's about not belonging to a tribe. If you stop identifying yourself with a tribe you don't have to waste your time arguing over whether your tribe's nutjobs are better than the other tribe's nutjobs. So every time something like this happens you have to sit there saying "but your side is worse, blah blah", as if you're under some sort of obligation to defend the stupid bullshit that people who have nothing to do with you do? Just because they're flying the same party flag - which means what exactly? A cobbled together collection of ideologically inconsistent pablum carefully focus-grouped to keep you thinking that politician or party represents you. To keep you reflexively defending the stupid tribe, no matter how stupid it gets.

  • ||

    This isn't about equivalency, it's about not belonging to a tribe. If you stop identifying yourself with a tribe you don't have to waste your time arguing over whether your tribe's nutjobs are better than the other tribe's nutjobs. So every time something like this happens you have to sit there saying "but your side is worse, blah blah", as if you're under some sort of obligation to defend the stupid bullshit that people who have nothing to do with you do? Just because they're flying the same party flag - which means what exactly? A cobbled together collection of ideologically inconsistent pablum carefully focus-grouped to keep you thinking that politician or party represents you. To keep you reflexively defending the stupid tribe, no matter how stupid it gets.

  • Rhywun||

    The Democrats sure are working hard to never win a national election again.

  • ||

    I think we'll still have a party called "Democrats" going forward, but they're going to have to fundamentally transform.

    I think "Progressivism's" days are numbered. Even the Bay-Area Team Blue loyalists I know are struggling to swallow the tomfoolery that's coming out of headquarters lately (they're still swallowing it, but they're having a hard time keeping it down), and they're starting to notice that the word "liberal" doesn't really describe Team Blue anymore.

    They still feel forced onto Team Blue because "Trump = unprecedented Evil," but it's getting to be an uncomfortable fit for a lot of people.

    My secret hope is that as Team Red turns more anti-free market, Team Blue might start taking up the slack. NPR has been experimenting with this, but only hesitatingly.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You expect the living wage party of malthus to be pro free market? Now that's some unbridled optimism.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yep. This shit will continue to escalate until they are put down, or we are in a civil war. They will not stop themselves.

  • GILMORE™||

    unsurprisingly, someone on the left realized their own imagery was 'unhelpful' and both those links are now memory-holed.

    here's the OG image
    http://imgur.com/a/g4aZ3

    it was more impactful with the original website's rhetoric about a 'revolution', but oh well.

  • GILMORE™||

    or maybe not. Weird, i tried linking to them somewhere else and they brought up 404s.

    i'm surprised they haven't buried that entire page.

  • ThomasD||

    "Blame the shooter, not the rhetoric."

    Fuck that Gillespie.

    They are all adults. Its their chosen standard. Let them live by it.

  • Zeb||

    So, if one group acts retarded, everyone else should too? I'm not sure that's really the best way to do things.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    As the stakes get higher and higher, escaping from acting retarded is just not realistic.

    You will be made to act retarded. Like it or not.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I thought we weren't talking about last weekend at Crusty's.

  • ThomasD||

    Way to miss the argument.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not being dishonest.

    This isn't remotely about the NYT or it's fellow travelers being 'retarded.' They knew exactly what they were doing when they tried to pin Loughner on Palin. Were they wrong to do so? Yes, but they chose their rhetorical weapon.

    Now they don't want the same sorts of standards applied to themselves or their ilk.

    Grossly dishonest? Yes. Hypocritical? Yes. Cynical? Yes.

    But hardly 'retarded.' Especially if people are willing to let them get away with it.

    And how do you let them get away with it?

    By not holding them to their own standards.

  • Zeb||

    I said "acting retarded" not "being retarded". Of course they know they are full of shit. It was obvious enough in the original editorial that they changed it.

    I actually do find it somewhat amusing and gratifying that their BS is now being turned around on them to some extent.

    But I also like to see someone saying that perhaps everyone should stop being full of shit and try to be honest for a change. It's at least worth suggesting.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Look, I'll stop being full of shit when everyone else does. I'm not going first.

  • ThomasD||

    It's not an act, and it's not retarded if they get away with it.

    The only way you improve behavior is by holding people accountable for their actions.

    They set a standard, now they must be made to live by it.

  • ||

    By not holding them to their own standards.

    Yes, but also acknowledging that their standards are bullshit.

    You can call them on their hypocrisy without indulging in the same hypocrisy.

  • ThomasD||

    I'm not indulging in the same hypocrisy.

    To be clear, I've never said they are responsible for the actions of the shooter. Personally I think the standard for incitement is reasonable, acceptable, and has not been met.

    However, they cannot be allowed to claim that rhetoric had nothing to do with the shooting this time. According to their previous standard there is plenty of heated rhetoric that can indeed be associated with this crime. Unfortunately for them it's all from their chosen allies so they wont do that.

    That's the bed they made, now they lie in.

  • GeoffB1972||

    No, if one group tries to impose an idiotic standard on others, they should have it imposed right back on them. Until it hurts.

    It's called making the other side live up to its own rules.

    Honestly, it's something libertarians should apply to every political movement, as it gets to the heart of why the hypocrisies of those in power are an argument for them having less power.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    If there is any lesson to be drawn this early from the disturbing and chilling attack that left the House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, in critical condition, it's that immediately politicizing everything and seeking cheap, partisan gain yields no meaningful insight and further alienates the vast and growing swath of Americans who already feel a need to escape from political tribes that include fewer and fewer of us.

    Libertarian moment happy finish.

  • ThomasD||

    He knows this because he clearly has a finger on the pulse of middle America.

    Either that or he recognizes that middle America can plainly see who is actually perpetrating the political violence, all media efforts to the contrary.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    At least he's not politicizing or seeking cheap, partisan gain.

  • ThomasD||

    You'd have a point if what you said wasn't total nonsense.

    Deciding how to publicly respond to both the words and deeds of others kind of being the essence of politics. And, having chosen and expressed his decision, thereby marking him as a particular sort of partisan.

    Words have meanings, you know.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Psst. Sarcasm.

  • ThomasD||

    Sorry, your comment was too straightforward and I missed the double entendre.

    Carry on.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Tell me they said "Eliminationist Rhetoric". Tell me.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin's political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

    Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They're right. Though there's no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.

    Someone at the NYT actually put these words all in the same article?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Opinion Pages | Editorial
    America's Lethal Politics
    By THE EDITORIAL BOARD JUNE 14, 2017

    What a bunch of assholes!

  • Azathoth!!||

    'Blame the shooter, not the rhetoric'

    Blame the shooter, certainly. But why ignore the rhetoric? Why do leftists always say that?

    Could it be the widespread social approval of the 'bash the fash' movements on the left?

    Could it be the widespread social approval of using violence against anyone on the right?

    Could it be the widespread social approval of indulging murderous fantasies?

    Could it be that they do all this at the highest levels of authority, celebrity, and availability?

    The people advocating violence on the left aren't weird autists living it up on /pol/--they're major politicians, celebrities, major publications and news shows.

    There's no one on the right doing anything like this. And there really never has been. On the extremely rare occasions violence comes from the right, it comes from odd loners--and is immediately condemned by the rest of the right.

    Blame the shooter, and his beliefs, and the things that led him to those beliefs. Even if they are 'rhetoric'.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    6 questions in a row? Judge Nap is a Reason commenter!

  • ||

    Blame the shooter

    Yes.

    and his beliefs

    That's a bit of a stretch, but I suppose some of them may be culpable.

    and the things that led him to those beliefs

    I'm not sure you can know what those things are. How would you go about "blaming" those things?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Don't worry, Azathoth!! knows.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Don't worry, Azathoth!! knows.

    Of course I know. I listed some of them.

    "It's okay to use violence against those you disagree with politically." This is a sentiment put forward endlessly by icons of the left.

    Did you miss all of that?

    Do you ignore the articles AND the comments?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Nope. I just ignore your point, because it is silly.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It's so weird how you never see anyone doing this when it's about Nazis.

    They blame the Nazi, and the horrible crap the Nazi believes in, and the underlying philosophies that created them.

    Or racists. Blame the racist, and their racist thoughts, and the underlying ideas(often an indictment of all white people!) that informed them.

    But not when it comes to leftist violence--then we need to ignore the endless gut-churning bloodymindedness of the rhetoric.

    Just like Islam!

  • ThomasD||

    It's only the other guys ideas that are dangerous,

    The ideas of the progressive left are all based upon good intentions so are inevitably harmless.

    Unless, this is, you are a 'fascist.'

    Then you get what you deserve.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I blame the entire progressive movement. As far as I'm concerned, if they were really sorry, they would abandon all their bullshit positions, get behind the Trump agenda, and dissolve the democrat party.

    Not happening? Then fuck them. They act like they want war with the rest of America with every breath they take, and yesterday one of them decided to make an attack on their 'enemy'. Now the pissantes don't want to suffer the consequences.

    Shit needs to get very real for the progressives very fast. After this shit, if I were Trump, I would make all this investigation bullshit go away and direct Sessions to start prosecuting prominent democrats for their known crimes. While he's dealing with that low hanging fruit, I would have my new pitfall FBI chief start a bunch of new investigations on their leaders with no obvious crimes. Just to see what I could find. I would also look for every possible legal and regulatory avenue to destroy WaPo, NYT, NBC News, etc.

    Fuck the progs. If they want a war, I say let's give it to them.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Mark David Chapman's killing of John Lennon.

    I hate how murderers have their full names immortalized, it's an undue honorific. These things should be forgotten or expunged like a stain from human history, not enshrined in infamy.

  • ||

    I agree, but I think there's the pragmatic consideration that you want to try to avoid staining the name "Mark Chapman," since it's probably kind of common. If you include the middle name, you sweep up less people in the generalized shame.

    Not mentioning their names at all would be best, but I don't know how you manage that.

  • ||

    That would leave only the "legal" and therefore the worst murderers´names immortalized, like Josif Vissarionovic Stalin. Murderers need equality, too!

  • RabbitHead||

    It was Jodie Foster that drove him to it.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "[...] it's ridiculous to blame words for increases in violence"
    Legally? Sure.
    Morally? That's a much harder argument that requires undermining everything we know about influencing behavior via communication.

  • MarkLastname||

    It depends on the words. If I say 'Bob deserves to die' and one of my blog readers shoots bob, one might attribute moral responsibility; but if I say 'Bob is a dick' or 'I hate Bob', the no, the moral fault is entirely with the shooter for jumping from my dislike of Bob to homicide of Bob.

  • EscherEnigma||

    It depends on a lot. The actual message, knowledge of the person being influenced, repetition, people's state of minds.

    There's a world of difference between someone standing up and shouting "kill the umpire!" after a bad call and an undercover FBI agent spending months or years to befriend and manipulate a Muslim man into planning a terrorist plot.

    There's also a difference between a one-off comment, no matter how publicized, and a prolonged multi-year campaign to dehumanize and ostracize a group.

    My point isn't that we should be blaming this psycho on any single person, or even a group of people. My point is that scoffing at the idea that words cause violence is to blithely ignore how humans work in favor of a platonic ideal where every person is a perfectly rational machine that can't be influenced.

  • MarkLastname||

    My point though is that words causing violence and the speaker of the words being blameworthy aren't one and the same. It is entirely possible that had Salinger never written Catcher in the Rye, some murders wouldn't have happened because some nutcases wouldn't have been able to misinterpret his book (maybe they would just misinterpret another, maybe not). That doesn't mean Salinger is to blame, nor is it fair to expect him to refrain from writing something because some nutcase might impute homicidal messages to it.

  • Ron||

    Well you have to be honest if no one said anything bad would Yesterdays attacker still have a reason to attack. therefore words do mean things and the left of late has specifically said violence against those you disagree with is called for. I haven't heard anyone on the right do that

  • ||

    "If there's no racism, sexist, bigotry, or homophobic, anti-islamic/semite angle we can push our agenda with, or if it makes us question our own narrative or agenda, we have these pneumatic tubes Winston, where it's all "whirled away on a current of warm air...""

  • Robert||

    To prevent misapprehension, let's no more use crosshairs as metaphoric map symbols, but instead, bloody knives.

    & no more talk of "triggering", but instead, "detonating".

    No more careless talk about "critical mass", either. I got nuttin' there, but I'm sure you'll think of an acceptable substitute.

  • RabbitHead||

    Payload?

  • ||

    The NYT can go fuck itself.

    It can't sink fast enough.

  • Africanis||

    Nick is a white male Libertarian who by Antifa/Liberal standards is a person that you can punch in the face justifiably. I wonder if this came about a reality how he would feel about that. How about if they cornered him and beat him to a pulp while he was shopping for leather jackets. Beware people it is open season on all who are not conforming to the group think of the left. According to them you are asking for it.

  • Lester224||

    I'm running into different kinds of liberals (or people who call themselves liberals). The ones I've encountered are just getting all wrapped up in facebook posting campaigns, calling congressmen to complain about everything they disagree with and making circular arguments. They are all too genteel to punch anyone in the face.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Because they are cowards at heart. If you get a few drinks in those fags and got them in a group outnumbering some late middle aged female professor, I bet they would kick the crap out of her.

  • ||

    The Times has apparently corrected the editorial to remove the claim that there was a link between the Gifford's Shooting and right-wing rhetoric.

  • mchughjj||

    Thanks, Nick, for this piece. I think it's informative.

    To add to your story, Gabby Giffords was a Republican Congresswoman, and to suggest Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for her shooting is reprehensible. Ms. Giffords became a gun control advocate because she was permanently incapacitated and almost killed by a gun (anyone remember James Brady). Hodgkinson hated Republicans and attempted to kill on that basis.

    Sometimes it's hard to know who the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys', are, and to superimpose ideological considerations on top of that.

  • ranrod||

    calling this shooter crazy is not getting to the truth..

    this guy was a calculating cold blood murderer who knew exactly what he was doing...

    HE PLANNED THIS MASACRE!!!

  • Tionico||

    a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.

    Not only that, it WAS rather solidly established that Loughner had had a specific issue with a local judge... one of the first to be hit by his gunfire, and quite plausibly his target and entire motivation for the attack. My guess is he never knew who Gifford was nor that she would even be present. He had it in for that judge, it seems, and the others were merely collateral damage by virtue of being wrong place wrong time. Yet somehow, that grizzled circus fat lady, NYT, seems to be working the "Gifford was the target" angle. What, trying to boost HER special cause?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yep, he was just some angry nutbag commie.

  • ||

    His previous contacts with and hatred for Gabby Giffords are very well documented. He met he previously at a previous event at the same location where he shot her - where she was pretty much doing the same thing. he asked her some insane questions involving his mind control theories, which she apparently didn't answer in a way he liked. He developed an obsession with her and told all his friends his psychotic theories in which she was the enemy. When he shot her, one of his former friends was quoted as saying "if anyone would shoot Gabriel Giffords, it would be Jared."

    Now, of course there is no political link, because his hatred for her was just based on his own psychotic world which was not really right wing or left wing, but just plain batshit insane.

    So the Times is completely wrong to draw any kind of link between "right-wing rhetoric", and this guy. But that doesn't mean she wasn't the target, she was.

  • Ned Netterville||

    I blame government officials and government dependents (cronies, etc.) because they use institutionalized violence to collect the taxes on which they wax fat, and it is axiomatic: violence begets violence. The congresscritters playing baseball were not innocent prospective victims. Indeed, when it comes to violence it may fairly be said, they started it.

  • mondo_cane||

    I'm not sure what you mean with this remark, and I don't believe you are either: "The result is similar to blaming John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas to a virulent climate of "right-wing hate," despite Lee Harvey Oswald's commitments to Cuba, the Soviet Union, and communism."

    Anyone who knows anything about the assassination of JFK knows that Lee Harvey Oswald had nothing to do with it. He didn't even hold the gun he was accused of shooting and all of Kennedy's wounds were from the front, not the back. He was made to be the patsy and was killed by Jack Ruby before he could even be questioned.

    Oswald had no commitment with Cuba, none with the Soviet Union except that which our government sent him there to do as an adjunct observer. And he was not a communist -- shades of Joe McCarthy. There was a whole polished up, dandified and whitewashed report done by the Warren Commission, that has been shown to be totally phony with the release of the papers Johnson had classified for 50 years.

    Do you not read? Now, no matter how well the rest of your article is done, this blemish taints the whole thing. Sloppy research or none at all, bias, and the ability to believe anything you're told, has done you in.

    You just screwed the pooch, Nick.

  • MarkLastname||

    Lee Harvey Oswald can't melt steel beams!!! There was jet fuel in the grassy knoll!

  • Azathoth!!||

    You know, you don't REALLY believe these things exist--and then one shows up and vomits conspiracy muck all over your nice tidy comment section, and, well, you just stare in dawning horror at the ghastly possibilities the sight of this opens up.

  • ||

    I feel the same way about racists.

  • ||

    The issue of the connection between speech and violence hits at a key Libertarian principle.

    Everything that is a bad idea, or immoral, or improper, or disgusting or ....
    should not be criminal.

    The violent rhetoric of political speach - and in recent times particularly that of the left is WRONG,
    is unequivocally wrong. Is a bad idea, is immoral, is disgusting, is ....

    But it is not and should not be criminal.

    It is appropriate for us to heap oprobrium on those whose rhetoric does share some moral and ethical responsibility for this shooting.

    It is not appropriate to demand government restrictions to our freedom as the solution.

    Government is their to bar direct harms, such as the use of actual violence against people.

    It is not there to punish us because our words or life choices are poor and my influence others.

    That does not mean with should be silent.

  • Mekial||

    Rather than blaming rhetoric, blame the leftist' s violence, from attacks on Tump supporters at campaign events to the latest Antifa attack, that has seen little punishment or real condemnation ( it unacceptable, but...).

    The shooting is the expected escalation from rocks and bottles, pepper spray, and gasoline bombs.

  • MaleMatters||

    Re: "Though there's no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack"

    This is such a mad-hatter distortion -- no, strike that. This is such a zany lie, it makes smoke come out of my ears.

    It's the kind of excessive over-reach that has helped land Democrats here:

    "The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble: In state government things are worse, if anything. The GOP now controls a historical record number of governors' mansions, including a majority of New England governorships. Tuesday's election swapped around a few state legislative houses but left Democrats controlling a distinct minority. The same story applies further down ballot, where most elected attorneys general, insurance commissioners, secretaries of state, and so forth are Republicans." http://www.vox.com/policy-and-.....ile-rubble

    And here:

    "The Democratic Party is viewed as more out of touch than either Trump or the party's political opponents. Two-thirds of Americans think the Democrats are out of touch — including nearly half of Democrats themselves. ...a large chunk of Democrats feel that their party is united in a vision … that's at odds with the concerns of the American public." -Washington Post
    https://archive.is/SAj6w

    Democrats and liberals, especially the NY Times, should heed Humphrey Bogart's warning in "The African Queen":

    "Things are never so bad they can't be made worse."

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    The New York Times shamefully—and stupidly...

    This should be the boilerplate tag line for any story on any sociopolitical commentary from the NYT.

  • Marshal||

    For starters, only rankly opportunistic insta-commentary by hardcore Democratic partisans—including Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, who wrote "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin" within hours of the Giffords shooting—drew a connection between Sarah Palin's innocuous fund-raising graphic and the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner.

    The better example is Paul Krugman. While he is a rankly opportunistic hardcore partisan and writes for a publication targeting the same market segment as Daily Kos that publication is both slightly better known and the fact that it is the same as this editorial demonstrates their commitment to partisanship even better.

  • John Lloyd Scharf||

    You say, "To be fair, right-wingers are pounding the table in the wake of yesterday's shooting,..." To be fair, turnabout is fair play. To be fair, this is about the Alt-Left CNN, MSNBC, et al justifying violence in politics. To be fair, calling them on making guns the issue instead of those with violent ideologies, like Mohammedanism, and now the Democratic Party, is where you should have gone.

  • JohnBinCT||

    Ben Shapiro made an interesting claim about this in his show yesterday. He said that the bullshit detectors of the populace were strong enough to know that the outlandish claims made by politicians on the left or the right ("Mitt Romney wants to put y'all back in chains!") are just political rhetoric and aren't to be taken seriously.
    https://soundcloud.com/benshapiroshow/ep320

    Except that people WANT to believe stupid things like that because they tie their identities into their political parties and want to dehumanize the opposition as much as possible. I'm not so sure that people aren't more credulous than Ben's assertion, based on conversations I've had with people in CT.

    Ben draws the line where media personalities both demonize the opposition and defend violence against said "demons" in the same breath ("My opponent's a Nazi and it's ok to punch Nazis" is the example he uses, as opposed to just "My opponent's a Nazi").

    I just wish that there would be a bit more self-censorship (I am, by no means, claiming that said speech should be illegal) with regard to rhetoric that accuses those in the other party of evil motives. I'm by no means saying that it should be illegal, but there has long been a trend of going "You're a racist!" "Well, you're a tyrant" when discussing the different weightings of priorities between the two major parties, to the point that otherwise-intelligent people actually believe it.

  • ThomasD||

    The rhetoric is getting a lot of discussion. but what isn't getting nearly the amount of attention is the permissive environment where actual violence has grown to be tolerated.

    I do not think this accidental.

  • JohnBinCT||

    Let's use an extreme example, for the sake of argument. Let's say that Trump was literally Hitler, and Republican congressmen/women were working on building the ovens and gas chambers.

    In that situation, a violent response/resistance/revolution would be totally understandable and acceptable from the standpoint of whoever happened to be writing the history books in 10 or 20 years time.

    That's a pretty clear-cut example of when violent revolution would not only be acceptable but preferable to maintaining the "comfortable" status quo.

    Everyone has a different threshold for the point at which they might join a resistance movement, moreover a different point at which they might consider engaging in violence on behalf of the resistance.

    The more heated the rhetoric, the more awful the things that one side or the other is accusing the other or the one side of doing, the greater the number of people that will reach their personal "I'm special and I'm on the right side of history" threshold and take action for themselves.

  • ThomasD||

    Yes, to be sure, all of that is a fair assessment of human behavior and also has been borne out multiple times in modern history.

    Now also add in the fact that there have been many recent episodes of people violently 'taking action for themselves' (singularly, but also in organized groups) with little or sometimes no legal or social repercussions. Some of them have even received overt or tacit approval. Actions being much more permissive of further action than any rhetoric so Alexandria becomes all but inevitable.

    Meanwhile Gillespie thinks he's gonna play Destry minus the final act.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I live in AZ and happened to turn to the TV news at about noon, a bare 2 hours after the shooting -

    ALL 3 major networks that we get, ABC, NBC, and CBS were proudly linking the Giffords shooting to Palin.

    And I've never seen any of them walk that back.

  • ThomasD||

    " It's time to ask whether attack was foreseeable, predictable, self-inflicted."

    - Scott Pelley, CBS News

    https://tinyurl.com/ydy2np6p

    Hopefully we'll never have to find out if Gillespie will prove willing to maintain his 'higher ground' pose once he's the one actually facing incoming rounds.

    Personally I see him as one to knuckle under long before it comes to that. But am wiling to be proven wrong.

  • CZmacure||

    "And also right wing mouthpiece pushes right wing narrative..."

    Can you point to where that happened here? The comments from the NYT continue to try and place the blame for what happened yesterday on Republicans. That's some powerful herp and derp.

    My recent post: Small List, Big Profit 2.0 Review

    My recent post: Software Business In A Box Review

  • CZmacure||

    The New York Times shamefully—and stupidly...

    This should be the boilerplate tag line for any story on any sociopolitical commentary from the NYT.
    My recent post: Instant Expert Review

  • George J. Dance||

    I remember the Markos Moulitsos tweet, as I wrote about the story at the time. The shooting happened on a Saturday; by Sunday, the top story on CBS News was" "A staffer for Sarah Palin is defending the conservative politician against attacks blaming Palin and the Tea Party movement for the horrifying Arizona shooting yesterday that left six people dead and Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition."

    What I never saw mentioned (except in my own story) was that in the run-up to the 2010 primaries Moulitsos had prepared his own "target list" of congressmen, and that Gabby Giffords' name had appeared on his list in boldface type: https://tinyurl.com/koss-giffords

    Here's my story, for those interested: "Pin this on the Tea Partiers" https://tinyurl.com/yc4e8b77

    W

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