Let me begin by saying that I am no Sarah Palin fan, and I never was. I am completely against her running for office in 2012.
This post is about something that is more dangerous than just some politician from Alaska that has her own reality TV show, it’s about obvious media bias taking advantage of an event to create an unfounded correlation between violence and anyone who speaks out against Big Government.
It wasn’t the best idea to put Gabrielle Giffords in cross-hairs on Sarah Palin’s website as a metaphor for one of the many politicians that Mrs. Palin thinks should not hold office or be elected to office. This became evident this weekend when Mrs. Giffords was shot, as reported by ABC News. It was not a good idea mostly because it gave the media an opportunity to use the event as a way to vilify anyone who speaks out against the government, which is not what the shooter was doing, but the media doesn’t let facts like that get in the way of a good opportunity to defend Big Government.
Like the fact that Democrats have already put their opponents in cross-hairs during campaign commercials…
Cross-hairs have been used by both the Democrats and the Republicans, but unluckily for Sarah Palin, someone got shot. If anything, we should all agree that any politician using cross-hairs is a bad idea, since both sides have done it.
“Journalists often use military terminology in describing campaigns. We talk about the air war, the bombshells, targeting politicians, knocking them off, candidates returning fire or being out of ammunition. So we shouldn’t act shocked when politicians do the same thing” states HotAir.
Knowing that journalists and politicians use military and gun references all the time, even in commercials, the opportunity here is for us to see how the media is using this situation to create an unsupported correlation between the shooter (read violence) and Sarah Palin (read speaks out against government), or more broadly, to anyone who says anything against the government.
As HotAir.com pointed out when Major Nidal Hasan had his shooting rampage at Fort Hood, the media spent considerable time repeating that we should “not jump to conclusions” about any Islamic motivation he might have had. If you visit HotAir you will see five quotes from CNN and President Obama stressing the importance of not jumping to conclusions regarding that event.
However, within minutes of the Gifford shooting, the media immediately jumped to conclusions, as reported by HotAir (emphasis added):
After reporting that Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik had condemned what Dupnik called “the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer turned to congressional reporter Jessica Yellin for analysis. The sheriff “singled out some of the political rhetoric, as you point out, in creating the environment that allowed this kind of instance to happen,” Yellin told Blitzer. “Even though, as you point out, this suspect is not cooperating with investigators, so we don’t know the motive. President Obama also delivered that message, saying it’s partly the political rhetoric that led to this. So that’s why we want to bring up one of the themes that’s burning up the social media right now. On Twitter and Facebook, there is a lot of talk, in particular, about Sarah Palin. As you might recall, back in March of last year, when the health care vote was coming to the floor of the House and this was all heating up, Palin tweeted out a message on Twitter saying ‘common sense conservatives, don’t retreat — instead reload.’ And she referred folks to her Facebook page. On that Facebook page was a list of Democratic members she was putting in crosshairs, and Gabrielle Giffords was one of those in the crosshairs.”
Even President Obama is taking advantage of this tragedy to turn people against anyone who speaks out against the government, blaming political rhetoric as part of the cause of the shooting when there are no facts at all supporting that claim.
I’m not defending Palin or her use of crosshairs on her website. I am saying she and the cross-hairs are irrelevant.
They were made relevant by a media that is only interested in convincing people there is a correlation between violence and those who speak out against our government, regardless of any facts.