Thursday, June 15, 2017

New York Times Editorial Erroneously Lays Blame for Yesterday's Shooting

   A day after a politically motivated gunmen opened fire on Republican Congressmen practicing for the upcoming Congressional Baseball Game, both parties are calling for unity. It has become obvious to all the political climate has become too toxic. Unfortunately, the New York Times was late on the admonition to tone it down. While emotions were still running high, the newspaper's editorial section ran a piece blaming the hostile environment that may have motivated yesterday's shooting on Sarah Palin.
     The original piece was quickly removed after much criticism for its rationale relying on a long since debunked theory. The editorial blamed a mailing from Palin's PAC which featured a map with cross-hairs over various Democrat House seats Palin believed could be flipped Republican. Among them was Gabby Giffords of Arizona. Giffords was shot, along with a number of others, on January 8, 2011 by Jared Lee Loughner. Palin's PAC was quickly blamed for inciting the incident, but was just as quickly absolved.
    Palin's PAC was absolved when Loughnor's background was exposed. Loughner was a schizophrenic nihilist obsessed with conspiracy theories. According to friends and family, he paid no attention to news. He did, however, develop an interest in Giffords starting in 2007 after he asked her a question and her answer, which did not suit his conspiracy minded sensibilities, left him unsatisfied. So Loughner's interest in Giffords predated Palin's PAC mailing by four years. Palin herself was the relatively unknown governor of Alaska in 2007.
    As noted, The New York Times acknowledged the error and amended the editorial to both reflect there is n establish connection between Palin's PAC mailing and Loughner's motivation for shooting Giffords. The newspaper also added the cross-hairs were over the congressional districts and not photos of the members of Congress themselves. The corrections did not prevent Palin from threatening to sue the New York Times or defamation. American society is still both toxic and litigious, it would seem.
      The editorial was sloppily researched because its main goal was too blame the incident in which an extreme leftist Bernie Sanders supporter attempted to massacre Republican Congressmen because they were conservative on a conservative inspired culture of political violence. At least the editorial was not allowed to get away with it. The ultimate responsibility for yesterday’s shooting lies with James Hodgkinson, but it cannot be dismissed he was influenced by hostile leftist rhetoric. To blame conservatives with a debunked theory is despicable.

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