On Wednesday, a crazed left-wing zealot attempted to assassinate as many Republican congressmen as possible in Alexandria, Virginia, while they practiced baseball. It was clear after a search of the suspect’s online presence that he was angry with the GOP. He was a part of groups like “Terminate the Republican Party” and “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans” on Facebook. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was steeped in progressive politics and had seethed on partisan rhetoric from the media long enough to erupt in an act of terror.
So, naturally, The New York Times focused its attention on Jared Loughner, the paranoid schizophrenic erroneously framed as motivated by the Tea Party to shoot and wound former Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in the head and kill six others in Arizona back in 2011. Because only right-wingers are capable of such violence, right NYT?
Op-ed columnist David Leonhardt described how his initial thoughts on the breaking news from Wednesday was to reflect upon when it was a so-called Republican pulling the trigger:
So on the day of a senseless, politically motivated attempt at mass murder, I went back in time to read a column about an equally senseless, politically motivated attempt at mass murder — but one that evidently came from the other side of the political spectrum.
Evidently, the Times doesn’t want to waste too much ink on the politics of Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders fan steeped in an atmosphere of progressive punditry from the likes of Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher. But dredging up Loughner gave the legacy outlet a chance to stay the course and continue blaming right-wingers in a most egregious way.
The editorial board inexplicably linked Loughner’s motivation directly to Sarah Palin:
Was this 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.
So, to recap: According to the NYT, liberals may need to pull back a little on the anti-Trump rhetoric but by golly, there has never been a clearer or more direct “link to political incitement” than when Palin put crosshairs on a social media post.
But let’s cut to the chase. The NYT, and other mainstream outlets, refuse to take responsibility for the atmosphere it has created by encouraging violent “resistance” against the Right, but they’ll lie and say Palin is to blame for what happened to Giffords even though not a single link was ever established between what Palin posted and Loughner’s actions. His anger toward Giffords developed long before her post and his crazed ideas are well documented in his own journals, along with his pre-planned assassination. The NYT editorial board outright lied.
And they were caught red-handed. On Thursday, a correction was issued:
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.
Wow. Is journalism that hard? Or is agenda just easier?