MSNBC Marches Ahead With Its Own Set of Facts

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Here’s a graphic MSNBC was using yesterday in its coverage of the Tucson shootings:

It’s a powerful image. I saw it at the gym on a number of muted televisions, and it stuck with me.

It’s also complete bullshit. There is zero evidence that political rhetoric had any influence on Jared Loughner. In fact, there’s increasing evidence that he had no interest in politics at all.  So does the truth simply not matter at MSNBC?

This is just an egregious assault on reality. Scarier: It seems to be working. Contrast the poll in that link to this one.

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85 Responses to “MSNBC Marches Ahead With Its Own Set of Facts”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    Jesus. Just shoot me. 60%? Oh wait… they just made that number up, didn’t they?

    This is one of those “75% of statistics are made up 50% of the time” moments, isn’t it?

    It’s like… It’s all bullshit. ….duuude…. (Queue flashback from “The big Lebowski”)

    I think MSNBC really crapped on the rug this time.

  2. #2 |  JT | 

    How can you say he had no interest in politics? He shot a politician!

  3. #3 |  Marlin | 

    You just don’t want to believe it. Being from Tucson and hearing all the hate and threats going on here and Az in general I have no doubt nuts like this are influenced by the violent rhetoric. We already know of three violent perps who openly say they were influenced by Glenn Beck.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    So does the truth simply not matter at MSNBC?

    No. But, it’s not a high priority on any of the other networks, either.

  5. #5 |  Michael | 

    Immelt is just trying to give Obama his Oklahoma City.

  6. #6 |  Michael | 

    @2. Maybe he shot her as a woman.

  7. #7 |  the innominate one | 

    Radley, are you inferring their meaning from the graphic alone? Because reportedly, Loughner has some obsession with the meaning and power of language, which leaves open other, tenable interpretations of the graphic which have little to nothing to do with the idea that political rhetoric incited him to action.

  8. #8 |  Nate | 

    “How can you say he had no interest in politics? He shot a politician!”

    John Hinckley, Jr.
    Wasn’t politically motivated. Just batshit crazy, and politicians happen to make big news when they are attacked.

  9. #9 |  Radley Balko | 

    Radley, are you inferring their meaning from the graphic alone?

    The two segments I’ve seen the graphic used (I don’t watch cable news, both times were at the gym with the sound muted) were segments dealing with Tea Party rhetoric.

    Let me just add that the Arizona Tea Party does use some heated rhetoric. And I’ve noted here before that I don’t agree with much of anything that particular Tea Party group stands for. (Joe Arpaio has twice been their keynote speaker.)

    But it’s factually wrong to link Tea Party rhetoric to Loughner. The pundits and politicians still making the connection seem to be be justifying themselves by arguing even if they weren’t related, they could have been. Which you could say about just about anything.

  10. #10 |  CyniCAl | 

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

  11. #11 |  Gordon | 

    MSNBC are simply the most shameless of the shills. Their poll is invalid because the viewers self-selected for the poll — it’s not a random sample.

    So, really, all it is doing is confirming that kool-aid drinkers drink kool-aid.

    But it does speak volumes about MSNBC (and whoever else starts touting this poll). [by which I do *not* mean Radley]

  12. #12 |  the innominate one | 

    Thanks. Loughner does seem from reports (which admittedly are still largely preliminary) to be a paranoid schizophrenic or the victim of delusions for whatever reason. Even if the tea party rhetoric did set him off, something would eventually have set him off even in the absence of the tea party rhetoric.

    Nonetheless, I think we’d all be better off with a little less hyperbole about the socialist fascist anticolonialist Kenyan nazi and his ilk.

  13. #13 |  Radley Balko | 

    MSNBC are simply the most shameless of the shills.

    I don’t think they’re necessarily worse than Fox.

    In fact, they’re probably neck and neck when it comes to misinforming viewers. They just do it in different ways.

  14. #14 |  Gordon | 

    I’ve not watched FOX in ages, you may very well be correct. I do remember “Hannity and Colmes” being particularly noxious.

    If there’s any issue with the state of public discourse today, I think it has more to do with the different “realities” that the Left and Right occupy. It’s hard to communicate with someone when you no longer share much, if any, frame of reference. Add to that the current fashion of de-legitimizing anyone with a different viewpoint and, well…

  15. #15 |  Paula | 

    I agree that the graphic was not a good, maybe they should have put a question mark on it.

    But I will say this, I don’t think that extended mag should be sold.

  16. #16 |  Bruce | 

    What is the media if words have no meaning?

  17. #17 |  Joey Maloney | 

    C’mon, Radly. ZERO evidence? Crazy person – suffering from a disease that makes him susceptible to conspiratorial violent rhetoric – acts out in a violent way. Just like the guy who went gunning for the Tides Foundation, just like the guy who shot up the Unitarian church in Knoxville, just like the guy in upstate NY who shot a couple of policemen.

    Words do matter, especially words that so thoroughly fill the media-rich environment we live in. There may not be a straight-line causation from Glenn Beck’s deranged mouth to this guy’s deranged actions, and in the end it may be that this guy had never heard of Beck or Palin or Sharron Angle, but at this point you can’t honestly say there’s zero evidence. In fact there’s quite a lot of circumstantial evidence.

    Rights come with responsibilities and sometimes being responsible is hard or uncomfortable. Sometimes being responsible prevents you from saying or doing something you really really want to say or do. I think some people want it to be true that there’s no connection between the eliminationist rhetoric that pervades right-wing discourse and the events of Tucson, because it would mean that twenty gunshot victims are in no way connected to their irresponsibility. And that may well turn out to be true. But it doesn’t make their words any less irresponsible.

  18. #18 |  Nate | 

    @Joey Maloney
    But this guy apparently didn’t even listen to any Glenn Becks or other heated political rhetoric to begin with. The connection doesn’t even theoretically exist in this case.

    I suppose the caption “the Power of Words” could be appropriate if you consider the particular kind of crazy that he traded in. The one where “Jared Loughner” didn’t shoot up that event, it was “:J@red ||Loug*hner!”

  19. #19 |  Greg | 

    Perhaps we should worry about actually treating the fraction of a percent that is paranoid schizo rather than bemoaning the consequences of ignoring them.

    Just a thought.

  20. #20 |  Anon | 

    He’d been obsessed with the congresswoman since long before anyone knew of Palin or the tea party.

    I think a lot of ppl will find the reaction from the party that just took a beating in the election blaming the party that won as pretty transparent. Just my .02.

  21. #21 |  Gordon | 

    We’ve already heard all those talking points, Joey. Got anything new?

    FWIW, “I can imagine it” is not the same as “quite a lot of circumstantial evidence.” There is, in fact, no such evidence. What evidence there is appears to contradict the theory you’re here parroting.

    He didn’t follow politics. He didn’t follow the news. He didn’t listen to talk radio.

    Further, I, for one, completely reject your characterization of so-called “right-wing” speech. I’ve heard spirited talk, but not this “eliminationist rhetoric” (what does that even mean?). It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the seething, vicious hatred that I too-frequently hear from the left-wing pundits (paging Mr. Olberman) and politicians (“punish your enemies”, Mr. Obama? Really?).

    As the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) wisely said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

  22. #22 |  william Lenneman | 

    The guy is 22 and he voted. That’s rather unusual in this country. He attended a Gifford Q and A, and asked a question. Seems rather political no?
    Christ man he shot a politician at a political event.
    Your statement that he had no interest in politics is as fact free as you claim MSNBC’ assertions are?

  23. #23 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    @#11: “So, really, all it is doing is confirming that kool-aid drinkers drink kool-aid.”

    That is by far the best summation I’ve seen of this idiocy. Thank you, Gordon.

  24. #24 |  Leonson | 

    I don’t think I’ve ever been saddened just to read comments on the Agitator.

    Seriously? Did I really count at least 3 commentators here drinking the kool-aid?

  25. #25 |  Skip Intro | 

    Are you saying that words have no power?

  26. #26 |  John MacNeill | 

    People thinking that this nutbag found encouragement in the bile spewed by the far-right is not “drinking the kool-aid.”

  27. #27 |  Bill | 

    What frustrates me to no end is this pretense that politics is somehow above all this “heated rhetoric”, and certainly has nothing to do with actual violence. What nonsense! If Sarah Palin, a politician who is not serving in public office, can be held responsible for these shootings in Tucson because of a few words and crosshairs on a map, then how much more is every congressperson who voted to “authorize the use of force” in Iraq and Afghanistan responsible for the tens of thousands of innocent people killed and wounded there?

    As any thoughtful libertarian will tell you, all laws are really just authorizations to use force to require, or prohibit, some behavior. Or, as George Washington said, ““Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. Government is force; like fire it is a dangerous servant — and a fearful master.”

  28. #28 |  Michael | 

    @12 I’d be surprised if he really is a paranoid schizophrenic. His heavy pot and salvia (a hallucinogenmore) use more likely lead to a psychosis.

  29. #29 |  tb | 

    Michael,

    What’s your title at ONDCP?

  30. #30 |  cliff | 

    >>>>>People thinking that this nutbag found encouragement in the bile spewed by the far-right is not “drinking the kool-aid.”<<<<<

    I assert that he found encouragement in the bile spewed by the far-left. I call that 'drinking the Dr. Pepper'

  31. #31 |  Giovanni A Peters | 

    C’mon, if this dude had gotten laid a couple of times in his life, this probably wouldn’t have happened. Look at how many mass murderers have had documented sexual problems (i.e. “Can’t get any”) – but it’s easier to be lazy and blame politicians, isn’t it?

  32. #32 |  Brooks | 

    60% of the time, it works all the time…

  33. #33 |  Michelle Malkin » MSNBC Graphic of the Week | 

    [...] Update: MSNBC’s graphics department leans forward to strike again. [...]

  34. #34 |  skeptic23 | 

    How can Jared Loughner be called psychotic if MSNBC adopted his theory as their graphic?

  35. #35 |  jppatter | 

    If I adopt the “logic” used by MSNBC, DailyKos and the like then I could declare that the public school system is at fault. Do I have any proof? No, but who cares. The school system exists, the shooter probably attended public schools (again, I don’t know for a fact but why bother checking) so therefore he was indoctrinated by the public schools to shoot people. Don’t like me blaming pubic schools? Then, um, milk. He drank milk (probably) so that made him shoot people. Or, um, he read too much Stephen King. I could keep this up for hours. It is so easy to assign blame to something when you don’t concern yourself with actually learning the facts. Wow, I should go on TV and be a pundit.

  36. #36 |  Good Lt | 

    If this killer, who is solely to blame here, was set off by any “rhetoric” (which he wasn’t because them’s the facts, no matter what MSNBC viewers want to be true or how many times they assert it), then he’s far more likely to have heard our wonderful President saying things like “get in their faces” and “punch back twice as hard” and “they bring a knife, we bring a gun.”

    And since he shot a conservative, pro-border-enforcement and anti-Pelosi Democrat who used to be a Republican, along with a Republican judge, and four others, was a pot-smoking 9-11 Truther and who thought the Iraq war was a substantive violation of the Geneva Conventions, it’s important to note for the dangerously misinformed MSNBC viewers here (who, again, are trying to live in their own fantasy world where the established facts in this incident don’t actually exist) that IF ANYTHING, he was a deranged left-leaning killer. Not that it matters – he’s a psychotic killer who was not motivated by politics, but rather by mental illness – but those relevant facts are also now established.

    But that’s too far from the pre-established storyline of “he was a talk-radio-loving tea partier Republican inspired to kill by a graphic on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page that he never saw but could have seen or something.” So it is ignored.

    I’m sorry, MSNBC viewers, but you aren’t entitled to your own facts.

    No matter what Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann screams at you.

  37. #37 |  Deafdog | 

    I completely reject the notion that ‘words’ had any impact on Loughner.

    But for the idiots who want to make the connection and limit my free speech, we need to make sure we do the job right:

    Charles Manson was obsessed by the Beatles —> Let’s Ban Music!
    John Hinkley was obsessed with Jodie Foster —-> Let’s Ban Pretty Actresses!
    Mark Chapman was obsessed with “Catcher in Rye” —> Let’s Ban Leteracture!
    The Va Tech. killer was into video games —-> Ban those too!

    etc., etc., etc.

  38. #38 |  Dale | 

    # #2 | JT | January 14th, 2011 at 12:28 am

    How can you say he had no interest in politics? He shot a politician!
    ________________________

    Thats a false premise.
    The point trying to be made was that it was talk radio, television, blogs etc. that had “inflammatory rhetoric being broadcast that PUSHED him over the edge. Not that he shot a politician. He also shot 13 people who were NOT politicians.
    Maybe he shot the politician because 911 was an inside job and GM foods are controlling peoples minds etc.

  39. #39 |  Al | 

    Considering MSNBC only has a handful of viewers anyway, and it’s no wonder why. It’s good to see the people on the right fighting back and the liberal left does not like it at all. Mark Levin has challenged the premium MSNBC gas bag, Chris Matthews to put up or shut up. $100,000.00 to give just one example where anyone in talk radio said anything that encourages violence against anyone. Just like Andrew Breitbart’S $10,000.00 challenge to produce any evidence of racism at the Tea Party events, this will only get the crickets chirping sound from the left. The Left are a pathetic disgrace.

  40. #40 |  LogicalUS | 

    What I want to know is how CONSERVATIVE leaders “words” caused a pot-smoking, anti-religious nut who loved the Communist Manifesto and left-wing conpiracy documentaries to go on a shooting spree at against a Democrat?

    Darn, those conservatives are some brilliant, powerful people????

    Truth is that the pyschotic, obsessive hatred of all these leftist nuts for Sarah Palin is only a couple of degrees away from this lunatic’s deranged obsession with Ms Gifford.

    It is the same type of diseased mind which lead Paul Krugman to sit down within an hour of the shootings to lash out at a woman 6,000 miles way with smears, slurs and lies. The blood wasn’t even dry on the pavement??

  41. #41 |  DBChace | 

    The AZ killer had exchanged words with Gifford in ’07 and as a result he penned a note way back then promising to kill her. So how can you assign blame to much later rhetoric?

  42. #42 |  jcobble | 

    I live four miles from the Safeway, in the little girls elementary district, the school is a half mile away. I did not leave my house door two days. I was afraid of two things. One I am right wing and was afraid of being attacked by one of my liberal friends after being inflamed by the left wing hate coming from the media (Tucson is liberal and a blue county). Secondly, our inflaming Sharif seemed sure some fifty year old Tea Partier was behind the nut ball (was a cab driver). I fit the profile and was fearful of being swept up in this partisans drag net. So who is fear mongering here? Talk about a climate of fear, must be climate change.

  43. #43 |  katablog.com | 

    We already know of three violent perps who openly say they were influenced by Glenn Beck.

    Really? Would you please name even ONE of them and then cite what GB said that influenced them?

  44. #44 |  buster | 

    Some of these commenters really need to acquaint themselves with the concept of arguing from ignorance:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

  45. #45 |  Rob in CT | 

    “If there’s any issue with the state of public discourse today, I think it has more to do with the different “realities” that the Left and Right occupy. It’s hard to communicate with someone when you no longer share much, if any, frame of reference. Add to that the current fashion of de-legitimizing anyone with a different viewpoint and, well…”

    Bingo.

    I don’t think this problem (dueling realities and the nasty political discourse that results) led to the Tuscon incident. Loughner appears to be nuts, and may not have been stirred up by anything other than the voices in his head.

  46. #46 |  buku_banzai | 

    “The guy is 22 and he voted. That’s rather unusual in this country. He attended a Gifford Q and A, and asked a question. Seems rather political no?
    Christ man he shot a politician at a political event.
    Your statement that he had no interest in politics is as fact free as you claim MSNBC’ assertions are?

    Actually he is registered as an independent and he didn’t even bother to vote in the last election, so no he’s not into conventional politics.

    He is however into left wing conspiratorial politcs, he was apparently a big fan of the conspiracy film “Zeitgeist”.

    I think it’s your assertions that might be fact free.

  47. #47 |  witless chum | 

    Seems like an awful narrow definition of “politics” Radley is using.

    Fred Clark at Slacktivist makes the sensible point that if you really believed a lot of bullshit spewed by rightwingers (death panels, abortion=murder, Obama is a Muslim plant) than violent rebellion would be justified. I’m sure you can come up with leftwingers accusing the Bush Administration of things that, if really believed, would justify Tim McVey-type solutions.

    There is no evidence that I’m aware of that there was a one-to-one Loughner was listening to Palin’s speeches (poor taste joke about Loughner and Palin’s relative proficiency with firearsms goes here) and then decided to shoot the nearest Democrat. In fact, he’d been fixated on Giffords long before the McCain campaign, in their infinite wisdom, made Sarah Palin a national political figure.

    But is it crazy to think, as the Arizona psychologist does in Radley’s link, that the fact that Giffords was being threatened and her offices vandalized “regularly” didn’t influence Loughner? In his target or his severity? I’d say it isn’t. That’s what people mean with the climate of hate cliche. Spree killings are an American thing nowadays and I think the people who pull them off, whatever their mental health or lack of it, do get influenced in their target by the world they live in. And Loughner lived in a place with a lot more political vitriol specifically against Democrats flying around than there seems to be where I live in Michigan.

    And, yes, rightwingers have been committing a lot more political violence than leftwingers of late.

  48. #48 |  jcobble | 

    Democrocy is messy, that is good. War is just partisan politics to the extreme, or politics when compromise is impossible, due to clashing principles and ideology. This is pre-orchestrated outrage loaded like a jack-in-the-box by the left partisans, fully expecting some right winger to do something before the election (would have changed the outcome if happened before). Alas a nut ball acted after, if he were politicaly intune he would have acted before the election. What gave it away is that the hacks were so excited to spring the trap that they did not wait for the facts of the shooters background before acting. Now that the facts are out, with the exclamation point of nut balls mug shot, the left must carry on with their plans, irregardless of the facts, or lose credibility. Only the true believers cling to the awake dream, sipping their bile cool aide.

  49. #49 |  Nick T. | 

    Just want to chime in to say that I find this “speculation” really bothersome as well. I think the most likely – or at least just as likley – cause is that Loughner was not manipulated or influenced by the words of rhetoricians who talk a big game bu of course know that violence is not a good idea, but rather that he was someone who came to believe that violence was a good idea based on his own views (which appeared to be conspiratorially anti-gov) and his own anger and mental problems.

    When you see people – not pols or media types – shouting hateful violent things or carrying guns to rallies are they influenced by rhetoric or are they just very angry or deranged and think violence will solve problems AND THEN pols and media types seize on that? I’m sure mostly its the latter. Otherwise you’re left saying that no average joes ever thought of violence until Palin or Limbaugh came along. And that’s just silly.

  50. #50 |  Lee | 

    Actually, after reading Paul Kanjorski (Dem-Pa) quoted in the Scranton Times-Tribune that Rick Scott, then candidate for Florida Governor should be shot, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/paul-kanjorski-rick-scott-shot_n_807608.html) and a poster to Daily Kos stating that Giffords was “dead to me” when she participated in the reading of the Constitution, maybe MSNBC should blame the left-leaning political rhetoric for setting him off.

  51. #51 |  Mike T | 

    @Joey Maloney

    Words do matter, so why don’t you focus on his primary media interests: Marx and Nietzsche? His friends called him a nihilist in every sense of the word. Did you ever think it was maybe Nietzsche, not Beck, that got to him?

  52. #52 |  ‘Somebody Has to Stand Up’ : The Other McCain | 

    [...] now made a graphic out of its counterfactual guilt-by-association, prompting Radley Balko to say:It’s a powerful image. . . . It’s also complete bullsh*t.And when are people going to start talking about the influence of Zeitgeist on Tucson shooter Jared [...]

  53. #53 |  nwerner | 

    From what I’ve read, the guy was influenced by the Alex Jones crowd and the film Zeitgeist. Still words, but not ones that fit into an easy left-right political framework.

    Just curious, if it turns out that he was influenced by them and it’s not really a left/right issue, where does this debate go then? It’s been propelled thus far by a left-right dynamic but it seems possible that could dissolve and offer a common enemy upon which both sides could focus.

  54. #54 |  Lance | 

    Does anybody but political hacks watch MSNBC anyway?

  55. #55 |  Baba o'reilly | 

    The unhinged and paranoid Bush hate of the last decade and Palin hate from the last two years makes any rhetoric coming from the Right look like mild constructive criticism.
    There is no hate to compare with the hate of the Left. It’s the hate that never sleeps.

  56. #56 |  M Shortreed | 

    The President said “If the Republicans bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun”.
    The was a Republican Ninth Circuit judge assassinated at the same time. Why hasn’t the media opined that Obama’s rhetoric caused this murder?
    Oh right, he’s a Democrat.

  57. #57 |  M Shortreed | 

    Witless Chum #33 said:
    “And, yes, rightwingers have been committing a lot more political violence than leftwingers of late.”

    Please link to one shred of evidence for this outrageous statement.

  58. #58 |  LogicalUS | 

    “…rightwingers have been committing a lot more political violence than leftwingers of late.”

    That of course is a lie not backup by any data or any studies.

    Added to that is that every major assassination attempt in the last 50 years has been committed by a Leftist of some sort followed by your usual buddies of the Left attempting to blame conservatives or guns for the fact that one of their fellow nuts went postal. Robert Kennedy just yesterday tried to imply that it was right wing hatred which lead to to the death of his uncle, JFK, and this is nearly 50 years after we KNOW that it was a commie-loving, “marxist freedom fighter” who hated Kennedy for his treatment of Castro. This father, Robert, was killed by a Palistinian who lashed out at Robert for his treatment of Palis.

    In the last two elections nearly two dozen different Leftist perps have been convicted of violence against Republican campaign offices.

    The problem for Leftist is they simply can not accept that Americans once again have rejected their failed and unhealthy ideas, so they try to marginalize the Tea Parties EVEN THOUGH the Tea Party just sent 85 Democrats packing home for good. It will not work because you are the shrinking minority and you can not vilianize the majority of Americans, who oppose your leaders and ideas. This isn’t the USSR and the gulags are not functioning, yet.

  59. #59 |  Radley Balko | 

    Mark Levin has challenged the premium MSNBC gas bag, Chris Matthews to put up or shut up.

    I have no love for Matthews, but Mark Levin is one of the most ridiculous people in politics right now.

  60. #60 |  SDN | 

    Witless Chum: That is a lie, and you are a liar.

  61. #61 |  LogicalUS | 

    And to follow up on the idiot statement about right-wing violence.

    Good Lord, a entire group from DU from across the nation were found to have come to Republican convention in Minneapolis to wreah havoc on the representatives. They THREW CEMENT BLOCKS off the overpasses at buses going to and from the convention. They also roamed the downtown area harassing and intimidating people who they thought might just be Republicans.

    The Leftist at CS-Davis just last year rioted and closed down the student hall because of a planned speech by conservatives on campus.

    So spare us your lies and smears about “right wingers”.

  62. #62 |  LogicalUS | 

    “I have no love for Matthews, but Mark Levin is one of the most ridiculous people in politics right now.”

    Right, when you have people like Olbermann, Maddow, Shultz, ODonnell, and Krugman, Levin is one of the most ridiculous?

    Good lord, Levin would be way, way down the list behind such ill-informed nuts.

  63. #63 |  jcobble | 

    Radley, telling what you find offensive, by your editing. Quite a few comments on here I find offensive, but apparently, my rather mild comments do not pass muster. I will now depart not to return.

  64. #64 |  “MSNBC Marches Ahead With Its Own Set of Facts” | 

    [...] cause of the Tucson murder spree — and will be the cause of future violence, as well. Radley Balko: It’s a powerful image. I saw it at the gym on a number of muted televisions, and it stuck with [...]

  65. #65 |  Dakota | 

    @27 Bill–Since the Karma buttons are gone let me give you a full here here.

    It really doesn’t surprise me in the least that media/politicians think that “they” had something to do with this. Of course they had something to do with this shooting. They have something to do with everything. And if you heed their advice you can help them solve every problem! I mean surely if they usher in a new era of calm discussion no one will ever go on a shooting spree at a political even again.

    It’s the height of conceit, and why I don’t vote and try to limit my media intake.

  66. #66 |  Stogie | 

    Radley Balko is a Democrat troll, trying hard (and failing) to cover the asses of the Democrat Smear Machine that shot itself in the foot this week.

    Tell me, Balko, if the principles and policies of the Democratic Party are so wonderful, why does it have to resort to a program of hateful smears, lies and character assassination?

  67. #67 |  Billy Beck | 

    Paula @ #15, this one’s for you:

    “So by saying you’re in favor of magazines that hold no more than X rounds, you’re publicly stating that it’s only X+1 bodies that bother you. If that’s not what you mean to say, then come out and state your real intentions.

    Or are you chicken?”

    http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2011/01/some-deaths-are-tragicer-than-others.html

    Stop being dumb.

  68. #68 |  Abiss | 

    #59 Hahahaha Radley

    …aridiculousblogspewingdouchebagservingatleastdozenssayswhat?!?!?!

  69. #69 |  albatross | 

    I think the Slactivist post was mostly derived from Connor Friesdorf’s (IMO much better post).

  70. #70 |  Mattocracy | 

    @#66 | Stogie |

    What the fuck are you talking about?

  71. #71 |  Jay | 

    This event Nothing to do with the political “Right”. Period.

    NPR this morning talked about a Secret Service study on assassinations. The findings based on 92 different events, show that the assassins (or attempted) where “Nobodys” looking to become “Somebody”. i.e. no politics involved even though they wanted to shoot a politician.

    Listen here: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=3&islist=true&id=3&d=01-14-2011

  72. #72 |  Must Reads for January 14 | NetRight Daily | 

    [...] MSNBC marches ahead with its own set of facts [...]

  73. #73 |  Paula | 

    Billy Beck, Thanks for calling me a chicken and for calling me dumb! Excellent retort. I admit it. I am a dumb chicken, you win. Feel better?

    I believe that there is a public safety question that presents itself when we talk about guns. When I stop and think about the mass murders in recent years, I cannot help but observe that they were committed using automatic guns with extended magazines. Infact in the Tucson tragedy, the reason more people didn’t die was that he was subdued when he had to reload another 30+ round mag. In Omaha’s 2007 tragedy, the shooter’s gun jammed. In both instances, the killer was only stopped by the gun stopping. I shutter to think about how many more people could have died.

    I honestly don’t believe that we, as a society, can keep guns from people that intend to kill people. But we should reflect on ways that we can minimize the deaths of innocent people.

    So I am not a chicken or dumb, I think that ones right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should not be taken so carelessly.

  74. #74 |  M. Steve | 

    @Paula: If the gunman had used a 10-round clip instead of an extended magazine, and only killed 3 people, and wounded another 4, would you have called for banning 10-round clips? Where do you draw the line on the number of lethal projectiles and potential victims allowed in a single magazine?

    @The Field: Does anyone have access to statistics on how often these types of “single gunman, multiple targets/shooting into a crowd” crimes occur? I pay somewhat close attention to the news, and I honestly can’t remember them happening more than a couple times a year. Of course, any time anything like this happens, it’s a tragedy, but these are exceedingly rare events, like terrorist attacks on US soil. The calls for new and sweeping legislation because of very rare and unpredictable events are misguided at best, cynical at middling, and tyrannical at worst.

    We have statistical models for a reason, people. If you’re an average American, you probably aren’t going to die from a crazed gunman’s bullet. You’re probably going to die of heart disease or cancer.

  75. #75 |  MSNBC tragically making stuff up for sensationalism and ratings! – Hammer of Truth | 

    [...] take long for the cable news station that asks its viewers to LEAN FORWARD (into the idiot box) got caught outright fabricating news in its sensationalist graphics to try to make themselves oh so cutting edge in the Tucson affair: [...]

  76. #76 |  Chris Matthews: What’s with these crackers wanting to see Obama’s birth certificate? « Hot Air | 

    [...] and whose network is running graphics of Loughner’s insane mugshot alongside the tagline “Power of Words.” For cripes sake, they won’t even show Republican presidents in the promos they’ve cut [...]

  77. #77 |  c andrew | 

    @Paula,
    Because disarming the populace and leaving all the weaponry in the hands of the politically connected has worked so well in protecting the innocent citizen in the past.

    I would imagine that the Jim Crow South probably had a lower death rate than, say, modern California. But then, I can “Imagine” anything.

    And speaking of “Imagine” I suppose the fact that the Khmer Rouge had a monopoly on guns had nothing to do with the clean ethnic sweep that they made?

  78. #78 |  NANCY | 

    @#2 Yes, the crazy person did shoot a politician and 18 others who were not politicians!

  79. #79 |  TC | 

    The moon is Full and the bats are flying!

    Full fledged MoonBattery is upon us!

    But alas, Keep yer pecker up Morassy; The sun will shine again!

    The moonbats will return to the belfry.

  80. #80 |  TC | 

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-jared-loughner-video-20110115,0,7041106.story

    Somehow this slipped passed the editors of the LA Times.

  81. #81 |  Brenda | 

    Word don’t matter to a person suffering from untreated schizophrenia. All they hear is “god” talking to me. They are not of this world or reality.

  82. #82 |  william Lenneman | 

    “The guy is 22 and he voted. That’s rather unusual in this country. He attended a Gifford Q and A, and asked a question. Seems rather political no?
    Christ man he shot a politician at a political event.
    Your statement that he had no interest in politics is as fact free as you claim MSNBC’ assertions are?

    Actually he is registered as an independent and he didn’t even bother to vote in the last election, so no he’s not into conventional politics.

    He is however into left wing conspiratorial politcs, he was apparently a big fan of the conspiracy film “Zeitgeist”.

    I think it’s your assertions that might be fact free.

    So let’s see… Words or political ideas had no causal effect in the shooting, but left wing conspiratorial politics and a conspiracy film had a causal effect in the shooting. Do I have that right?
    I don’t believe that Palin Beck et al can be implicated in the shooting, but insisting that the political environment and the whack jobs in the conservative political entertainment business have no effect on any of us is just idiotic. Your assertion seems to turn on the supposition the right wing rhetoric has no effect whereas left wing conspiratorial rhetoric does. This is not clear thinking. I think it’s a pretty good example of “Magical Thinking”; something that seems to have a pretty strong grip on a lot of conservatives and libertarians these days.

  83. #83 |  Mad Monica | 

    What Ifind particularly funny about all this is, for eight years those of us who supported Bush listened to some of the nastiest, most vile, rude, repulsive and just plain vicious rhetoric from folks on the left. They let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak. When the right began to fight back a bit, and I do mean “a bit.” Because we have yet to see folks fantasizing on the airwaves about the deaths of leftie leaders and folks in office as we did during the Bush years and as we do now with Sarah Palin. NOW the left is concerned over “dangerous” rhetoric and overheated discourse.

    Sure didn’t bother them when it was directed toward Bush. And it sure doesn’t bother them now when it’s directed at Sarah Palin. And her CHILDREN.

    This whole situation just goes in the column of hypocritical lefty double standards. You’d think they’d grow up a little and realize that eventually it is going to harm their cause.

    As for “magical thinking” and and unclear thinking, I would suggest you take yet another look at just how long it took those on the left who are supposed to be reporting FACTS rather than their own opinion or assertions to start putting the “the shooter was a righty and mighta gotten his ideas from that evil Palin/Rush/Hannity gang.” Because if you’re honest with yourself and do a little lookin’ you’ll see that the reports from news media tying this thing to the rhetoric that scares you oh so much began before law enforcement even had a chance to clear the scene and get all the wounded to the hospital. Now, if a political pundit or blogger is spewing lies, that, technically falls under the free speech rules that should apply to all (even though many on the left do not agree), therefore, their assertions that the shooter must be tied to Palin/Hannity/Limbaugh and/or Beck can slide under the bar. But the folks who claim to be news reporters and journalists… those folks ought to be out on their biased behinds lookin’ for work. Because during MY time as a reporter, the things said, insinuated and asserted before anyone even knew if Rep. Giffords was alive or dead would have gotten me and my co-writers fired on the SPOT had we put them out as news. But then I guess things are a little different on the local level than they are nationwide, aren’t they?

    I guarantee you there was not a lick of “clear thinking” going on at the time. Unless it was of the sort that goes with the ol’ never let a crisis go to waste mantra.

  84. #84 |  Mad Monica | 

    Oh..and before youmake some snide comment aboutmy writing not being up to par and any spelling problems, etc., let me save you some embarrassment. I have Parkinson’s Disease and other medical issues which make it VERY difficult for me to type and put words together properly which is why I no longer work as a reporter. So pick apart my opinion, but keep yer snotty comments regarding the mechanics of said opinion to yourselves.

  85. #85 |  Julian | 

    Every single rant he’s ever wrote is about how the government is controlling, mistreating, and “brainwashing” people. There’s no evidence that any specific rhetoric pushed him to this, though much of what he writes has a distinctly paleocon air to it, but non-political he ain’t.

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