The New York Times today editorialized about the assassination attempt on the lives of Republican congressmen by a Bernie Sanders supporter and “Resist” activist.
And they returned to a familiar fable: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was partially to blame for the shooting of Rep. Gabby Gifford of Arizona in 2011.
“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,” the newspaper says.
Jared Loughner shot Giffords while she was at a community gathering in Tuscon. Loughner is a schizophrenic, and former friends described him as liberal. But mainly he is just mentally ill. There’s no evidence that he was inspired by SarahPac to shoot Gifford or the several others he shot, or that he had ever seen the SarahPac map of targets.
The newspaper later walked back the premise of its editorial: “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.”
That much is clear. The claim was ludicrous. And liberals are certainly not holding themselves to standards of decency.
Palin took to Facebook this morning with a shot over the bow to the New York Times:
“With this sickening NYT’s editorial, the media is doing exactly what I said yesterday should not be done. Despite commenting as graciously as I could on media coverage of yesterday’s shooting, alas, today a perversely biased media’s knee-jerk blame game is attempting to destroy innocent people with lies and more fake news. As I said yesterday, I’d hoped the media had collectively matured since the last attack on a Representative when media coverage spewed blatant lies about who was to blame. There’s been no improvement. The NYT has gotten worse. – SP”
In 2011, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blamed conservatives — Palin included — for the rise in violence with this “Climate of Hate” opinion:
Today’s Congressional Baseball Game will go forward, organizers say. It will be the 109th year for the event, which is one of the few bipartisan events associated with Congress. Members usually sport the uniforms of their home states or districts. The event is a fundraiser which has donated to organizations, such as those supporting literacy, children, and health care.