What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 18, 2011

Ruth Ann Dailey Spins - Badly

In an attempt to find some sort of right-left equivalence regarding the tone of our current political climate, the P-G's Ruth Ann Dailey proves, yet again, that while she certainly knows how to write, her ability see to the truth from the fog of her politics is always in question.

Her opening:
Given their scurrilous, insupportable yet sustained accusations against Sarah Palin, tea party activists and other non-Democrats after the Arizona mass shooting, it would seem that Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, Clarence Dupnik and other left-wingers have created a "climate of hate" and are thus responsible for Eric Fuller's violent threats and arrest on Saturday.
She then points out:
After all, within hours of the Jan. 8 shooting, Messrs. Krugman, Olbermann and Dupnik et al. had publicly pinned the mass murders on the right wing, the tea party and conservative media figures. And throughout the week, despite growing evidence to the contrary, these irresponsible provocateurs and their supporters refused to retract their slander.

So when Mr. Fuller, a member of their ideological throng, threatened one of those supposed culprits with death, it was cause and effect, right?
Let's take a look at what Krugman, Olbermann and Dupnik had to say. From Krugman's "Climate of Hate" column:
It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.
And then he illustrates something Dailey probably wants us to miss:
It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of “civility,” the favorite term of pundits who want to wish away fundamental policy disagreements. Politeness may be a virtue, but there’s a big difference between bad manners and calls, explicit or implicit, for violence; insults aren’t the same as incitement.
And then:
Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.
No equivalence. But perhaps that's part of Dailey's issue - that the left is hypocritically accusing the right of violent political rhetoric. And that's the root of the left's immorality here.

But then there's Olbermann's comment, where he ends the piece with this:
Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our Democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence. Because for whatever else each of us may be, we all are Americans.
Something Dailey left out.

To be true, Olbermann does point out some of the violence/threats of violence coming from the right. For example:
If Sharron Angle, who spoke of "Second Amendment solutions," does not repudiate that remark and urge her supporters to think anew of the terrible reality of what her words implied, she must be repudiated by her supporters in Nevada.

If the Tea Party leaders who took out of context a Jefferson quote about blood and tyranny and the tree of liberty do not understand - do not understand tonight, now what that really means, and these leaders do not tell their followers to abhor violence and all threat of violence, then those Tea Party leaders must be repudiated by the Republican Party.
Or the Tigris and Euphrates of the Fox "News" political rhetoric:
If Glenn Beck, who obsesses nearly as strangely as Mr. Loughner did about gold and debt and who wistfully joked about killing Michael Moore, and Bill O'Reilly, who blithely repeated "Tiller the Killer" until the phrase was burned into the minds of his viewers, do not begin their next broadcasts with solemn apologies for ever turning to the death-fantasies and the dreams of bloodlust, for ever having provided just the oxygen to those deep in madness to whom violence is an acceptable solution, then those commentators and the others must be repudiated by their viewers, and by all politicians, and by sponsors, and by the networks that employ them.
As far as I know, none of those things have happened yet.

The violent rhetoric is there - by far more so on the right. This is the politics of "if ballots don't work, bullets will." And it's a tea party thing. Something else Dailey doesn't want you to think.

Anyway, the big point that she missed, is that Fuller (the nexus of this column) was only threatening violence. He didn't pick up a Glock with 30 bullets in it and spray a tea party crowd with death. It was a threat - a stupid threat, to be sure, but a serious threat nonetheless.

And he was arrested for it.

Will we see an arrest for the next tea partier that gushes on about the tree of liberty being sprinkled with the blood if tyrants?


Ol' Froth said...

Not only that, but no one on the left is defending Fuller for his threat. I'll also add that compared to elected officials, political pundits, and the leaders of political movements, Fuller doesn't have much of a voice. The right needed someone to make the case for false equivilence, Fuller fills that role.

Heir to the Throne said...

tree of liberty being sprinkled with the blood of tyrants?
Who is the person being threatened?
Are you saying Democrats are wantabe tyrants?

Thomas Jefferson (Democrat):
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure."
Must anger progressives that the teabaggers have a actual Jefferson quote as opposed to the progressive's BS Jefferson "quote" of 'Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism'.
Anyway, the big point that she missed, is that Fuller (the nexus of this column) was only threatening violence. He didn't pick up a Glock with 30 bullets in it and spray a tea party crowd with death.
Are you implying that the unhinged anti-war incoherent leftist ("peace out"/illlegal wars/Hates Bush/Truther) Jared Lee Loughner was not arrested for his crime?

Ol' Froth said...

HTTT, you can easily make the case that Loughner was an incoherent rightest (of the libertarian/gold standard crowd). The point is that when you have a constant drumbeat of voices advocating violence as an acceptable solution for political disagreement, then you will have unhinged people who will view that as permission to act with violence. For example:

I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."
- Rush Limbaugh -

"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him."
- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT)-

"We're going to keep building the party until we're hunting Democrats with dogs."
- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX)-

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."
- Ann Coulter -

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too.
- Ann Coulter -

Heir to the Throne said...

Found some dates at huffpo
Hansen 11-01-98
So you have evidence that these 8+ year old quotes caused Jared Lee Loughner to shoot people?

Ol' Froth said...

Those are just some examples HTTT, I could have easily gone with 2nd Amendment solutions, don't retreat reload, people showing up armed at town hall meetings, attacks on a church in Knoxville etc.

Will you find a direct cause and effect? Of course not, and your implication that there must be one is disingenous.

The point is that eliminationist rhetoric creates an atmosphere where a mentally unstable person feels that they have permission to act, after all, he's been told that liberals are a threat to nation, that the government is going to take away his rights, that the 2nd Amendment exists in order to make the government fear the people, and so on and so on.

rich10e said...

Jared Loughner was a salvia freak. Case Closed!!!