As I debated how to post on the shooting yesterday, I recalled an editorial I had read in the New York Times just after the Arizona shooting (in January 2011) when the editors of the Old Gray Lady contended that the shooter “is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of politicians and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery.”
They added further that it was “legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge.” Recognize that prose? I paraphrased it in my first post on the shooting. Indeed, I borrowed my title from that journal, substituting “District of Columbia” for Arizona.
That post caused one of our most frequent critics to fall right into the trap I set. He contended it was “completely absurd” to engage in “hand-wringing about the ‘gale of anger’ and how gay groups are ‘setting the nation on edge’” Of course it was absurd. And that was my point. It was similarly completely absurd for the Times to engage in the same sort of hand-wringing. Bear in mind, our critic quotes as “absurd” words first used by the Old Gray Lady’s editors to respond to a shooting.
Leading voice in the legacy media, like the New York Times editors, ever swift to hold Republicans responsible for a shooting where there is no evidence whatsoever of political motivation all but avoided the notion that there could be a political motive in this yesterday’s shooting even where is considerable evidence of a political motive.
That said, gay leaders are no more responsible for the shooting than Sarah Palin was for the Arizona shooting. Let us not ascribe to our ideological adversaries responsibility for actions they neither sanctioned nor encouraged.