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Posted at 6:05 AM ET, 01/11/2011

Gunsights or surveyor symbols?

By Glenn Kessler

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights...It's a surveyor's symbol" --Rebecca Mansour, an aide to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin


The assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has spawned a lot of political finger-pointing, with left-wing bloggers especially taking aim at Palin's map of 20 House Democrats--including Giffords--representing districts won by the GOP presidential ticket who voted for the health care bill. It now turns out that the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, appears to have had an animus for Giffords dating back to 2007, long before Palin posted the map on her Facebook page last March. So despite media efforts to draw larger meaning from the tragedy, the charge that Palin's map had anything to do with the shooting is bogus. But what about the defense?

The Facts

Military imagery has long been a staple of political rhetoric--and of political journalese. A "campaign" is "waged" against the opponent, with key "targets" of opportunity. The Democratic Leadership Council, for instance, in 2004 published a map titled "Targeting Strategy" describing states won by then President Bush by single digit margins as "behind enemy lines." The DLC put colored bullseyes on each of the nine red states that it said showed promise for a Democratic turnover.

Palin's map is of a similar vein, though it is more personal. The markers on the map, showing the location of the congressional districts, look like the crosshairs of a rifle sight, and it was accompanied by a list of names. The DLC map had bullseyes on states, not people.

Still, did Palin intend these to be gun sights? The design is pretty simple, just two lines crossed in a circle, allowing some on the right to argue that these are surveyor symbols. Palin aide Mansour readily agreed with this notion when she was interviewed Sunday by conservative radio host Tammy Bruce.

But this seems like an after-the-fact excuse.

Would Sarah Palin, known for her love of guns, really instruct an advertising agency to place "surveyor symbols" on her map of political targets? On her March 23 Facebook posting that accompanied the map, Palin wrote: "We'll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington."

Certainly, Palin raised no public objection when people, including Giffords, at the time said they thought the map showed gun sights.

"We're on Sarah Palin's Targeted list," Giffords told MSNBC in March, after the door of her Tucson office was smashed after her vote in favor of the health care bill. "But the thing is the way she has it depicted, it has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action." Giffords, however, demurred when the interviewer noted that such imagery has long been a staple of politics and asked whether Palin really meant it. "I can't say, I'm not Sarah Palin," Giffords replied.

Similarly, on "The View," co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck--who campaigned with Palin in 2008--on March 25 labeled the map as "purely despicable." She added: "The names that are next to and being highlighted by those crosshairs, I think it's an abuse of the Second Amendment. I also feel as though every single person on here is a mother, a father, a friend, a brother, a sister, and to take it to this level is--it's disappointing to see this come from the Party, and I would hope that leaders like Sarah Palin would end this."

Finally, here's what Palin herself tweeted on Nov. 4 when the election results came in and all but two of those lawmakers on her list had either quit or been defeated: "Remember months ago "bullseye" icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin' incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T'aint bad)"

The Pinocchio Test

It's impossible to know exactly what Palin had in mind unless correspondence with the mapmaker is ever released. But sometimes perception is reality. It's outrageous to suggest Palin had anything to do with the tragic events in Tucson but it's silly for her aides to claim she did not intend these to be gunsights. They can defend it, or apolgize, but they shouldn't pretend otherwise.


One Pinocchio

(About our rating scale).

UPDATE, Jan. 18:

Palin acknowledged to Fox News that the symbols were intended to be "crosshairs."

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By Glenn Kessler  | January 11, 2011; 6:05 AM ET
Categories:  1 Pinocchio, Sarah Palin  
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Comments

Another cynically opportunistic article by the left leaning media, exploiting a genuine tradegy to condemn a political opponent. The Post should be ashamed of this cynical exploitation and blatant opportunism.

Posted by: amazd | January 11, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

In the future we will communicate with grunts if the media has its way. There are sick people out there and to say that a word, picture or symbol set them off is a bit much. Hmm. Back to the caveman grunts?

Posted by: pechins | January 11, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps we should shut down all Target stores? They use a bullseye in all their advertising.

Posted by: cautious | January 11, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Another fact check that does not check facts. It seeks to belittle an assertion it does not want to believe but has no facts to dispute.

Posted by: Ashland | January 11, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

That is the way I remember it. The press/TV covers every move she makes or word she utters so it's documented.

Posted by: carolerae48 | January 11, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

You might want to give your little doll a longer nose--we surveyors use nothing that looks like the rifle sight target symbols that nitwit woman palin is using. We hunters however DO use rifle sight cross-hairs that look EXACTLY as palin has depicted on her little map.

palin bears the same responsibility as do the other blowhards like oreilly, beck, limbaugh...every one of the right-wing conservative whack jobs need to be put out of a job QUICKLY. At the very least every individual who reads, watches, or listens to these extremists should consider what they are supporting when they give audience to the media paying the whack-jobs. If you're watching fox "news" -- you are supporting the possibility of the gunman in AZ and others just waiting in the wings--and trust me, they're out there. Scratch a tea-bagger and you have a wing-nut that is surely capable of doing a Tucson.

Posted by: spike591011 | January 11, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Yeah..........and Bill didn't inhale either. Pathetic!

Posted by: RealConservative | January 11, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The police should be watching spke591011 how the hell did this maniac get a gun?

Posted by: cautious | January 11, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Palin lies like Huckabee who made a campaign commercial with a cross in the background.

When challenged about it, he claimed it was a holy glowing bookcase.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 11, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

She said taint!

Posted by: mike8 | January 11, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

amazd can you send a link to the article you read, because it must not be this one. Please point out what is untrue or biased in the article? The article clearly states that palin is not to blame for anything that happened, but it's ludicrous to call cross hairs a "surveyor symbol." The FACTS spelled out in the article leave no doubt of that. But don't worry, I understand that in order to swallow the rethuglicon propaganda, one has to embrace an alternate reality, which is the purpose that people like Palin, beck, limbaugh etc offer to mindless sheep who are unable to forumlate rationl, coherent thought without help. George bush hijacked the white house and stole the election in 2000, and rightly so many on the left were upset. If you don't like Obama, that's okay, the right wingers will tell you that he's not a legitimate president because he was born on Zebulon V. the funny thing is tardos like you believe it. pathetic.

Posted by: red2million | January 11, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Why would Sarah Palin and company even know what a surveyor's symbol look like? Pleeezze she is not that smart.

Posted by: jhk-california | January 11, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I do not believe Mrs. Palin had anything to do with motivating this deranged young man, but the FACT that her team hastily removed these symbols and then made up this absurd lie tells us they knew it was a horrible mistake, especially with the video of Rep. Giffords discussing how she'd been targeted by the Republicans and mentioning Palin's map as one example of crossing the line. Not to mention Giffords's opponent's ad with a military weapon across his lap and the caption "Does this look like a RINO?". Republicans want to own this violent imagery to show how tough they are and thrill their scared white folks base. It's time they accepted the ugly side of this tactic.

Posted by: GreybirdK1 | January 11, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

It does not matter which. The intent was to project a target. Combine the symbol with the spoken words "don't retreat, reload" and it is unmistakable the meaning of the symbol.

Posted by: GBED989 | January 11, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

what did the daily kos say???

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 11, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

It must be really, really hard to work for Sarah Palin and have the job of explaining what she actually meant to say whenever something like this happens.

Posted by: justmike | January 11, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The cover-up for the lies is what usually gets a lying politician in the end. It looks like Palin is her own worst enemy by trying to change the facts with a new lie about the gun sights.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | January 11, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

It's not a swastika, it's a fylfot. You know, the obscure emblem used in European heraldry. I know, it's an easy mistake to make when it's emblazoned on a flag waved by skinheads at a rally, but there you go.

Posted by: Old_Mose | January 11, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Palin LIED about the surveyor marks - just as she LIED about death panels.
Palin targets gullible low-information voters and they believed her death panel LIE.
And since 10 of the 20 Democrats on her hit-list received death threats......

Posted by: angie12106 | January 11, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Rebecca Mansour may not be a believable spokesperson, but she might have a brilliant career ahead in selling used cars:

"No, that gnashing sound you hear when the transmission is shifting is not a problem; it is just telling you how much gas you are saving in a higher gear!"

One Pinoccio, indeed? IMHO she should be a finalist in the Joseph Goebbels Big Lie of the Year Award.

Posted by: bobfbell | January 11, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The article is factual - but obviously brand new information for rightwingers.

Posted by: angie12106 | January 11, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Really? She calls it a bull's eye target in her own information yet, this is listed as a "Shading of the truth" I agree she had little to nothing to do with the shooting. But she did put out the map, they were targets, and even her own words say so. Whether it's appropriate is a separate thing from is it factual. Factually, this was a bull's eye. She said it was at the time. Now she says it was not. That is a false statement.

Posted by: bhague | January 11, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Surveyor's symbol? Get real. Stop being a moron and just admit it was in poor taste and move on.

In other words, Palin needs to "refudiate" her target imagery -- as do the Dems for doing the same thing in 2004.

Posted by: loux24 | January 11, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who believes that a politician, especially THAT one, would knowingly reach out to the world of surveying for imagery probably also tried to tell their parents they weren't hitting their little brother, they were just patting him.

Posted by: bucinka8 | January 11, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Does Sarah Palin even know what a surveyor is and what their symbols are used for?

Posted by: elwarn | January 11, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

When Sarah Palin allowed her staff to come out and ridiculously suggest that the targets were 'surveyors tools', and also to ridiculously suggest that the graphic was taken down from the website within hours of the shooting because 'the campaign was over and our website guy suggested taking it down'.... that pretty much signalled to me that Palin isn't presidential material.

Allowing her staff to take the fall for her on this is childish and sad.

Posted by: TheHillman | January 11, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If Palin ever meant her crosshairs to be anything other than those of a gun, she had plenty of chance to correct that image. Especially when confronted by the charge.

But Sarah Palin's signature salute is two hands raised, fingers making the graphics of guns with triggers cocked. She certainly isn't innocent when it comes to charging up her audience against the Democrats, using the, sometimes subtle, gun reference. Nor are Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh innocent, or the others who pander to the basest of human weakness, fears and hatreds, including politicians and pundits.

They are all guilty of stirring up the hate, and the violence, when it comes. When you add them all together, and come to this point, you have to hold them responsible as the leaders who consciously chose to play on the baser emotions of the people. Gabriel Giffords, herself, foresaw this. No one challenged her astuteness then. We should pay attention now.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | January 11, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is an idiot, but 'in the crosshairs' is just a figure of speech. Google it and you'll find it used a million times to refer to a million different issues. All this crap about the political motivations of Jared, the vitrol of political discourse, etc. are just partisan politics. The man was schitzophrenic among other things. He thought algebra tests were an attempt at mind control. Everyone, especially the media, needs to calm down and check their facts. I for one and REALLY tired of all of this political-motivation nonsense. Sarah Palin was no more responsible for these deaths than jumbo jets were responsible for all those birds dying.

Posted by: pswift00 | January 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

How many gun sights has Sarah Palin looked through? Seriously! And how many Surveyor sights has she looked through? Really!

What do you honestly believe? When she say those cross-hairs on the map targeting those districts and she tweeted as to promote the map, DON'T RETREAT - INSTEAD RELOAD, well, tell me, how do you reload a surveyor sight. Sarah Palin, it would seem -- to any reasonable person -- was lying about believing that those were surveyor sights. She brags about shooting and killing publicly. Did she not, at least for a moment, think that those symbols look an inksy winksy bitty like rifle sights? Now really?!

Now the question is why is she lying? Maybe she IS guilty and knows that this will hurt her aspirations to be President so she plays ignorant.

I believe they all the members of the Tea Party know that those were intended to be rifle sights but to not admit fault, the Bible says to confess your part in any conflict
“go and be reconciled to your brother.” (Matthew 5:24). The state of America now has reached new lows. Maybe it is because of the wars, maybe it is because of the economy but people who profess hatred, who put up cross-hair targets and tweet "don't retreat - instead reload," have no place in this country of ours.

Sarah Palin should confess her role in this tragety. Peter urges us: “Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others.” (1 Peter 3:11). When you work for peace, you are doing what God would do. That’s why God calls peacemakers his children.

My prayers are with you Sarah Palin.

Posted by: farsenoble | January 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"the charge that Palin's map had anything to do with the shooting is bogus."

That statement is what's bogus. The guy may have had an interest in Giffords back in 2007, but he didn't shoot her until 2011. So the question is, what changed in those years. Well, a crosshair with her name, for one.

Posted by: vmax02rider | January 11, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

If a surveyors stake was driven into the victems head these nitwits would say it shows a gunsight was the correct symbol

Posted by: schmidt1 | January 11, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

In the post by GreybirdK1, there is a very good point: "...the FACT that her [Palin's]team hastily removed these symbols and then made up this absurd lie tells us they knew it was a horrible mistake" To this point I would add "and implicitly admitting that it might have been a factor in an attempted assassination." Why should anyone worry about what was intended if they were sure what they said did not have any alleged effect?

Posted by: Tomly | January 11, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

As a former land surveyor, let me say, "No, those are NOT surveyor's cross hairs." The cross hairs seen through a surveyor's instrument (theodolite, transit, or level) have "stadia" lines. These are small vertical/horizontal lines that intersect the horizontal/vertical cross hairs equidistant from the center so that the surveyor can estimate distances while looking through the instrument. (If you're interested, the distance read off of a survey rod between the stadia lines x 100 is the distance between the instrument and the survey rod. Unless there is slope involved...)

The Palin cross hairs look just like what I've seen through rifle scopes and not at all like what I've seen through survey instruments.

I think that this was not awarded enough Pinocchios; it should have gotten three. Perhaps the FactChecker should have checked to see what survey instrument crss hairs look like.

Posted by: 51fordf2 | January 11, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone bothered to even look through a surveyor's lens? There is no resemblance to Sarah Palin's cross hairs.

Posted by: jryan758 | January 11, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The only thing worse than using the gunsight symbol is lying about it.

Posted by: Dadrick | January 11, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

It's typical for politicians to spin everything. The assertion about it being "surveyor's symbols" is stupid beyond belief. Just own up to it. This is the same with Obama and the 57 states business, how they put a spin on it to include territories. Who the hell includes the territories? It was obvious that he was about to say 50 states (it's a common phrase--all 50 states), but then tried to correct it by saying forty seven, but instead said fifty seven.

Posted by: nuzuw | January 11, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Her 7th grade mentality tells her to tell a whopper of a lie when she's caught. Why not just own up? And why not take the "surveyor symbol" map off of her facebook homepage?

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | January 11, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

When Glifford said "it has the crosshairs of a gun sight", Palin did NOT clarify at that time that the cross hairs were "surveyor symbols" as she and her supporters are saying now.

Posted by: kms123 | January 11, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

whats wrong with you, just becasue "Loughner appears to have had an animus for Giffords in 2007" doesn't mean the map didn'thelp push him in that direction.

Posted by: submarinerssn774 | January 11, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"It now turns out that the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, appears to have had an animus for Giffords dating back to 2007, long before Palin posted the map on her Facebook page last March."

True, but he didn't shoot her in 2007 or 2008 and can we say with certainty that the Palin target map did not give him the idea to shoot her?

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | January 11, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Fact Checker didn't need to go into such lengthy analysis. spike591011 solved the question of fact: "we surveyors use nothing that looks like the rifle sight target symbols that nitwit woman palin is using. We hunters however DO use rifle sight cross-hairs that look EXACTLY as palin has depicted on her little map." The marks aren't surveyor's symbols. Maybe Palin's staff thought they were, but if so they hadn't done enough checking to keep her out of trouble.

Posted by: amstphd | January 11, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Get in their face" "They bring a knife, we'll bring a gun" Who said these ignorant things? Oh, yeah, The Alien. Then, Gov Machin (D) fires a weapon and says "this is what I'll do". Come on, you ignorant ratface....And I'm a democrat, and this is WHY I will NEVER vote for the dems again....

Posted by: macarthur261 | January 11, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

For anybody who believes that the bullseyes were "surveyors' symbols," I have some awesome beachfront property in Arizona for sale, and I'll give you a really good price. I'll even throw in the Brooklyn Bridge.

One pinnochio is way too lenient.

Posted by: luridone | January 11, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Palin (and much of the right wing establishment like Rove, Cheney, etc.) have perfected the "big lie" theory in which you tell a big lie and no matter how much evidence there is against it, you stick with the story and belittle those with the actual facts. They do it well. But it is those of us in the public who are so gullible as to think that because we hear something often enough, it must be true who are at least equaly to blame.

Of course she did not mean surveyors' symbols. Even if they were legitimate surveyors' symbols (and at least one poster who claims to be in the field says they are not), what would they have to do with the ad?

The making up of the surveyor story is about as about as honest as Huey Long sending aids to the almanac to find an excuse for a holiday so he could close the banks thus leading to his whole state in 1933 celebrating the 16th anniversary of severing relations with Germany in 1917! Politicians can always come up with something.

Add to that the fact that it is taken down right after the shootings in AZ because the election is over (it took her 2 months to realize that?) and I think we have someone who is lying to us.

Long was Democrat and Palin is a Republican so I am not saying one party has a monopoly. But I am personally insulted by anyone who thinks I am so stupid as to fall for things like this. This has nothing to do with cause and effect of the shooting, but everything to do with integrity.

Posted by: TomfromNJ1 | January 11, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

A crosshair is a crosshair. A scope is a scope. Palin's intent was to mark a target, not measure a distance.

The evidence is clear to me.

Posted by: trambusto | January 11, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Ok, the argument here is not whether Palin caused this to happen, but simply whether the symbols on the map are cross hairs. The answer are, yes, these are cross hairs. Yet those on the right will cry and whine that this is leftist media. This is simply the truth as the sky is blue. But then if you talk to any Palinite, they will claim the sky is made out of Pizza if Palin says so. You people are completely nuts.

Posted by: brandonesque | January 11, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Liberals shooting democrats.....oh my!


Liberal democrats hate Bluedog conservative democrats....like Giffords

DailyKos had a target with Giffords' picture

http://saynsumthn.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/left-wing-daily-kos-put-bulls-eye-target-on-re-giffords-in-2008/

The shooter is described as "left wing" and "liberal" by those who know him.

The shooter “favorited” just one video on YouTube, an American Flag burning video

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Barack Obama

Looks like a liberal listened to Obama.....and brought a gun.

Clearly Palin's fault

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

One pinnochio is way too lenient - you can run a full page ad of those guys on this lie. Nice to hear ole Tammy Bruce (who?) prod that stammering Palin aide with the wingnut official response - surveyors symbols. And after all that, then to take it down - kinda throws the defense out of the window, huh, morons? And now, like roaches in the run down GOP hotel, all the minions assemble on mainstream websites to either claim that they were surveyors symbols, comb through the President's comments to make some lame comparison, or to whine about how mean everyone is to them. No, don't take time out of your day to think about the dead and injured - just worry about the delicate feelings of America's Princess Caribou Barbie. Talk about a cult mentality!

Posted by: LABC | January 11, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The shooter probably never even heard of Sarah Palin. For most people, everytime they see crosshairs the first thing than naturally comes to mind is landscaping view finders or whatever. Sarah should go on with here hateful, snarky comments unabated.

Posted by: mddg7771 | January 11, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Just because he already didn't like her doesn't mean he wasn't influenced by Sarah Palin's targeting scheme. If anything it could have been encouragement or an endorsement of his troubling thoughts.

Posted by: ScootBaby | January 11, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Like the blogger said, sometimes perception is reality. Palin was just having fun with her newly found wealth, which sometimes causes people to become insensitive to others. She had every opportunity to take-down that map. But, since she does READ and watches only Faux News, it's understandable why she missed the memo. She still has a chance at redemption. Like, hop a plane to Arizona just to make an appearance, that is, give the "perception" that she cares.

Posted by: froggppond | January 11, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Don't you think most people would feel TERRIBLE if they had put a bullseye (surveyor's symbol) on someone's name and that person got shot through the head? I wouldn't try to rationalize my bullseye or call it by a different name. I would just feel sick and embarrassed. Forget cause and effect. How about civility, good manners, even empathy? Put yourself in someone else's shoes, just for a minute. Have you lost your humanity? Did you ever have it in the first place? Lives have been lost; other lives hang in the balance, and your main concern is defending your bullseye/surveyor's symbol?

Posted by: readerny | January 11, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Puhleeeze! Those are hunting rifle sights. 99 out of 100 people (that's being generous) would never interpret that symbol as anything having to do with surveying.


Once again the Palin crew (1) wimps out, and (2) lies.

Posted by: steve1231 | January 11, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

CBS News Poll Today:

6 of 10 do NOT buy the left's spin........LOL

Liberals shooting democrats....what a world the left lives in.

The shooter is described as "left wing" and "liberal" by those who know him.

The shooter “favorited” just one video on YouTube, an American Flag burning video

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Barack Obama

Looks like a liberal listened to his President and brought a gun.......

Hard truth to spin lefties....which is why the poll is what it is.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 11, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Why did it take this terrible incident to make Palin realize the gun imagery was in bad taste?

At least have some class and don't make up a lame excuse about surveyor symbols to feed the media. That is cynical.

Posted by: MHawke | January 11, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The point is that Sarah Palin exercises poor judgment.

Posted by: camasca | January 11, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

This is slander. The shooter had zoned in on Giffords as early as 2007 as the target of his psychosis, long before Sarah Palin was known outside of Alaska and liberals bashed her daily.

Posted by: ams1986 | January 11, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Please. explain why a surveyor would need to reload?

Posted by: Clarion1 | January 11, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Palin had anything to do with this shooting. But I believe she should take this opportunity to become aware of how influential a public figure can be and realize that the real basis for settling differences is through calm discourse, not silly violent imagery.

People have been suggesting she clean up her word choices since the "palling around with terrorists" days and it hasn't helped yet, but perhaps this time.... oh, that's right. She's lying and saying these were surveying symbols. Well, perhaps next time.

Posted by: sarahabc | January 11, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Palin said, "don't retreat, reload". I don't know of any surveyor's tools that need reloading. Try again Palintrolls.

Posted by: elle330033 | January 11, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If Palin did this and it is 'wrong"....

...and the democrat website Dailykos did the same thing....

DailyKos had a target with Giffords' picture

http://saynsumthn.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/left-wing-daily-kos-put-bulls-eye-target-on-re-giffords-in-2008/

Is that not an issue as well?

If not....then there is no issue.

Just a liberal with a gun going after a Conservative Democrat who voted against Nancy Pelosi.....like Obama told him too

BARACK OBAMA: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 11, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

georgedixon - you're wrong!
DailyKos never put a target on Giffords.
That was photo-shopped by the Tea Party Express in a FUNDRAISING email exploiting the deaths of 6 in Arizona.

Here’s the actual diary --

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/25/541568/-2010-will-be-primary-season

Here’s the Tea Party Express lying photo-shopped version --

http://hillbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/screen-shot-2011-01-08-at-3-05-33-pm.png

Posted by: angie12106 | January 11, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The media, in its liberal bias, has made the all time biggest factual leap:

i.e. This shooter saw Sarah Palin's graphic (unproven), was motivated to violence by it (unproven), and decided to shoot nine people, including the congresswoman, because of it (unproven, not a shred of evidence.)

How about this: the guy was a crazed nutcase who, like John Hinckley, got obsessed with a public figure and ended up shooting people.

Posted by: InTheMiddle | January 11, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I saw copies of Tweets Sarah Palin sent at the time referring to the symbols as "bullseyes." I'd be more comfortable if she had just 'fessed up, said, "We made a mistake. We won't do it again," than I am with her trying to weasle out of the whole thing.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 11, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The shooter is described as "left wing" and "liberal" by those who know him.

The shooter “favorited” just one video on YouTube, an American Flag burning video

Then there is this:

Hate Post on the DEMOCRAT website the DAILYKOS on Thursday.....

"My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is dead to me now…..And why did she do this? Giffords never told me she was conservative Democrat."

The above is neither isolated nor unique.
Leftwing sites have been very harsh about Bluedog Conservative Democrats like THIS Congresswoman

Then you have the quotes of President Obama:

"I want you to argue with them and get in their face!" Barack Obama, September 2008

“We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” Obama to Latinos, October 2010

“I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!” Obama on ACORN Mobs, March 2010

The Leader of the Left says: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Barack Obama

As you read this the Democrat website the DAILYKOS is scrubbing....here is a captured screen shot:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gcA0ZuKGkI8/TSkFVGTgLoI/AAAAAAAAJkI/iFJORGeSB5M/s1600/kospost.jpg

not 'wrong" at all

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 11, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The fact that the Post continues to rail on this is evidence of the left's insanity.

This level of political correctness is beyond nuts - it is just as insane as the nut that shot those people. Worse yet, it is being put out there by journalists that try to present themselves as unbiased and intelligent.

Posted by: asdf9876 | January 11, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"The Democratic Leadership Council, for instance, in 2004 published a map titled "Targeting Strategy" describing states won by then President Bush by single digit margins as "behind enemy lines." "


----------------------

Are you really going to try and draw a distinction between the two political parties on this?

Really?

The fact is that this kind of terminology is common in political campaigns, and we all know it.

There are many political hacks out there trying to turn this tragedy into some kind of political advantage. Like when Olbermann spoke out against Palin and Beck in the middle of a rant the other night.

To use a tragedy for political gain is shameless, but we all realize that partisan talk show hosts have no shame.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 11, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I think those "cross hairs" are tiny Christian crosses. Sarah Palin was invoking blessings on people in Congress who were involved in difficult contests. She determined who was having difficult contests by doing surveys. Sarah is a political surveyor.

Posted by: rac8 | January 11, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Why aren't you also showing the bullseyes on the Democrats web site????

Posted by: Christian1941 | January 11, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the only thing that Sarah Palin is guilty of is encouraging millions of ordinary citizens to participate more actively in the peaceful act of voting in an election. She is not even guilty of creating some fringe movement. She urged people to work within the existing system including the existing parties. Blaming her for this tragedy is obscene.

Posted by: genecarr100 | January 11, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

It might be a very high bar to cross, but I think Sarah Palin's former aide saying the targeted sites on her map were "surveyor symbols" and not gun sights is the most stupid thing I have heard yet from the Palin camp. And, as I mentioned, what a high bar that is!!!

Posted by: durhamjeffreyl | January 11, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Palin wouldn't know a surveyors' symbol if it was sticking out of her A**

Posted by: kiler616 | January 11, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Come on, righties. It says from the outset that Palin's map did not influence the shooter. It should be obvious now, however, that this kind of stunt is hugely inappropriate.

Posted by: joshlct | January 11, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why everyone thinks that Palin has removed the gun-sight map from her public internet presence. It's clearly still on her facebook page here:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=373854973434&id=24718773587

As far as the Daily Kos is concerned, I can't find any graphical bullseye on any photos of any congress people in your source. The only graphical bullseye is the one you photoshopped on your own blog. I did find the words "bulls eye" used to describe political races, but that doesn't connotate gun violence the same way that the image of a gun sight does. Target, bulls eye, terms such as these describe any manner of goals reached by any sort of means. Violence is not implied there. Gunsights on the other hand are a specific type of bulls eye and definitely connotate the use of violence.

Posted by: rs2011 | January 11, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Another cynically opportunistic article by the left leaning media, exploiting a genuine tradegy to condemn a political opponent. The Post should be ashamed of this cynical exploitation and blatant opportunism.

Posted by: amazd | January 11, 2011 9:08 AM
--------------------------------------------
Where in this article does the reporter assert that Palin's use of crosshairs inspired the Arizona shooter? In the opening sentence of the article, the reporter very clearly points out that many left/liberal bloggers have asserted that there is a cause and effect. The reporter is merely responding to the Palin campaigns' response that these are surveyor symbols. That's it.

Posted by: binaryboy | January 11, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Why LIE about it??? They were gun sights, it's not an uncommon tactical metaphor. The Palin LIE is what really disturbs me. Can she be trusted? What other LIES has Palin told? Show some leadership Palin, admit the rhetoric is toxic and join others in an agreement to be more civil.

Posted by: JBinVA1 | January 11, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Republican rhetoric of taking the country back, second amendment solutions, putting opponents in gun cross hairs, reloading, presenting the President as foreign, illegitimate and Muslim, stating over and over that citizens' rights are being stolen by the government, that the constitution is being trampled by Obama, that gun rights are at risk, that Democrats are Nazis/Communists that are taking over the nation by force certainly affects those that are already paranoid and less healthy in the population.

It puts healthy, ordinary, uninformed citizens on a sense of constant alert. It would almost make anyone that believes the Republicans more paranoid, angry and militant. It would be the patriotic thing to do to take action if the nation was at such terrible risk from Democrats and President Obama. Some citizens have attacked and threatened elected officials and their offices.

This is not just a call to go peacefully to the polls and make a choice.

Posted by: FoundingMother | January 11, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Who cares if it was a crosshair or surveyor symbol? NOBODY was advocating killing anybody.

A google search will turn up thousands of articles by journalists with the phrase "Obama targets..."

Has our society become that stupid we do not know the difference between targeting someone for election defeat and targeting them for assassination?

I guess so.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 11, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

That Palin aide should be fired. And who needs an 'aide' if you re not a politician? I digress...Palin and Co. surround themselves in an air of stupidity, sprinkled with righteousness and typical right wing contempt=arrogance for everyone not like them. "surveyor's symbols" What were they "surveying"? I know, make sh*t up as you go along, that ll show em'!

I beg any rightwinger to explain how those are surveyor's symbols, and not gunsights, especially to SOMEONE WHO IS AN RLS. If you know what an RLS is, than you know what surveyors symbols (if they truly do exist) are.

Posted by: sherlockjt | January 11, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

WAPO does it again - distorted, one sided, opportunisitic, cynical, etc.. I am glad this paper is free - it is not worth paying for.

Posted by: dkoflynn01 | January 11, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If, as former Governor Palin's spokesperson claims, the crosshairs are in fact the view from a surveyor's measurement instrument and by inference appropriate "speech", then why did that page become a "server error" one hour after the shooting and then the site taken down completely?

If it's appropriate "speech", what is the former Governor afraid of? Does she think that the world doesn't know this page existed? Does she think that denying it's existance and intention now will change the fact that she did it, supported it's supposition and thought it appropriate "speech"?

Hard to believe that she thinks we're more naive than she is. Let tne facts speak for themselves: she said it and if she's not ashamed of it (and any sane person would be ashamed of it), put it back up on the site for the world to see. This is the kind of Christian faith apparently she practices and her demonstration of family values. I'm certainly glad I don't belong to that Church, if one can call it that.

Posted by: KosovoIsSerbia | January 11, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

A comparison of the response of the Palin staffer with Palin's own statements using words like "aim" or "salvo", with the experienced surveyor's statement that the symbols are not from that type of work, prove that the staffer has constructed a stupid lie. The fact that she could do this while victims are dead or struggling to stay alive illuminates the inhumanity of Sarah Palin and of that staffer. Her supporters here appear to share that inhumanity.

Posted by: Paulie_D | January 11, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget Palin's admonition "Don't retreat - reload" combined with the crosshairs that was so disgusting.

Other's may have used bullseyes but they didn't combine it with the gun imagery.

It is now laughable to call these surveyor marks.

Posted by: FauxReal | January 11, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

One Pinocchio?? Not!

This is easily a Four Pinocchio...she lied plain and simple. Afterall she's a proud gun toting and gun loving persone. Whoever came up with the "surveyor symbol" excuse will certainly be exposed.

And it's lies like this that will come back to haunt her as she pursues higher office.

Posted by: JJH1 | January 11, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The "Democratic" posts about doing away with this, and limiting that, and making this a Federal crime, and on and on and on could have easily come from a book called HOW TO BE A FASCIST IN TEN EASY LESSONS. Democrats, Leftist, Socialists, STOP TRYING TO CHANGE THIS COUNTRY. IT'S THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO RUIN IT WITH YOUR IDIOTIC SOCIALIST AGENDA!

Posted by: georges2 | January 11, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

This sentence is the most patethetic, "facts-be-damned" pile of horsehockey I've ever read: "A "campaign" is "waged" against the opponent, with key "targets" of opportunity."

What on earth are you talking about? Political campaigns are "run," not "waged." And no one ever in the history of the planet has said "key 'targets' of opportunity" in reference to a political campaign.

I know it's Tuesdsay and you needed a story, but please, at least pretend to put some thought into it next time.

Posted by: dsk36 | January 11, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This is just an attempt by the left to shift the political direction from the "shellacking" they recieved in the Nov elections. Nothing new, move on!

Posted by: wxyz6200 | January 11, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The Federal government "makes" us all pay taxes, pay social security for our future and pay for disability insurance... nothing new. So now they want to "make us" pay for our own and each others' health care. This is just more of the same, but the people who showed up at Giffords' office displaying guns as protest were not advocating for the right to bear arms-- they were obviously telling her that they reserved the right to go after her and any government official with guns, with death, if they didn't back down on the reforms. That's how I would interpret it, as intimidation backed up with the threat of revolution. Unfortunately, I wonder how many of those particular folks are NOT saddened by this tragedy? Either we govern by ballots, or we govern by bullets, but it can't be both ways, one will give way to the other. I vote for votes... if my vote means anything anymore...

Posted by: LawsLuvr | January 11, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

isn't there another former paegant winner, quitter governor out there that has a working brain for the right to parade around and whisper about running for President?

Seriously, she couldn't win against a live candidate in any race at this point...

Surveying symbols, please, please, please...

Posted by: mtstewart1 | January 11, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

As with so many things in politics, the big thing is not the actual act, but the coverup. The author does not say that Mrs. Palin caused the shooting. People who are attacking that point are just attacking an easy straw man. Similarly those who argue the Democrats have done the same thing (most likely true) sound like the little kids whose argument is always "he did it too." To me the point is the denial that she used cross hairs and the claim that they are surveyors' symbols. This is not only an after the fact coverup and lie, but then one questions why. If there is nothing about which one should feel guilty, then why lie?

Whether or not the shooter was influenced by Palin we may never know. One thing for sure is that if he did not have a gun, he would not have killed 6 people and wounded others. I do not care much what Palin had done with targets, but if she is really sincere, I want to see her show more courage than most Democrats or Republicans and come out in favor of MUCH stricter gun laws.

No rhetoric, no parroting NRA talking points, just plain we have to clamp down on all these people carrying guns -- not hunting guns or the like, but guns whose only purpose is exactly what this one was used for. That would make me change my attitude to Palin and finally have some respect for her. She has many followers -- she could have a lot more influence than most of us. If she had a little courage in this area, it would go a long way towards showing she really is sorry about what happened far more than words about surveyors. But if she wants to kowtow to the NRA lobby, that too will tell me something about her as a person who lets others do her thinking for her.

Posted by: TomfromNJ1 | January 11, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Surveyor symbols? Just how f&*^ing dumb do the idiots of the right think folks are? Actually, the symbols are a direct knock off for a White Power symbol.

Don't believe me...check it out for yourself.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=white+power+symbols&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Either it's a gun sight and/or a white power symbol.

Go ahead, look at it for yourself.

Posted by: jato11 | January 11, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

As we take Palin to task for her map, let us not forget that the Democrats also used a map with red and white bullseyes over targeted districts. Fair is fair...if Palin's map was beyond the pale then the Democrat's map must be also as the symbolism is the same.

Posted by: tcram | January 11, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

So, either my nephew's rifle also serves as a surveyor's tool or my buddy who's a surveyor can reload that funny tool on a tripod that he uses when he's working? One Pinocchio? You do Jiminy Cricket a disservice...

Posted by: rjacobs1 | January 11, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

>>>the charge that Palin's map had anything to do with the shooting is bogus.

Just because he had a vendetta against her in 2007 before Palin's map was done doesn't mean he didn't see it and it couldn't have encouraged him to go further with his plan. Lots of logic flaws in this article.

Words & imagery have meaning people, we all need to be more aware of that fact because you never know what might push the next nutjob to do something like this.

Posted by: juantana | January 11, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

You got to love politicians. Survey symbols? What jokesters. Just shows that when you can call them out, they can reward you with really stupid, and sometimes hilarious, answers.

Obviously, Palin's intention was not to have physical attacks, but it's at her own political risk that she chooses to essentially shout out guns and targets in her statements and graphics. It's no longer cute (as it probably was to some of her followers) when one of her "targets" is, in fact, made a target by some nut.

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | January 11, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

As a conservative Republican, I'm tired of being called a 'liar', a 'racist', a 'bigot', 'an NRA loving Nazi', 'fearful and ignorant', or any of the other examples of 'hate speech' which spewed forth continuously from the liberal community during the previous election, and all day yesterday from various quarters including top Democratic politicians and progressive/liberal media outlets.

Hypocrite-in-chief was Sheriff Dupnik, who's hateful rant directed at those of us who oppose the government take-over of the health care industry, and the relentless hiring of marginally competent bureaucrats who are paid twice what their fully-competent counterparts in the private sector receive (400,000 additional since Mr. Obama took office.)

The factual realities fly in the face of these angry Leftists:

Since it turns out Mr. Loughner had to pass an FBI background check in order to purchase his handgun, liberals can't complain that it's too easy for criminals to get them. On the other hand, since Mr. Loughner had already accumulated a record of red-flags known to law-enforcement, the fact that he passed the background check leads to the inescapable conclusion that hiring more government bureaucrats to protect us from people like Loughner is an exercise in futility. Why? Because people with inflated salaries, fat benefit packages, and a union which makes it impossible to fire them, tend not to worry too much about the quality of their day-to-day work-product. Showing up is about all that's required of them. (God forbid they should be required to produce something of value, or be fired, as is customary in the private sector.)

As for Sheriff Dupnik, as more facts emerge, one has to wonder if he spent more time thinking about doing his job as Sheriff, than questioning the right of voters to speak out against a radical socialist President, and his like-minded supporters in Congress, the six people Mr. Loughner killed might be alive today.

The most outrageous irony is that Sheriff Dupnik (as well as numerous other liberals who have politicized this national tragedy), have all but called for the repeal of the First Amendment, at least as it applies to those who oppose them. Maybe they should go back and review the video of a female Democratic member of Congress, who read that Amendment on January 6th, 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ6XMfL3pvs

I can only hope and pray that this courageous woman survives to continue to defend it.

Posted by: thomas777 | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Deep in my heart I have always known Sarah was no gun toting, cruel, heartless, venom squirting wench. She doesn't kill wolves from helicopters. She is helping mark their location for conservation using a surveyors scope, not a gun silly. She re-loads minutes on her GO phone that she purchased at WalMart (not the one that sold the bullets). She uses lots of minutes tweeting her peeps with all sorts folksy banter that makes us feel good. You-betcha. As a devote christian, reality show star, short-sheeted governor and FOX mouth piece, she will certainly do the upstanding thing. Click-click.

Posted by: BobBainbridge | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

This is despicable that this rag of a newspaper and idiotic reporter would make a correlation between Sarah Palin and this deranged lunatic. What a lame and immoral attempt to link politics to lunacy. Truly a sign of desperation by a disgruntled far left nit wit trying to politicize craziness; meanwhile the likes of this reporter were the first ones to report that Major Nadal Hassan was deranged and not acting out Islamist terrorism. People that attribute this tradegy to politics are truly the problem in this country.

Posted by: civilrightist | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

These are simply Topographic map symbols used to mark a spot on a map. Any argument that these symbols resemble the cross hairs in a rifle sight goes out the window when one considers that it would be impossible for the cross hairs in any scope to extend beyond the edges of the lens itself.

Posted by: ThePeopleRule | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Let's see.... Those look *exactly* like the symbols on my GPS for identifying locations. OMG! Google Maps and Garmin are involved in your conspiracy! At some point, a symbol is just a symbol. Hasn't the political correct nonsense pushed by the "progressives" caused enough harm? They are the twits that made it all but impossible to force mentally unstable individuals into treatment. Then, when those individuals cause harm, like the Arizona nut bag, they dodge their responsibility for their actions and blame someone, something, else.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 11, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Despite all the barking and braying from the hysterical left, the American public knows this thing in Tucson was the act of a nutjob who had nothing to do with those who support smaller, less intrusive government. Ironic that the left's answer is more laws and suppression of free speech, as long as it's the free speech of their opponents.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 11, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Despite all the barking and braying from the hysterical left, the American public knows this thing in Tucson was the act of a nutjob who had nothing to do with those who support smaller, less intrusive government. Ironic that the left's answer is more laws and suppression of free speech, as long as it's the free speech of their opponents.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 11, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Palin the quitter also said " don't retreat, reload". The dimwit is as much a real Alaskan as she is a politician. She has trouble keeping her lies straight.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | January 11, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't completely understand why so many people are rushing to defend the use of crosshairs and violent rhetoric in politics.

Was the map or Palin in any way responsible for this tragedy? Of course not.

But does that mean that there should be no conversation at all about toning down the rhetoric?

If a video-game, or movie, or heavy-metal music were somehow thought to have contributed (not caused, but contributed) to the actions of a mad-man like this, then there would be protests, NC-17 labels, and people doing everything possible to shield their children from the potentially harmful message.

But politicians should get a pass to say whatever they want in whatever language they choose?

Both sides need to tone it down. Politiicans and party-leaders should actually lead by working to elevate the conversation. If all they choose to instead rely on cheap slogans and distasteful rhetoric then they aren't true leaders.

Posted by: cxu387 | January 11, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Own it and then move on Sarah. You can make a mea culpa and at least move on with a shred of dignity, but prevaricating on this rifle site is not how to do it. Any gun owner knows exactly what they're looking at; whether or not it was responsible for Tucson, it was despicable and should have been beneath you.

Posted by: JenAZ | January 11, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of folks here are missing the point. Let me put it in perspective. I just had to legally evict a housemate. Why? Because he lied, stole, broke things, was loud, spoke offensively and didn't pay his bills. Yet, he had a nice smile. I tolerated a lot of stuff for a lone time, but finally, he kicked my door over something that he had completely made up in his head. He then lied about how the hole had gotten there, and finally, my other housemate explained this to me. This door had recently been replaced because some other housemate, before I had moved in, had also damaged it. This was the STRAW that broke the camel's back. This was the moment we decided: he needs to be evicted. Same logic applies here: it's not the odious words (which are protected by free speech), or the the violent imagery (which was roundly denounced the day it came out months ago), or the "gun parties" where Rethuglicans talk about shooting mexicans. NO. It is someone LYING about what they were saying, when we all KNEW that was what they were saying and they DEFENDED this sort of language earlier! It's the DISHONESTY of the response concerning the MEANING of the crosshair symbols. It shows that YOU CAN'T TRUST PALIN'S PEOPLE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH TO YOU IN A CRUNCH. How is it you Rethuglitards can't see that that is the issue at this point?????

Posted by: owlk | January 11, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights...It's a surveyor's symbol" --Rebecca Mansour, an aide to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin

Yeah right, now comes the damage control maneuver.

I blame both left and right for the escalating rethoric in the recent months but let's not forget that suggestive phrases intimately linked to firearms started with the far-right group Tea Party (remember those bozos walking around DC with automatic weapons?)and happily followed by the GOP stablishment (yeah, you too Sarah Palin).

Now, for the sake of our own nation, let's stop this non-sense right now before anybody else get killed and before other mentally undeveloped individuals anoint themselves as "patriots" or "saviors".

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | January 11, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If the WaPo writers believe that the use of crosshairs motivates people to commit violent, criminal acts, they should also highlight the use of such symbols by the Democratic Party. The DCCC used target symbols on a map of the US when discussing the 2004 elections, the 2008 elections, and the stimulus, to name a few: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=13647 To single out one political party, without commenting on the other, smacks of hypocrisy, and is violative of any type of journolistic ethics.

Posted by: moondoggy | January 11, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Of course Sarah Palin meant the symbols on the map to be gunsights. But what does it matter? She still can't be blamed, on that basis alone, for a maniac's behavior.

Posted by: tapanzee22 | January 11, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

SURVEROR SYMBOL? Oh, PLEASE! I'm so SICK of some slick B.S. artist (the columnist comes to mind as just another one) as though we're all STUPID! It's JUST what we all know it is, and it was NOT a freaking SURVEYOR'S SYMBOL! It WAS an irresponsible,
highly suggestive, inflammatory inference perpetuated by an irresponsible and genuinely deluded 2012 presidential candidate.

WHY DO YOU GIVE THIS VACUOUOS BARBIE DOLL SO MUCH PRESS?!

Posted by: drjillshackford1 | January 11, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Fact checker would give a lot more Pinocchio's if fact checker checked the facts. What about the tweet that directed people to the map on the web in the first place that told folks to "RELOAD!" Surveyor symbols? Come on! Palin's constant mendacity is amazing. Why not just say it was a campaign and I used strong language and I didn't cause anybody to shoot anybody? But lying about it is pathetic.

Posted by: fmjk | January 11, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I know of no crosshairs that extend beyond the circumference of the scope. It would be a pretty neat trick if they did. In addtion, crosshairs typically include tick marks on the lines.

If the WaPo "fact checkers" actually did some "fact checking" they might have come across the USGS website to obtain the Topographic Map Symbols document that lists Control Data and Monuments. There, they might (and that's a big might for the WaPo's obviously pitiful research ability) have found the symbol for principal point.

Posted by: RedinPDRM | January 11, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Palin still does have the map on her facebook page. But they must be surveying marks since she hasn't updated the total to 19 and removed Representative Giffords name...

Posted by: Rudesan | January 11, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

In a good COMMUNIST and SOCIALIST country like ours is becoming we must force the right wing people like Glen Beck, Sara Palin, and others to pay. They should go to prison. They caused this. No way is it the fault of the left wing socialist nut jobs that are on MSNBC.

Continue to allow families in California who are on the government payroll to live great lifestyles while taxpayers suffer. Isn't communism great?

Posted by: txengr | January 11, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think it is perfectly clear that the WaPo is NOT blaming Sarah Palin in any way, shape or form, for the violence. They made it perfectly clear that such assertions are stupid. And any Democratic politician who criticizes that graphic is similarly stupid.

Sarah Palin had no reason to apologize for that graphic in any way, shape or form. But the WaPo is ALSO correct that for her to claim that those are "surveyor" symbols is extremely unlikely.

One other thing I would point out: she was not "targeting" specific individuals, she was targeting districts. I'd feel differently if she'd shown a graphic of a target crosshairs on a photo of Rep. Gifford, because that makes it too personal. (Kind of like when the extreme anti-abortion fringe shows webpages with target crosshairs over photos of abortion doctors, and lists their home addresses, and then updates the website when a doctor gets killed. THAT's creepy. What Palin did isn't, unless she was planning on blowing up the entire Nth Congressional District.)

Posted by: marclips | January 11, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The Opinion failed to mention that when Palin Tweeted "Don't retreat, instead- RELOAD" after posting her map, she meant reload the batteries of the total station transit. It is an insult to suggest that she meant anything other than gun sights. Man up Sarah.

Posted by: levgon22 | January 11, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that sarah meant them to be rifle sights.

quit yankin' our chains.

man up and admit what you've done.

Posted by: vigor | January 11, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is silly, silly, silly.

Of course the graphics are "targets", not surveyor alignment ticks. But so what if it is? Anyone who is troubled by the choice of graphics is either a partisan with a political agenda or someone who takes things far too seriously.

This is not to belittle the argument or issue that extremist partisan attacks have to stop and that psychopathic murderers like Loughner might be fueled by such rhetoric. But no matter what you do, a psychopathic murderer is going to do what they do, so trying to argue that there is a direct link is only an issue to those who AREN'T insane.

I've come to the conclusion that the only issue that really matters is the extremist rhetoric needs to be toned down. Not because of Loughner, not because of Palin, but because it's unproductive no matter the party that spews the venom. Moderates in both parties need to step up and speak out and condemn extremist rhetoric on both sides - if only so the actual issues can be discussed in a more calm manner leading to a faster and more productive solution or compromise.

All the rest of this is media fodder and utterly silly. we should all have better things to do than discuss graphics or try to establish links to crazy gunman.

Wake up, for crying out loud. We have REAL stufff to talk about now.

Posted by: JimGoldbloomVA | January 11, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

georges2

I love my country too..but we need to look at some facts and be honest with ourselves.

Preventable Deaths per 100,000 Pop - US rank 14th in the world.
HEALTHY LIFE EXPECTANCY - rank 24th in world
Lowest murder rates - US ranked 78th in the world
Prison Population and Prisoners per 100,000 We are ranked #1 in the world

Infant mortality - lowest to highest - we rank 33rd.

HEalthcare The United States ranks 37th with 51 million uninsured.

And there are many other areas where we rank terribly.

And if you are not amoing the rich in country, i;e. make over $60k per year, then name just one thing that the Republicans have done for you?

Posted by: JJH1 | January 11, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ok, there are two issues here.

http://bigjournalism.com/dloesch/2011/01/09/the-difference-between-purveyor-symbols-and-crosshairs/

The above is an interesting link which shows pictures of surveyor symbols. Sure enough, the symbols on Palin's map are surveyor symbols. Granted, I thought they were symbolic crosshairs, myself, because I am much more familiar with guns than I am with surveying. Also, the icons used by surveyors also happen to be very similar to the crosshairs most first-person shooter video games use. But, not being a surveyor, I guess that's an easy mistake to make... War imagery has always been used in politics, just as it has in business and in everyday life. War is a major part of the human condition, and it's perfectly normal that much of our language uses military verbiage. Now, you can debate the effect that has on how we conduct politics or business, but you can't single out any one group for using the terminology.

The other issue is whether the two are related. They aren't. Make two separate mental containers. In one, place the incident wherein a raving loon managed to acquire a pistol, extended mag and ammunition (eventually), and used these to perpetrate a horrendous crime. In the other, place the current debate over vitriol in political discourse. If you genuinely think that the shooter, a person who believes that the government is engaged in a mind-control conspiracy through the use of grammar, was motivated by political considerations, you probably voted for Obama.

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Seriously, though, this guy is a howling madman, and there isn't anything to indicate this guy ever even visited Palin's webpage, or Daily Kos (who mentioned placing "bullseyes" on the Senator's district). Before you rush to blame the actions of an irrational nut on conservatives, turn off MSNBC, log off Huffpost, and actually think it through.

Posted by: whorton1 | January 11, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Palin knows exactly what she's doing. Beck, Limbaugh, they all know exactly what they're doing. They present very emotional arguments laced with sophistry. They thrive on this - it is the foundation of their existence. Each of their arguments and assertions can be torn apart intellectually. But they are genius at feeding the most gullible citizens of our country exactly what they want to be fed.

Of course only an idiot like the shooter would pull the trigger like he did. But the language is carefully chosen and intended to be inflammatory.

Gun ownership? Yes! But it is a privilege and should be done responsibly. For example: One should never ever aim a gun at his friends face while quail hunting, right Mr. Cheney?

Posted by: BenThere | January 11, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

It may not have been Palin herself, but I did hear the "surveyor symbol" interpretation long before the shootings in Tucson.

Posted by: Ynot1 | January 11, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

As a conservative Republican, I'm tired of being called a 'liar', a 'racist', a 'bigot', 'an NRA loving Nazi', 'fearful and ignorant', or any of the other examples of 'hate speech' which spewed forth continuously from the liberal community.
Posted by: thomas777

Yes Thomas777. All conservative republicans are all of those. Thanks for reminding us. As for Sarah Palin, she hastily retreated, and took down her map of America sprinkled with gun sights. Proof enough what she meant, and now disown. Pinocchio’s nose is one inch longer.

Posted by: samchannar | January 11, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Why is it the right wingnuts want to "spin" their rhetoric concerning 2nd Amendment rights as a sole posession of Republicans?

We'll..."take our country back".... the "2nd Amendment solution"..... "don't retreat, reload"..... "targeted candidates"..... "let's meet at the firing range." Openly carrying a weapon at a political rally.

The Becks and other right wing broadcasters openly speaking to "revolution" with the added mention of "guns." You will notice he has made himself fearfull of having incited someone to do violence.

I cannot speak to what inspired the purchase of the weapon used Saturday morning in Arizona! Surely, many Republicans own firearms and likewise so do many Democrats.

Do we really want to continue the rhetoric, and possibly inspire another instance of violence? I was raised with the belief that it was a violation of the law to speak to the "overthrow of the government by means of violence."
I stand in opposition to those who would advocate it!

Posted by: motiv8ed | January 11, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but the claim that these were "surveyor marks" and not intended as rifle targets is a least a 3 pinocchio statement. Palin's own remarks about "targets" on November 4 would be enough to show that any claim these are surveyours marks is just a flat lie. That, coupled with refusal to refute Hasselbeck and Giffords show that it was well-known how the marks were meant to be taken.

It is of course unfair to link her directly to the motivations of Loughner or his inspiration, so Palin and her defenders can feel aggrieved by that charge. Nevertheless, the refusal to acknowledge what had been widely regarded as "targets" before last weekend and her own use of the term target makes the "surveyor mark" comment a significant post-hoc fabrication.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 11, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

RE: Another cynically opportunistic article by the left leaning media, exploiting a genuine tradegy to condemn a political opponent. The Post should be ashamed of this cynical exploitation and blatant opportunism.
amazd

Yes. Of Course tracking down the truth is partisan and handicaps the Republican Party.

Posted by: FoundingMother | January 11, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"It's impossible to know exactly what Palin had in mind unless.."

---------------

Unless you also have the mental capacity of a 5 year old.

Posted by: sux123 | January 11, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Sure they are "surveyor symbols." And when the Alaska Twit said, "Don't retreat, RELOAD" she was referring to putting the surveyor tools back in the truck. Psst, wanna buy a bridge?

Posted by: mtrobt | January 11, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh course it's gun sights. It fits in with all the other ways she talks about her political opponents. She's just back peddling and making excuses because she knows she intended it that way.

She might as well say, "I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to find out there is gambling going on at Rick's."

Posted by: cfeher | January 11, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Only the right wing idiots at the Washington Post who are constantly framing and inventing stories and facts to prop up other right wingers could come up with this.

Posted by: kevin1231 | January 11, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh course it's gun sights. It fits in with all the other ways she talks about her political opponents. She's just back peddling and making excuses because she knows she intended it that way.

She might as well say, "I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to find out there is gambling going on at Rick's."

Posted by: cfeher | January 11, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I can speak with authority that those cross hairs could be construed as a surveyor's symbol. However, surveyors do NOT "re-arm and "reload," as Palin and her ilk have shouted again and again.

Why did Palin rush to remove this map from her website if they were surveyors' symbols?

What are the right-wingers so afraid of here? They don't even allow dissenters in their meetings, so they must be scared of their own.

Arm everyone. yep. There's your answer.

Posted by: Sooska | January 11, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This would presume that Sarah Palin actually knew what a surveyors symbol was prior to this mass murder.

The truth is probably closer to, "A surveyor symbol, yeah, that's right. That's the ticket!"

Posted by: cfeher | January 11, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

First, stop defending Palin by labelling those who disagree with her as the Liberal Left. Many of us are very independant thinkers and can distinguish between right and wrong. Second, even if there is no direct connection between the "surveyor symbols" and the tragedy, people with common sense understand that such rhetoric must be considered as a contributing factor.

Posted by: vze3c9qt | January 11, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights...It's a surveyor's symbol" --Rebecca Mansour, an aide to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.........

our friend sarah is working on not only red meat to emotionally needy.....but cowardice as well.....if ur going to say it at least have the cajones to stand behind ur words......

Posted by: mikepatrick1 | January 11, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Bull.

Posted by: GreenMeansGo | January 11, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If they weren't cross hairs then why did they take down the website on Saturday?

Posted by: g99999 | January 11, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's how I feel about all this.

The "surveyor symbol" defense is of course lame. On the other hand, there's no evidence yet that the shooter even saw the map. Still that doesn't change the fact that the imagery (coupled with the "reload" language on the same page) is over-the-top and very well COULD be spurring some violent person on (even if it didn't Loughner).

So while Palin isn't likely guilty of egging THIS one on, her choices are that of a reckless, immature person who is seizing on gun enthusiasm in a context that isn't really appropriate for it. We don't need to be talking about guns and gun sights and reloading along with political figures in the same sentence. I wonder if she gets that. Maybe she does, and that's why the lame "surveyor symbol" got offered. She's better off just saying "it was a poor decision", taking the website down for good, and refraining from her trademark over-the-top polarizing rhetoric from now on.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what would happen if a left leaning blogger posted a picture of Palin in the cross-hairs on a website? Would that be okay you right wing nutcases? Would Rush and Hannity defend that too? What if a muslim did it? Is that ok?

Posted by: nowhine | January 11, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Palin SHOULD have said, "YES, I did this just the SAME as the Democrats did in 2004. Times have change and maybe it is not appropriate at this time and place and I will think again about such manner of speech. I HOPE that the other side of the coin can agree to do the same."
THIS is how you gain respect, EVENTHOUGH she can never get respect from the left wing media no matter what she does.
Sarah could save a family from a fire singlehanded on her own back and the left would rail against her for not saving the cat!

Posted by: Scottie238 | January 11, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse


The Left are trying to destroy Sarah Palin. They must be afraid of her with the amount of articles they write about her.

Last week, before last Saturday, I had commented on the fact that on any given day there are quite a few negative articles on WaPo about Palin.

The Left are playing loose and careless with the facts of this case. No wonder the liberal MSM is losing credibility.

The 1st Amendment was to ensure that the Press was free to print the truth without being punished. Little did our Founders know what partisan hacks our Press would become. Obama would never have been elected had the liberal MSM printed the truth about his Chicago Way.

As a reminder let's once again read our own President's vitriolic words:

Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”

Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”

Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”

Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”

Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose a** to kick.“

Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”

Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”

Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies(Republicans).”

Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

Obama to Hannity: "I'm going to send Burgess to work him over."

And that "Punish your Enemies(Republicans)" statement Obama said only a few months ago.

Posted by: janet8 | January 11, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

As much as I would like to see the Tea Party disappear along with Sarah Palin (and by, "disappear", I mean go away safely in peace, taking their useless rhetoric with them), I can't blame them for the actions of a sick man.

It's the same logic that says 1st person shooter video games inspire kids to go on a murdering spree. The rational mind realizes that it's just a game.

And I'm no NRA nut by any means, but I firmly believe in placing the blame where it lies....guns don't kill people, people kill people.

I'm just sorry that so many good people had their lives cut short by an obviously sick man. May God bless us all.

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 11, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

TThis is a fact Mr. Fact Checker.
The cross hairs on a rifles telescopic sight can never exceed the perimeter of the circle.
Check it out.
The "Cross Hair" on Palin's map has a "Cross Hair" that exceeds the circle. There is in fact a surveyor’s symbol, BM #79, where "Cross Hairs" exceed the circle and look exactly like the symbol that used by the printer who identified the districts on the map you showed in your article.
How would you explain that fact regardless of what people say?

Posted by: nychap44 | January 11, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

did anyone ask these questions to Leon Frank Czolgosz?

Posted by: jibreelriley | January 11, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There is no evidence the shooter paid any attention to conservatives much less even listed to talk radio or conservative TV shows. The position of those on the left who are trying to use the tragedy in Tucson for political gain is based on wishful thinking and shows just how unreasoning and unreasonable they are.

Posted by: geezer64 | January 11, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

yeah, uh, surveyors don't really use that symbol...

just saying.

Posted by: lestro | January 11, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights...It's a surveyor's symbol" --Rebecca Mansour, an aide to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin

"Don't retreat, reload." Sarah Palin

Decide for yourself.

Posted by: proserve | January 11, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

geezer64 - "There is no evidence the shooter paid any attention to conservatives much less even listed to talk radio or conservative TV shows."

Well, not yet...but are you saying you know something about this jerk...that everybody else doesn't know?

Posted by: proserve | January 11, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

nychap44 - "How would you explain that fact regardless of what people say?"

Okay...then explain Palin's comment right after the symbols were assigned: "Don't retreat, reload."

Is she saying surveyors "reload" at some point?

Posted by: proserve | January 11, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

COLEBRACKETT - Yes and Obama said something about bringing a gun to a knife fight and the DNC very clearly used the cross hairs from a rifle scope over photo's of Bush during the 2004 elections. It was SYMBOLISM, used to get across the idea that Bush was being targeted for defeat and that Fox News "analysts" had sliced and diced issues and polarized voting blocks. None of that, and clearly not Palin's map, was even remotely a call for some lunatic to harm people. Furthermore, that Arizona lunatic was a registered Democrat up until 2006 or 2007 and, then, registered as an Independent. He was a self described leftist who sometime in 2007, long before the Tea Party even existed, decided he hated Gabrielle Giffords. If the "progressives" hadn't made it all but impossible to forcibly institutionalize mentally ill individuals, this tragedy could have been avoided.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 11, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

janet8 - "The Left are trying to destroy Sarah Palin."

The Princess is doing a pretty good job of that herself...every time she opens her mouth.

Duh.

Posted by: proserve | January 11, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Simply because he had an animus in 2007, does not mean that Palin's map or other vitriolic rhetoric had no effect. It's still quite possible that their actions excaberated an already-existing problem.

Posted by: bhart311 | January 11, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's one for you, Glenn:

Hype Meant to Inflame or Insightful Questions?

------------------

I understand the Target logo has been -- how does one say it? -- "targeted".

Posted by: JAH3 | January 11, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Please explain to me why the Palin ad with crosshairs is on the front page of the Post website today and there is no mention of the Democratic Party's repeated use of bullseyes for "targeted" Republicans they wanted to take out? Of course, we all know the explanation. The Post's selelctive perception and extreme bias has crossed from delusion to clinical paranoia. There is absolutely no evidence even suggesting that the obviously schizophrenic shooter was even aware of the Palin ads, or Palin hereself for that matter. The Post wants there to be a connection however, so it is attempting to create one where none exists. The editors should be ashamed of themselves for their attempt to use this tragic event to advance their political agenda. But never let a tragedy go wasted, right?

Posted by: jrschaib | January 11, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the Democrats had a map with BULLS EYES on it tells me any Democrat who goes after Palin without blaming their own team for doing the SAME THING is a hypocrite..

Posted by: sovine08 | January 11, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Barack Obama 6/08

Posted by: MRGB | January 11, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It's not gunsights nor surveyor symbol; it's lipstick: http://www.eddiecaplan.com/?p=1171

Posted by: egc52556 | January 11, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

GOP = terrorism

Posted by: lichtme | January 11, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

To Palin: Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Posted by: removeinfo1 | January 11, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

When will you people simply admit the woman is a moron? With all her yipping about the media, she doesn't even know she's part of the media. Idiot.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 11, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Can you PLEASE just DROP this type of coverage? ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!! Get a life!!

Posted by: failsafe | January 11, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Surveyors symbols?

Bwhahahahahahahahahahahah.

As the writer has already said, Sarah 'Failin has come out many times in the past 6 months, calling these "targets" and using yelling "they are in our sights" and "reload".

Surveyors symbols? This woman is dafter than I thought.

Posted by: Nosh1 | January 11, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

If you're waiting for any correspondence between Palin and the mapmaker to surface, you'll have a looooooooooooong wait. The people of Alaska have been waiting to see emails between Palin and others during her short stint as Governor (which SHOULD be public information) for more than 2 1/2 YEARS now...latest estimate of when the (likely heavily redacted) emails will be released is now May... Think about it...she's been out of office for more than a year now, but the emails still haven't been released...

Posted by: webster8 | January 11, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, things like Sarah Palin's target map do influence our cultural climate. So do "reality" shows which highlight people verbally and physically attacking each other anytime they feel the slightest bit "dissed." This social climate of immaturity - the promotion of verbal and emotional attacking of others, retribution, bullying, and letting fly with anything one feels and thinks at the moment - has been a circular problem for years and is growing. It's promoted by people in all walks of life, not just politicians, and if we're going to work on the problem, we'll have to address it across the board. To suggest that people in general are not influenced by the immature and bullying social climate we've been creating and living in is naive. It doesn't matter if the shooter in this case saw Sarah Palin's map. The many things she has said and done, as well as those of ALL the political parties have contributed to a sense in the social climate that it's alright and actually expected that you bully others if you want to be seen as self respecting and if you want to "win." This same message is being delivered by many members of the media and all those involved with immature, bullying reality show programs. Psychologists for hire who make excuses for criminal behavior and basically put the blame on the victims have been sending the same subtle message to everyone. We used to explain the facts behind behavior to educate and help change the things that lead to the behavior, but we held the perpetrator solely responsible for their choice. Now psychologists for hire set up an "if-then" correlation that excuses criminals. Today we have set up the message that we expect lousy behavior from people if someone ticks them off because it's "natural" instead of expecting and encouraging and teaching people to have real self respect and rise to their best self - those things have to be taught and encouraged by the prevailing social climate.

So has Sarah Palin and so many others across every walk of life influenced the social climate in which this deranged shooter has been living? A resounding yes.

If we want to see change, we have an opportunity here to rise to the occasion and admit what kind of social climate we've been creating and then create a new and better one that serves us all. Does it have to become namby pamby and nicey nice? No, certainly not. I think we all know how to be passionate, angry, forthright and honest without becoming immature and bullying - the vast majority of the time. I think that's what we'll have to rise to, and what we will have to expect from those in the public eye if we want to see beneficial change.

Posted by: jdVA | January 11, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The only good that can come of this lie is that more people will realize that this moron could never be seriuously considered for president. One Pinocchio is hardly enough. I would give her five for this blatant lie.

Posted by: PepperDr | January 11, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Following 'Palin-logic,' that guns in America aren't a problem and that they don't kill people, I'm sure she won't mind at all of some Second Amendment loving Obama supporters show up at her rallies exercising their God given right to participate in the political process.

What could possibly be the harm in that?

Posted by: cfeher | January 11, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Please explain to me why the Palin ad with crosshairs is on the front page of the Post website today and there is no mention of the Democratic Party's repeated use of bullseyes for "targeted" Republicans they wanted to take out? "

Because no one shot the Republicans in the HEAD! If you had posted something simillar to Palin's about a neighbor and that neighbor ended up dead, no surprise that the police would look at you. Saying that someone else did it too does not make it right, how old are you people, 12? As someone said before, be an adult, say "it was inappropriate and if it contributed in any way to this tragedy we are sorry. We will consider the power of our words in the future and encourage others to do the same." Don't point fingers and make up lies about it not being a gun sight. BE A LEADER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

Posted by: moxiemom | January 11, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Barack Obama 6/08

Posted by: MRGB | January 11, 2011 1:34 PM


>>>
What knife? What fight? It was just plain murder.

PLEASE, try not to sound so stupid in public.

---
When was the last time that loud-mouthed sow was silent for three days in a row? Could it be guilty knowledge?

Is she actually capable of telling the truth? I can't recall of one thing she's ever said that would me think so.

She has absolutely no personal integrity.

Worse, she deliberately sets a bad example.

Tailgunner Joe in drag.

Posted by: law1946 | January 11, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Who is Palin fooling? Perhaps the idiots who believe in her. They are targets for killing Democrats.

Posted by: truth1 | January 11, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Do we now get to discuss the "motivations" of islamic terrorists?? And the influences of the clerics, and the writings in the Koran etc -- or is that still "un-PC"

Posted by: georged1 | January 11, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It's clear from the beginning what the "intent" was with regard to this graphic. Please note that one major reason this has become a topic for debate is the fact that Congresswoman Giffords herself raised the issue and worried about the "consequences" of such rhetoric. Ironically, her words sparked this (much-needed) debate. Look no further than the youtube video found her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7046bo92a4

In this case, it's the victim who raised the issue re: Palin well before she was shot by a crazy man.

Posted by: peace4politics | January 11, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

This line of ATTACK by our liberal/progressive MSM wolfpack press has ZERO MERIT........now that the facts are coming in.

Shame on our dirty MSM wolfpack press for coming right out of the gates blaming Palin and the Tea Party.....

Our MSM wolfpack press lost the very tiny amount of creditbility they had left over that mistake.......

As it turns out this guy was a NUT who is only described by his classmates as a "left-wing pothead" ........which doesn't exactly fit a "Tea Party" member.

MSM press you owe the American people an apology............

Posted by: allenridge | January 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I especially appreciate comments from the surveyors on here - I have posted the difference in the symbols on my facebook page, and am being called "evil" because I am not ignoring this rhetoric used by someone who has no more qualifications to become president than Howdy Doody. Ignoring this rhetoric is NOT going to change things. AMERICANS who reject and will no longer tolerate violence in politics changes things. We have watched the tea partiers throw eggs at buses (WHO takes eggs to a rally unless they intend on throwing them at something!?!), gangs yelling at veterans with Parkinson's Disease, and a woman stomped on the head because she carried a sign with opposing view points! WHO is trying to take away rights, here?? Clue: NOT THE DEMOCRATS!!!
We must call for Limbaugh, Hannidy, Beck, O'Reilly, and OF COURSE, Palin to denounce the violence that THEY have permitted and promoted, and we need to all step back and ask if we want America to function like a Tea Party rally, in 2012 and beyond.

Posted by: ccleary | January 11, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what all the fuss is about. Those symbols are obviously crosses. Good Christians that she is, Sarah was just praying for Jesus to bless those districts.

Posted by: js_edit | January 11, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If it was a surveyors symbol, why was it removed from Palin's website right after the shooting?

Most of us are not as gullible as the Teabaggers.

Posted by: wiz_fan | January 11, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes even Sarah Palin isn't even as stupid as her detractors. This is one of those times.

In hindsight, after the shooting of a Congresswoman, many see the symbols on Palin's map as gunsights. But what would have been reasonable beforehand? Given a map overlaid with circle-cross symbols, what is a reasonable meaning for those symbols? They could be gunsights, but maps and gunsights would be a mixed image. Maps and survey symbols, at least, do go together. Even a kindergartener would know that those symbols mark a location--perfectly consistent with the survey-symbol interpretation. If the sybols are gunsights, then what is the meaning? Is one supposed to shoot that location?

Of course the symbols could (maybe probably do) have double meaning as both survey symbol and gunsight. But let us bear in mind that the simple meaning--the literal meaning in the context of a map--is the survey-symbol meaning. That meaning is certain and solid. The gunsight interpretation belongs to the world of metaphor and symbol. To make or not to make such an interpretation says at least as much about the interpreter as about the map's author. One might interpret those symbols as gunsights, but it is unreasonable (given the map context) to deny them as survey symbols.

Posted by: MarkDavidovich | January 11, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The obvious lie about "surveyors symbols" shows what amateurs the Palin team actually are. Anybody who's been around the block (or actually finished an entire term in office) knows that the denials are what usually create the scandals. If those marks were meant to be anything other than targets, then why did her team immediately take the map down once news of the shooting broke? Definitely need more Pinocchios for the Palin team, and a few fumble icons as well.

Posted by: SageThrasher | January 11, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm a conservative (not tea party), and of course those are gunsights! However, I do believe it was supposed to be symbolism and not a call to assassinate anyone. SP just needs to own up to it.

Posted by: Guest1234 | January 11, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

since when did "taking a stand" mean you back out and say, oh, noo, noo, no that's not what I meant.

WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU (chuckle) MEANT.

chuckle.

you're goin' down, hater.

Posted by: pgibson1 | January 11, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Finally, here's what Palin herself tweeted on Nov. 4 when the election results came in and all but two of those lawmakers on her list had either quit or been defeated: "Remember months ago "bullseye" icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin' incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T'aint bad)"
-----------------------------------------

What was the rush to take this map off the Palin website?

I doubt even Fox News would want to keep her on their payroll.

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 11, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The guy was mentally ill. That isn't a liberal or a conservative issue. Mental illness affects everyone regardless of political leaning.

While Palin's stupid map may have been in poor taste, it isn't connected to Jared Loughner's mental illness. As far as I can tell, the guy seems to have communist leanings more so than tea party leanings. But Sarah Palin is behind it, right? Afterall, we need a scapegoat, right?

Posted by: lacarids | January 11, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is not a drug addict,

Tom Delay is not a convicted felon,

Dubya Bush and Cheney did not out a CIA agent (Valaire Plame)

No, in the neo-Nazi right wing that has become the GOP "new speak" is alive and well - and dangerous.

Posted by: googleer | January 11, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I spent 40 years in construction. Those symbols do not look like any surveyor's marks I've ever seen. A surveyor's mark has orange (or red) "pie slices" alternating with white. A shameless and weak dodge. Try again.

Posted by: prestoj | January 11, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The hypocritical Democrats were the first to create a geographical map using "bullseye's" to represent political opponents they wanted eliminated.

http://www.postonpolitics.com/2010/04/democrats-our-bullseye-targets-on-house-districts-are-not-like-palins-crosshair-targets/

Posted by: panola60 | January 11, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't all the violent video games where you are supposed to be targeting human beings be banned, too? They are putting an actually crosshair on people targets.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | January 11, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

He was a self described leftist who sometime in 2007, long before the Tea Party even existed
__________________________________________

This is a very interesting comment considering I have read on this blog and many other blogs/comments that the TEA Party existed way before January 2009.

Posted by: konsowski | January 11, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

She talks about being a momma grizzley and dares some people to man up. But she sure turns tail when the heat is on. The author is right. Defend it or apolgize. To claim otherwise is to insult the intelligence of everyone.

Posted by: thomgr | January 11, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"So despite media efforts to draw larger meaning from the tragedy, the charge that Palin's map had anything to do with the shooting is bogus."

No, nothing like that has been shown. we don't know, and you don't know, if Sarah's map or any political rhetoric, right left or off the map, had anything to do with this shooting. The tendency of all the press to take a little information and interpret it to the moon is not helpful. We still do not know what this fellows motivations were, what influenced him. We have not heard what he has to say on the matter. You are making baseless claims about his motivations.

Posted by: underhill | January 11, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If you really want the truth, and I know most people don't:

1. It is a computer typesetting symbol like every other symbol.
2. Surveyers use it a lot.
3. It also looks like gun sights.
4. Palin used it to mark congressional districts, a metaphor used by 900,000 googled posting.

Posted by: Delongl | January 11, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If you really want the truth, and I know most people don't:

1. It is a computer typesetting symbol like every other symbol.
2. Surveyers use it a lot.
3. It also looks like gun sights.
4. Palin used it to mark "targetted" congressional districts, a metaphor used by 900,000 googled posting.

Posted by: Delongl | January 11, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"It's impossible to know exactly what Palin had in mind ...."
"but it's silly for her aides to claim she did not intend these to be gunsights."

So we don't know what Palin had in mind, but we know what she intended. Could you explain this a bit more clearly, please?

Posted by: dsmith06 | January 11, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

It's not an 'after the fact excuse', it's a bald faced and shameless lie, so why soft pedal it? Left wing MSM? - RiiiiGHT. Do Palin's handlers believe we are as stupid as she is? While Palin's map may not have specifically incited the shooter, I'm convinced that the angry and deranged political rhetoric coming from the right (and 95% of the angry & deranged political rhetoric does come from the right these days) does influence people who have inclinations in that direction anyway.

Posted by: kg1957 | January 11, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Violent imagery is sadly a staple of our political discussions. Even the Fact Checker writes, "with left-wing bloggers especially taking aim at Palin's map of 20 House Democrats." Taking aim?

The point of this post wasn't to condemn Palin for Loughner's deeds. It's not reasonable to make that kind of assertion. Further, that kind of argument makes one guilty of repeating the sin it accuses the other of perpetrating. We're perpetually cranking up the level of confrontation in our political discourse.

The imagery Palin used on her 2010 map is just an example of how we have all fallen away from civility. There is no discussion, only argument and blame. That we use these events as excuses to continue to point wag our fingers is evidence that we simply refuse to learn.

I see little hope for us.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 11, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Its plain an simple. The circle with the cross in the with the cross exceeded the the circle perimeter is a surveyor's symbol whether you like it or not. The cross hairs on a rifle scope or any other scope can not, let me repeat, can not exceed the perimeter. got it.
Regardless of what anyone says, including Palin, that symbol is a surveyor's symbol and not a gun sight scope.
Let it go.

Posted by: nychap44 | January 11, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

If the very liberal WAPO is at all fair they will also post the Democratic map with targets posted long before Palin's and they will issue an apology. The shock to think liberals would post an internet map with targets - oh my.

Posted by: topgun97365 | January 11, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

This seems like a very poor choice for a "fact check." You are speculating about Palin's intent. Why quote Elizabeth Haselbeck?

"This is a fact-checking operation, not an opinion-checking operation. We are interested only in verifiable facts...."

I don't see many verifiable facts here.

Posted by: dsmith06 | January 11, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't think a map on Sarah Palin's sights, er, site had anything to do with the shootings. But seriously, is it not asking too much that our politicians at least tell believable lies?

Posted by: jeffwacker | January 11, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Er, Hasselbeck. Might want to spell check that, WaPo.

Posted by: dsmith06 | January 11, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The shooter was a outrage junkie who was mad about Health Care, immigration, and also hated America. He had extremely racist material, and Nazis stuff as well, most of what I have heard was right wing, but it was very doubtful his mind was rational enough to follow either sides debate points.
However, its the implied violence in Palins, the Tea Party, and yes some of the left's language which is being blamed for giving him a target and perhaps steering him towards violence. The Right uses far more gun and violence language and talks of revolution in the violent sense. This used to not be true of the main stream right vs Left, but it has been lately. However, both sides are guilty of language that is very dangerous in an unhinged mind.

We need to all acknowledge, frequently, that the vast majority of people involved in politics love this country very much, and every single elected official I have ever met sure seemed to. I may think the Tea Party types are very wrong about where they want to take the country, but that does not mean they hate the country.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | January 11, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Apperently Jared Loughner did become obsessed with the Giffords in 2007, but it was the violent rhetoric in the last few years that pushed him over the edge. If someone is telling people to "take back our country" or "If we can't take our country back with the ballot, we will do it with bullets" and no one calls them to task, it must be ok to do what they tell them to do.

Posted by: jmfromdc | January 11, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kessler, please use spellcheck. It diminishes your article greatly.

Posted by: ricelk4 | January 11, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Er, Elisabeth Hasselbeck (not "Elizabeth Haselbeck"). Could someone please spell check this fact check?

Posted by: dsmith06 | January 11, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a national disgrace and should hide her head in shame that someone on her cross-hairs list was shot. Whether the killer used this chart to go after the congresswoman or not, Sarah Palin is a vile person. She should be ashamed for advocating violence against politicians and we all said so at the time this chart was published. They were cross hairs of a gun and we all know it!! She is a liar and a despicable excuse for a human being.

Posted by: meowomon | January 11, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

...on "The View," co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck--who campaigned with Palin in 2008--on March 25 labeled the map as "purely despicable." She added: "The names that are next to and being highlighted by those crosshairs, I think it's an abuse of the Second Amendment.

Why is this person allowed to speak to the general public at all? "Abuse of the second amendment"? Really? Tell me just how that works.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | January 11, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more interested in who knew what regarding this assailant's mental condition and what action, if any, was taken or recommended.

Regardless of what the actual facts are on political targeting, this act shows no obvious linkage to that.

Did the Tucson sheriff's office or other law enforcement or public mental health workers have any inkling that the assailant was a public menace?

Posted by: BobThompson | January 11, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Palin would like to believe that everyone is as stupid as herself and her followers, and could be as easily misled.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | January 11, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Glenn.
Failing grade for you.
This is a 2-Pinnochio, if anything is.
This is NOT a simple:
"shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth."
This is an outrageous:
"false, misleading impression by playing with words."
Not to mention a pathetic attempt at an excuse.
The fact that Loughner first began to pay attention to Giffords in 2007 is also no excuse.
Because of his illness, he nursed this animus and Palin's published "map" was likely an ideal addition to his reasons in his fevered, broken mind.
Loughner is severely ill; what is Palin's excuse (as well as her minions)?
Does Palin have no one around her to keep her from making a complete partisan fool of herself?
Apparently not.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | January 11, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The symbol is the same as used on Garmin MapSource maps to pinpoint geographic locations.

Posted by: GaryJean | January 11, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

ChickaBOOMer| Liberal Media: Someday You'll Be Real Boys
http://chickaboomer.blogspot.com/2011/01/liberal-media-someday-youll-be-real.html

Posted by: StewartIII | January 11, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"We're on Sarah Palin's Targeted list," Giffords told MSNBC in March, after the door of her Tucson office was smashed after her vote in favor of the health care bill. "But the thing is the way she has it depicted, it has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action."
This is a Learning Moment not cynical exploitation and blatant opportunism.
They have unleashed the same "Crazy for McCane" stuff we saw 2 years ago and when you don't snuff them out they will grow into a wildfire. When poloticians and judges need bodyguards we might as well tear down the border with Mexico and let the crazy flow.

Posted by: J1107 | January 11, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Er. In order to lie, you have to know the truth. Sarah Palin does not qualify. Hasselbeck meets that standard also.

And dsmith06 and ricelk4 - spell check libraries do not contain most surnames. Real technology aces, you are - NOT.

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 11, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This is getting comical. The targets on the states by the DLC published in 2004 were less personal than Palin's targets and did not have a list of people below the targets so they are completely different. I can picture Kessler saying to his boss right after saying "Give me another hit of that joint please." "Please boss don't make me take this approach. You are going to make me a laughing stock. Even Jon Stewart, a fellow liberal, may notice my lame defense and could have this on his show to ridicule me."

Let's face it. No matter what anyone would have found, be it a DLC target map or other evidence, to throw the hypocrisy in the face of liberals you would have somehow found a way to rationalize that it was different.

Thanks for the laugh Glenn. You made my day a little brighter.

Posted by: tmonahan54 | January 11, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Spent two summers hearing all about how angry these tea party folks were, and wondering what those people really had to be so angry about.... Listening to teh responses after the events on Sunday, it strikes me that the rest of us are angry, that there has been a lot of suppressed anger all along, and I know why.

Posted by: underhill | January 11, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I misunderstood I thought the conservative republicons believed in personal responsability, MY BAD!

Posted by: Woodstocknative | January 11, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Pjohn2 -- you are quite right. I should have said "check the spelling" rather than "spell check." Because you might misinterpret the latter phrase. And then you might get angry. And we don't want that.

Posted by: dsmith06 | January 11, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

This is not a valid question........these were gun sights from day one as Sarah was referring to reloading rather than surveying.

Do we really have to legitimize what any person says in the attempt to "be fair" when someone is lying? Sorry WaPo but not all arguments are created equal.

Posted by: theobserver4 | January 11, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

DON'T RETREAT...

uhhh...

RE-SURVEY!

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | January 11, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a twit.

Posted by: American19 | January 11, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who believes these were surveyor's marks, I have a nice bridge to nowhere I'd like to show you. It's over here, right behind the death panels.

Posted by: Observer691 | January 11, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Typical wingnut...Palin blusters and dispenses bombastic nonsense in re: target the Dems...then when something happens and she gets called out, she runs away and hides.

Posted by: Jerryvov | January 11, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with your point that Palin's actions had nothing to do with the shooting. Her gun scope illustration, and more importantly her inflammatory words, have inspired many on the edge of mental stability to do stupid things. The shooter may have had animus toward Rep. Giffords since 2007, but he did not act on his feelings until this year. It is not possible for you to state without equivacation that Palin's acts/words did not contribute to his decision. The only thing that would preclude the possibility that she is partially to blame is if she had not done and said what she did.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | January 11, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

OK, so they aren't perfect representations of gunsights because they exceed the perimeter. but gunsights are rendered that way in print because a circle with a plus sign nested in it looks like a four slice pizza or a pie chart. she said they were bull's eyes (mixing the metaphor) for goodness sake, not geographic monuments (which mark points, not congressional districts, just by the way), so let's not get absurd.

all that said, "targetting" districts and opponents for defeat, using bull's eye's, is more metaphorical than crosshairs.

cross hairs is a bit much for my taste, by comparison.

what really bothers me, however, is when you combine reloading your second amendment remedies to get the blood of tyrants with bullets over ballots to take America back from enemies of the republic, you can't pretend that lunatics might take you seriously (blending Palin, Angel, West, and others).

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 11, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Responding to:

Another cynically opportunistic article by the left leaning media, exploiting a genuine tradegy to condemn a political opponent. The Post should be ashamed of this cynical exploitation and blatant opportunism.

Posted by: amazd | January 11, 2011 9:08 AM
__________________

Another, cynical, dishonest post by a right-winger so high on empty rhetoric that he or she can no longer distinguish reality. How is the Post being opportunistic in pointing out the truth-hedging of a politician? Is the Post exploiting Sarah Palin in some way? Newspapers are supposed to check to see if politicians are telling the truth--that's part of their job.

Do words have any meaning for you, or are they simply slopped together and hurled about in order to express your incoherent emotions?

Posted by: GeorgeSanders | January 11, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Responding to:

..on "The View," co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck--who campaigned with Palin in 2008--on March 25 labeled the map as "purely despicable." She added: "The names that are next to and being highlighted by those crosshairs, I think it's an abuse of the Second Amendment.

Why is this person allowed to speak to the general public at all? "Abuse of the second amendment"? Really? Tell me just how that works.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | January 11, 2011 3:50 PM
______________

So, John Din, you want to decide who's allowed to speak to the general public and who isn't? What kind of country do you think we live in? Freedom-haters like you do not get to choose who is allowed to speak to the public and who isn't. Look in our Bill of Rights, buddy.

Posted by: GeorgeSanders | January 11, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Responding to:

Despite all the barking and braying from the hysterical left, the American public knows this thing in Tucson was the act of a nutjob who had nothing to do with those who support smaller, less intrusive government. Ironic that the left's answer is more laws and suppression of free speech, as long as it's the free speech of their opponents.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 11, 2011 12:01 PM

___________
Interesting comment, carlbatey. Why don't you look at the words of your right-wing compatriot, John Din, who wrote, "Why is this person [Elisabeth Hasselbeck] allowed to speak to the general public at all? " You right-wingers want complete control of the media; you'll whine about suppression of your free speech until you get a chance to shut down the free speech of anyone who disagrees with you.

Posted by: GeorgeSanders | January 11, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

sarah palin is not a surveyor she claims to be a hunter. Everyone can agree on that fact, and to suggest that her reload comments aren't provocative, ya right!

Posted by: Woodstocknative | January 11, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

This was a real opportunity for Sarah Palin to prove that she is a heavyweight simply by taking responsibility for her actions. How easy it would have been for her to say that she was so sorry; that her rhetoric was ill-advised and that going forward she would be more careful to use words that could not be "misinterpreted." I guess that ship has sailed.

Posted by: happilyretired1 | January 11, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, people are defending Palin for LYING. People, she LIED about the map. What pary of LYING do you not understand?

Posted by: fishman2 | January 11, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Palin is done. Of course she'll still have a core set of followers, but on the national level, it's over with for her. She'll be saddled with this, rightly or wrongly, and it will not shake off.

Posted by: hitpoints | January 11, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Whether it is a surveyor's mark or crosshairs, where is your comparison to the Democratic Congressional Relection Committee website who had almost an identical map with bullseyes all over it and when you ran your mouse over the bullseye, up popped a window with a box entitled Target Republican: with a name, picture and description?

Shall we discuss if the democrats complaining about crosshairs find bullseyes and target pictures of republicans acceptable or equally despicable as they claim Palin's to be? Are democrats the hypocrits they appear to be or not?

Posted by: justmyvoice | January 11, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you fact-check any of the hundreds of vicious lies the Democrats and the media have spun since the shooting?

For starters, is there any link at all between right-wing talk and the shooter? Nope. Is he a conservative or Tea Partier? Nope. Was he motivated by Palin or Rush or Bush? Nope.

Of course, you'll never fact check the nasty smear campaign the Washington Post is waging against half of America. You've indicted all conservatives -- made us co-conspirators in this murder. Fact check that, you clown.

You're not a journalist. You're a political partisan working on behalf of the Democrats.

But guess what? We can see through you.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | January 11, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you fact-check any of the hundreds of vicious lies the Democrats and the media have spun since the shooting?

For starters, is there any link at all between right-wing talk and the shooter? Nope. Is he a conservative or Tea Partier? Nope. Was he motivated by Palin or Rush or Bush? Nope.

Of course, you'll never fact check the nasty smear campaign the Washington Post is waging against half of America. You've indicted all conservatives -- made us co-conspirators in this murder. Fact check that, you clown.

You're not a journalist. You're a political partisan working on behalf of the Democrats.

But guess what? We can see through you.

Posted by: diesel_skins_
_______________________
there's nothing to fact check. No one on the order of Palin or any columnist has made any such claim. Making a point of Gifford's own remarks about Palin's map is good journalism, wouldn't you agree?

if you read carefully, people are distinguishing between any suggestion that this lunatic was motivated by this rhetoric, and the point that too many references to the second amendment, bullets, and the blood of tyrants can't be a good thing.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 11, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Get a grip amazd. If Palin did not want the evil, wicked left to scoff at this implausable explanation for the symbols she chose to use on her website, she could have avoided any chance of that happening by simply not acting on the impulse to put out her silly statement.

If she thinks there is nothing wrong with the gun sight imagery she should say so. If, in retrospect, she wishes that she had not chosen this particular way to illustrate her desire to see a candidate she disagrees with defeated, she should say so.

Palin is not a four-year old trying to win her kindergarten teacher's approval. She is a grown woman who considers herself ready to lead the free world.

Posted by: exco | January 11, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Palin & co have gotten away so far with lies, why start telling truth and accepting responsibilities now?

Posted by: GuyFromLa | January 11, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I suspect the only reason there are "surveyors" symbols is because the mapping software they used did not have a real gun crosshair in it's symbol library. So Palin's aids are BS'ing the truth, they purposely picked a symbol meant to prepresent a rifle scope crosshair, it's that simple!

Posted by: CapHillDC | January 11, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Palin LIED. Can people just comment on Palin here since that is what the article about? It seems many right wingers on here are defending a LIE.

Posted by: fishman2 | January 11, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

1) It actually doesn't matter since most people don't know what surveyors' symbol look like and would, therefore, conclude the symbols are gunsights (I took surveying 35 years old and am an outdoorsman who reads maps and *I* thought they were gunsights).

2) Palin's and the Tea Party's violent, hate-your-neighbor rhetoric is clearer than any symbol.

But not everyone is concerned; e.g., our enemies and competitors love what Sarah Palin and the Tea Party is doing to our country.

Posted by: jjedif | January 11, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Glenn, for spawning one of the most entertaining reads (ie the comments in this forum) that I remember experiencing in my roughly 55 years of seriously reading metropolitan daily newspapers either on dead trees or in the weird wild web. Several of the posts are brilliant---they take the words right out of my fingers.

But you should check the proudly junior-high-school logic of this statement in your essay's first paragraph:

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

It now turns out that the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, appears to have had an animus for Giffords dating back to 2007, long before Palin posted the map on her Facebook page last March. So despite media efforts to draw larger meaning from the tragedy, the charge that Palin's map had anything to do with the shooting is bogus.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Bogus? After the mayhem that occurred outside a Safeway (!) supermarket in a suburb of Tucson on Saturday 8 January, that's being seen by a majority (or at least a large minority) of your readers as an unwarrantedly extreme adjective. As some others in this forum have already suggested, not till Tuesday 30 November 2010 did the language-challenged and logic-challenged boy allegedly (!) visit a retail arsenal in Tucson to spend around $450 on the purchase of a "Glock 19" semiautomatic pistol with extended magazine. At that late stage in the development of his fantasies about the world, was his (alleged!) purpose for the gun to shoot the cockroaches of his own mind? Unlikely. Had his simplistic and addled world-view been egged on by his memory of a redneck brandishing a rifle (oops, sorry---it was a surveyor's folded tripod) arriving at a "town hall" meeting at which Barack Obama was speaking, or by such Custer's-last-stand slogans as "don't retreat, reload", or by the Wasilla weasel-worder's infamous crosshairs? Who knows? Not you, Glenn. Jumping to conclusions is more FoxNotTheNews territory than WaPo territory. Perhaps the truth will come out eventually.

And, by the way, the nonsensical wordstring "The assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords" that opens your first paragraph reminds me of the command of language that the said sad boy, a self-proclaimed grammar-expert, displays in his bizarrely stilted (it reads like Chinglish) white-words-on-black-background contribution to YouTube beginning with the line "Hello, my name is Jared Lee Loughner".

Dear Glenn, before you consigned your essay to the eyes of the world you should have permitted a copyeditor to logic-check it, especially its first paragraph.

PS: The webpage's "preview" trick isn't working for me. Fingers crossed.

Posted by: LeighOats | January 11, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

BS - they knew exactly what they were doing and what they were suggesting-which is why they promptly attempted to cover their tracks after the shooting by taking the page down. Palin and her ilk should be spayed and neutered.

Posted by: staussfamily | January 11, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is quiet because the Tea Party knows she cannot control what comes out of her mouth and she will add fuel to the fire.

Posted by: BXNYC | January 11, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

BS - they knew exactly what they were doing and what they were suggesting-which is why they promptly attempted to cover their tracks after the shooting by taking the page down. Palin and her ilk should be spayed and neutered.

Posted by: staussfamily | January 11, 2011 6:46 PM

Wow, there is that nice liberal tolerance in your last sentence. Unfortunately, this is part and parcel for the hate speech that defecates from the left everyday. What about the crosshairs the democrats used in 2007? What about the crosshairs Kos (kookdushe)had on the same congress woman for not being liberal enough?

Zero, zilch, nata, none, no evidence that Sarah Palin had any influence on the murderer...yeah, the guy you should be blaming.

You libs are dispicable no doubt, but you are losing ground on this by the minute. Check out Michele Malikin site to see a nice illustration of the progressive hat in action from 200-2010. Typical hypocrits that spewed far more vitriol against Sarah Palin during the election. Please, go back and re-visit your own hate. You find out what perverse and pure filth you on the left really are.

Posted by: 65apr | January 11, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Facts" LOL WAPO that's so presh. Facts?

How about your opening quote? Carefully inserting the ellipses.

HERE'S THE ACTUAL TEXT WHEREIN MS MANSOUR SAYS CROSS HAIRS INITIALLY. Because there's no reason not to.

Tammy Bruce introduced the surveyor's symbol thing in the conversation and Mansour just repeated it.

You people are so 7th grade. This time in history will judge us a laughing stock for PDS and falling for politicians manipulations.

QUOTE:

MANSOUR: I just want to clarify again, and maybe it wasn't done on the record enough by us when this came out, the graphic, is just, it's basically -- we never, ever, ever intended it to be gunsights. It was simply crosshairs like you see on maps.

BRUCE: Well, it's a surveyor's symbol. It's a surveyor's symbol.

MANSOUR: It's a surveyor's symbol. I just want to say this, Tammy, if I can. This graphic was done, not even done in house -- we had a political graphics professional who did this for us.

Posted by: NovemberElection2012 | January 11, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Glad you have taken over the column. Buckle your seat belt and put on your crash helmet. There are a lot of people out there after your scalp. Good luck!

Michael Dobbs

Posted by: msdobbs2 | January 11, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Dear 65apr ("January 11, 2011 7:48 PM"),

You ask: "What about the crosshairs the democrats used in 2007? What about the crosshairs Kos (kookdushe)had on the same congress woman for not being liberal enough?"

I seem to have forgotten about both of those representations of crosshairs. Would you be so good as to post a link to a picture of each?

Posted by: LeighOats | January 11, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I can and do hold Sarah Palin partially responsible.

Many of the dems on that list received threats. Why aren't you reported on those?

Palin's ugly, violent rhetoric is like the manure that feeds the insanity of the tea party.

And she is too cowardly to stand behind her words, instead lying about what they mean. She also is too cowardly to make any direct statement, instead using her sycophants to hide behind.

She is a bully, and a coward - the two words mean the same thing.

Posted by: solsticebelle | January 11, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Plain might as well have shot the gun herself.

Posted by: Hannah3 | January 11, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who doesn't think the Guns 'n' God rhetoric of the Palin/Tea Party/Fox News group doesn't have any affect on the mentally unstable, simply is lying to themselves.

Posted by: rmmadvertising | January 11, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who doesn't think the Guns 'n' God rhetoric of the Palin/Tea Party/Fox News group doesn't have any affect on the mentally unstable, simply is lying to themselves.

Posted by: rmmadvertising | January 11, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Gee, haven't heard a peep from the toxic, acid-tongued coward. She's usually spewing vile bile on a daily basis.

Posted by: Gary12 | January 11, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I see several idiots in here that don't know the difference between a cross-hair and a bulls eye.

How about Senator Joe Manchin ad where he actually takes a rifle, cross-hairs on the Obamacare bill and fires a shot into it.

Or my favorite:
an hour after Giffords was shot, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas actually tweeted: "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin." He conveniently failed to mention that his Daily Kos had put a "bull's eye" (their words) on Giffords in 2008 - including her on a list of centrist Democrats who should be "targeted" in Democratic primaries. Mission accomplished, Markos?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011003002.html

Actual post on the DailyCoose:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011003002.html

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | January 11, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

To all of you know-it-alls who say "Come on, of course they were gun crosshairs, not surveyor symbols"... I understand your rage, your hatred, your depraved violence and will to kill. You express it enough.

What is crossed in a gun sight is a "reticle." It does not have a circle in the center of it that is opaqued and does not extend outside the gun sight. It is (when it is a crosshair) a simple cross within the circle of the sight. It is not what the map on Palin's blog used. THAT is a surveyor symbol. What it is NOT is a gun sight image. It is not crosshairs on a gun sight.

Posted by: d1stewart | January 11, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

To all of you know-it-alls who say "Come on, of course they were gun crosshairs, not surveyor symbols"... I understand your rage, your hatred, your depraved violence and will to kill. You express it enough.

What is crossed in a gun sight is a "reticle." It does not have a circle in the center of it that is opaqued and does not extend outside the gun sight. It is (when it is a crosshair) a simple cross within the circle of the sight. It is not what the map on Palin's blog used. THAT is a surveyor symbol. What it is NOT is a gun sight image. It is not crosshairs on a gun sight.

Posted by: d1stewart | January 11, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that so many members of the press fail to recognize registration marks when they see them! Anyone in printing should know that they werent targeting people -- they were just trying to increase voter registration ;D

Posted by: Slant666 | January 12, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

The DCCC used a very similar map with bullseyes and names; it has since been taken down but not before it was captured here:

http://www.verumserum.com/?p=13647

Posted by: fgoodwin | January 12, 2011 2:23 AM | Report abuse

The graphics are stock icons for cross hairs. Do an image search for cross hairs and you will come up with the same stock graphic icon that was used on the map, and hundreds more that are the same or similar. Lying about this instead of apologizing is to be expected, I think. At least I don't expect anything else from her, (or any other politician.)

Posted by: jannisprods | January 12, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think it's silly of anyone to suggest that Gov Palin was subliminally advocating a violent response toward any of the 20 House Democrats. OTOH, I've never seen Palin have anything to say about the civil engineering profession nor surveyors but I sure have seen her boast about her hunting prowess.

So let's get real here...of course those were hunting scope crosshairs. So what? How does that translate into a call for people to take up arms against the Democratic 20?

Posted by: Post17 | January 12, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

All right, I'll ask the question a second time, with augmentation:

Dear 65apr ("January 11, 2011 7:48 PM"),

You ask: "What about the crosshairs the democrats used in 2007? What about the crosshairs Kos (kookdushe)had on the same congress woman for not being liberal enough?"

I seem to have forgotten about both of those representations of crosshairs. Would you be so good as to post a link to a picture of each?

Whatever you do, 65apr, don't utter a simple "mea culpa", an "oops", a "my bad". No such humiliating retreat would ever be committed by a certain former paller-around-with-secessionists and former mayor and former would-be bookburner and former half-term state governor and former vice-presidential hopeful.

Good political discourse means never having to say you're sorry, even about a most trifling matter.

Posted by: LeighOats | January 12, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 12, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

According to the right, anyone that commits an act of political violence is a "howling madman." The act, itself, is self defining. Timothy McVay? Howling madman. Osama Bin Laden? Howling Madman. Loughner? Howling Madman. The right constantly states things in violent imagery, threatens violence if things dont go their way, and tote guns around just in case we missed the point. Yet, when acts of violence occur, or proto violence, like, Westboro Church, Tea Baggers spitting on Congressmen and yelling out racial epitaphs, these are "howling madmen." Claiming the earth is 6k years old and ridiculing 80 year old scientists who tell you you're wrong, claiming Homosexuals are "diseased," Claiming women aren't protected in the constitution, claiming that MILLIONS of scientific studies that are peer reviewed are wrong in favor of some corporate clod's "new" findings, etc. etc., is all "normal," but the folks that listen to these noxious untruths and then act on them? You guessed it: Howling madmen.

Posted by: owlk | January 12, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, do you RELOAD a surveyor's eyepiece? Sheesh, she should own her actions and not blame the media or try to revise what she did. It may well have nothing to do with the assassination attempt, but that does not make it rit. As a christian woman, i am sure she knows that we should do unto others as we would have them do to us, and i know she would not want a target on her back.

Besides, didn't palin say she likes to use guns to get liberals all wee wee'd up? Well, not they are, so she should spare us the stupid blood libel references that only prove she does not know what these two words mean when used together. How presidential!

Posted by: winks_lbj | January 12, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

did any of you ever see PRINTERS REGISTRATION MARKS?

Posted by: regina4 | January 13, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

This article is under the heading of Fact Checker and titled "Gunsights or Surveyors Symbols". Did I miss something or was there not any research done as to if the symbols did or did not in fact match those used on a surveyors map to mark a priciple point?

Do the research (fact check) and see for yourself: egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/symbols/topomapsymbols.pdf

Now as to whether Sarah Palin intended them to be crosshais of a gun or a surveyors symbol to mark a principle point can not yet be confirmed and is only subject to opinion and conjecture at this point.

Regardless, it is clear that Palin, the Tea Party, the Republicans, the Conservatives, the Right Wing, Etc. are no more responsible for this lunatics actions than Rock and Rap music is for creating criminals or McDonalds is for making people fat.

We all have choices to make between right and wrong, good and evil, and there will always be those that can not or will not distinguish between the two (no matter their race, color, creed, or POTLITCAL AFFILIATION)!

Posted by: zjessup | January 13, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Says zjessup ("January 13, 2011 7:33 PM"):

"Regardless, it is clear that Palin, the Tea Party, the Republicans, the Conservatives, the Right Wing, Etc. are no more responsible for this lunatics actions than [. . .]."

. . . than Arizona and the Feral Bureau of Indolence and the National Raotfl Association for carelessly conspiring to allow the said "lunatics", a perpetual boy who already had an officially documented history of antisocial weirdness, to (allegedly!) visit a retail arsenal in Tucson to "legally" acquire the hardware suitable for (allegedly!) putting bullets into 20 people and (allegedly!) killing six of them in the space of a few seconds of his narcissistic time?

Dear zjessup, what point are you trying to make about the need to improve the clunky federation's laws relating to the management of the millions of superannuated-boy members of the USA's private macho militia, a large minority of whom seem to regard guns as an emergency extension of their—um—boyhoods?

The universally revered and mostly liberal (= progressive) intellectuals who wrote the constitution of the USA and whose words were later hijacked and perverted by the said superannuated boys continue to turn in their graves.

Posted by: LeighOats | January 14, 2011 2:57 AM | Report abuse

A note about WaPo's copyediting:

This story is headed . . .

"Gunsights or Surveyor Symbols?"

Answer: Yes.

Posted by: LeighOats | January 14, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

Using gun signals for Political messages in this day and age......Palin is stupid, & dangerous...

Posted by: dcdude4 | January 15, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

And Palin expected us to buy the surveyor's mark malarky? It's REALLY disturbing that someone with designs on leadership would have such an incredibly low opinion of American gullibility. I am reminded of the statement attributed to Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cake!" Now there was a woman who was completely, hopelessly clueless. Sarah is definitely a runner up.

Posted by: larrypoke | January 15, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

And Palin expected us to buy the surveyor's mark malarky? It's REALLY disturbing that someone with designs on leadership would have such an incredibly low opinion of American gullibility. I am reminded of the statement attributed to Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cake!" Now there was a woman who was completely, hopelessly clueless. Sarah is definitely a runner up.

Posted by: larrypoke | January 15, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

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