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Posted at 9:49 AM ET, 01/11/2011

The Tucson tragedy: over the line

By Jonathan Capehart

I gasped when I saw the picture on my Facebook news feed. Joe Jervis, creator of the widely followed gay blog Joe.My.God, posted a separated at birth-like coupling of alleged Tucson murderer Jared Lee Loughner and Fox News's Glenn Beck.

Folks, this is despicable. Beck may be a fire-breathing blowhard who doesn't deserve the mass following he has for the vitriol he spews daily, but to equate him with the twisted monster who stands accused of killing a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge and critically wounding a member of Congress is beyond the pale. This is the kind of vitriol we must strive to end.

BeckLoughner.jpg

Many in the comments under the photo proclaimed the photo "brilliant" and said they would repost it on their on Facebook pages. Richert Rockit Schnorr was the one brave soul to cry foul.

at the risk of people disagreeing w/ me: I'm a big fan joe but I feel it's important to say that posting that isn't saying anything useful about something really terrible that deserves to be taken seriously. it's reactionary and gives liberals a bad name. Can we try to have an informed conversation about guns in america, the pattern of violence that continues to persist here, and yes, the problem (across both parties but obviously not in an equal way) of using war and violent metaphors to describe political fights? equating these two people in that way is simplistic and narrows the conversation in a way that doesn't help anyone.there is a lot of important stuff to talk about but glen beck and jared loughner's appearances have nothing to do with anything worth talking about. ok, rant over.

Agreed!

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 11, 2011; 9:49 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Capehart says:
"Joe Jervis, creator of the widely followed gay blog Joe.My.God, posted a separated at birth-like coupling of alleged Tucson murderer Jared Lee Loughner and Fox News's Glenn Beck.
Folks, this is despicable."

Is Jonathan's reposting of the photos also despicable?

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

So naturally you go to the blogs you visit on a daily basis looking for things like this. What's worse, this picture or the announcement by the Westboro Baptist Church that they plan to picket the funeral of the 9-year old victim?

Or are these both just a matter of taste for you, Jonathan?

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

When people with whom we are ideologically aligned cross the line, we need to step up. If we would call on political leaders to stop defending the indefensible, then we should expect no less from ourselves. MLK advised that "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." If we acquiesce in nonsense by our silence, we become complicit. Jonathan, please continue to identify and repudiate excesses on both sides of the ideological divide.

Posted by: kazbah99 | January 11, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Liberals could use a bad name. There's no reason Conservatives should have the realms of character assassination and intimidation all to themselves.

Letting Birthers, Obama-haters and ignorance dominate the airwaves via Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle and others is a waiver on political responsibility and historical accuracy they neither earned nor deserve.

Posted by: Trapped_in_History | January 11, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Liberals could use a bad name. There's no reason Conservatives should have the realms of character assassination and intimidation all to themselves.

Letting Birthers, Obama-haters and ignorance dominate the airwaves via Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle and others is a waiver on political responsibility and historical accuracy they neither earned nor deserve.

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

So naturally you go to the blogs you visit on a daily basis looking for things like this. What's worse, this picture or the announcement by the Westboro Baptist Church that they plan to picket the funeral of the 9-year old victim?

Or are these both just a matter of taste for you, Jonathan?

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

Trying to turn two wrongs into a right is part of the reason we are where we are today.

Posted by: Ynot1 | January 11, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

[spamsux1: "Is Jonathan's reposting of the photos also despicable?"]

A: Yes. Cynical and despicable.

Leftists and Democrats want us to focus on the (alleged) "right-wing extremism" rather than the Leftist shooters discipleship with Obama mentor, Bill Ayers. Maybe they should start with condemning President Obama, the Extremist-in-Chief.
http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/did-barack-obama-cause-the-shootings-yesterday-in-tucson

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

If Leftists really want to consider the atmosphere of violent language, they should start at the White House.

BREAKING: AZ Shooter is Leftist-terrorist Bill Ayers disciple
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=249429#ixzz1AfFPHymn

"Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in Saturday's Arizona shooting, attended a high school that is part of a network in which teachers are trained and provided resources by a liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama..."

I eagerly await the MSM’s strong denunciation of Obama’s violent rhetoric.

Own him, Leftists. He's all yours.

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

Wow...Striking resemblance!

Personally, I don't like Beck but I don't believe he believes what he says!! He reminds me of Burt Lancaster's phony preacher in Elmer Gantry.

Posted by: zzishate@yahoo.com | January 11, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This heinous activity by Joe.My.God is the kind one would expect only from a conservative Republican website. It is a scandal that self-respecting liberals would conduct themselves in such a small, demeaning manner.

Posted by: jp1954 | January 11, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, your post is despicable. What is critical is that conservatives in this country have created a political culture that - in effect though not in intent - finds its culmination in the shooting of Giffords. The Left has nothing to do with the creation of that political culture of violence: it's entirely the product of the conservative / Tea Party movement. So it's good and right to link Beck and Loughner together as they are participants in the same political culture.

Posted by: hotdog3 | January 11, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jon Stewart of all people got it right when he said that he wouldn't blame political rhetoric for the tragedy in Tucson any more than he would blame rock music for columbine. While I think glen beck is useless, and far too extreme, I still believe in our constitution and the right to free speech. We cannot let a few crazy extremists make us lose sight of our principals. I think a rational discussion between our leaders regarding gun control, and I do mean rational, is desperately needed.

Posted by: cportelli_1021 | January 11, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

SO, if you are opposed to the posting of the photo, why are you posting the photo? A little passive-aggressive, are we?

I'm no Beck fan, but the fact is that they do not resemble each other at all.

Posted by: S8thRd | January 11, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? All the thousands of news stories about the Giffords shooting out there and the Washington Post devotes a column to a mildly comical photo posted without comment on my *personal* Facebook page? I guess I should have used the one with Britney Spears.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/breezybreeze/jared-lee-loughners-mugshot-totally-looks-l

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

Well, I have to admit my first reaction was that this was funny, not an attempt to make a serious connection. I suppose the situation demands less humor and more restraint, however.

Posted by: truthwillout | January 11, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The Rabid Right NEVER takes responsibility for any of its crimes against society.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 11, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The Rabid Right NEVER takes responsibility for any of its crimes against society.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 11, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

If you don't mind, Jonathan, I'll reserve judgment on how "appropriate" it is or isn't to juxtapose those two mug shots.

The fact that Glenn Beck is only 3 or at most 4 degrees of separation, whereas Jared Lee Loughner is 1 degree of separation, from the dead judge, the dead 9 year old girl, the 4 other deaths, and the grievously wounded Rep. Giffords is too close a relationship to dismiss out of hand.

However, I'll reserve judgment until facts about Loughner's cable news viewing, recent book purchases, attendance at right wing speakers' presentations, etc. come to light. I suspect Loughner didn't arrive at his current mental state without some nudging from the cable-news/Internet rancor.

Posted by: kayjay503 | January 11, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The picture matching was poorly done ONLY BECAUSE, it did not have the following explanation: "To imply there exists a broad connection between Glen Beck and Jared Loughner based solely on their similarly inane facial expressions is illogical exactly as (and in the same vein and manner as) every single anti-liberal connection that Glen Beck puts up on his blackboard and expressly pronounces. On the other hand, their thoughts and words can be appropriately compared. Glen Beck's rantings are just better polished non sequiturs; and his delusions are spoken with much better grammar. Lastly, he himself is the last person in the world who would hurt anyone with a gun to get attention because his egomania is satisfied by his successful terrorization of so many, many mindless sheep who give him the attention he craves.

Posted by: JudgeJim | January 12, 2011 6:51 AM | Report abuse

@KaddafiDelendaEst
Wow, that's pretty brilliant: Shout about how leftist liberal types are using this tragedy for despicable political advantage and then using their supposed evil deeds as justification to launch a diatribe of the same type of attacks in even broader, more inane return volleys. Far-right extremists: Stop whining and own your climate of hate.

Posted by: toolow66 | January 12, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a moderate guy with a bent toward the Democrats, but I have to say that this is completely inappropriate. I'm no fan of Glenn Beck. But I'm not about to lump him into the same class as a mentally disturbed mass murderer. There's an obvious difference between exercising your right to free speech and committing murder. Suffice to say that Joe.My.God should really have thought about things before doing something so cavalier and childish.

Posted by: Joe_the_fed | January 14, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

They got the same smile.

Posted by: katman13 | January 14, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I think, in times like these, a little humor - however crass - is perfectly acceptable. Part of the toning down people are preaching should also be applied to their reactions to things like this. Really...is it that hard to see the likeness anyway? Google a picture of Uncle Fester from the Addams Family, if you want something less offensive. It's just as spot on. Relax, people!

Posted by: dmcavalier | January 15, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

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