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Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 01/10/2011

Friday question answered

By Jennifer Rubin

On Friday, I asked readers which politician had the best week. Readers writing in both before and after the horrific Arizona shooting had a variety of interesting responses. I would agree that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who was frequently mentioned, was a standout. But commenter Larry 3435 gave a particularly thought-provoking response. He wrote, in part:

Robert Gibbs had the best week. By resigning, he avoids two more years of being a national embarrassment, vastly improves the Obama Administration, and gives Jake Tapper a chance to get an adult answer to a serious question.

On the Arizona shooting, of COURSE the elite media is going to blame it on the tea party.

As to the first part, I suspect that Gibbs will pop up again on the campaign trail, but one has to wonder: What corporate or other political client would want the sneering Gibbs as the man to interact with the media? Yes, he is freed and escapes further cringe-inducing interludes. But the media and the president also win. It's hard to imagine that Gibbs's replacement won't be an improvement.

On the subject of the media coverage, it is important not to lump all media outlets and pundits together. Yes, Paul Krugman, Joe Klein, Laura Rozen, much of the CNN lineup and other blowhards made fools of themselves, assigning blame to conservative political rhetoric (is the "Battleground poll" also to blame?) based on zero evidence and carrying water for the fever swamp's narrative. But there were also Mara Liasson, Juan Williams, Huffington Post's Howard Fineman, Slate's Jack Shafer, Howard Kurtz and other non-conservatives who called out the hyper-partisans who would blame conservative campaign rhetoric for the violence of a lunatic. And on the news side, mainstream reporters provided ample evidence of the shooter's mental instability and his multi-year obsession with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (prior to the whole Tea Party movement and Palin's emergence on the national scene), implicitly undermining the notion that the crime was prompted by campaign literature. As the evidence of the assassin's mental illness mounts and the hostility toward Giffords is discovered to have predated the alleged provocation (the inconvenient truth for the blame crowd is that the plot was hatched in 2007 when the angry left was in the grip of Bush Derangement Syndrome), I suspect the political blame game will look increasingly idiotic, and the blame-mongers' accusations will go down the memory hole, that special place where liberal gaffes and errors reside.

Was there plenty of atrocious coverage and unwarranted speculation? Yes. But those who didn't plunge into the partisan muck deserve some recognition. And if you have examples of particularly good or bad coverage, please identify them in the comments section. Right Turn will continue to discuss the coverage of the event throughout the week.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 10:32 AM ET
Categories:  Friday question  
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Next: Which 2012 GOP contender will lead on national security?


The underlying problem should become crystal-clear when you bear in mind the question he put to Congresswoman Giffords: “What is government if words have no meaning?’"
What we obviously have here is the predictable reaction of an unbalanced mind to the toxic atmosphere engendered by the post-modernist lit-crit crowd.

Posted by: wumhenry | January 10, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Good comment. The contrast between the left's reaction to the Tucson shootings and the Fort Hood shootings is informative. The first was immediately pinned on Sarah Palin and on anger from the right without any evidence of a connection. In fact, the evidence soon emerged that the lone killer held highly eccentric, confused views not associated with any political movement. He is a pothead and a 9/11 truther who has expressed admiration for the writings of the totalitarian twins Marx and Hitler.

The same leftists were quick to label Major Hasan a lone psychotic, to try to blame post-traumatic stress disorder despite the fact that he had never been deployed overseas, and to treat his many Islamist statements as irrelevant. As information emerged that he strongly identified with the jihadist movement and had communicated with al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Alwaki, they continued to refuse to call him a terrorist. So did the Army and Justice Department for political reasons, though he fits to a T the profile of the domestic terrorist, inspired but not directed by AQ, that Justice has described as the main terrorist threat to the U.S.

So why are the Islamic terrorist links and jihadist inspiration of Maj. Hasan disregarded while the non-existent links of Loughner to Palin and other conservatives trumpeted by segments of the media and Democratic party? The answer is obvious.

Posted by: eoniii | January 10, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

His classmates(HS&College) knew he was a killer. The adults weren't listening. And even if they were,none of his "rights" including his owning a gun can be adridged until ex post facto.

Alleged killer was feared at college

Posted by: rcaruth | January 10, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi's former legal aid, Micahel Yaki, merely hours after the shooting wrote in the SF Chronicle on-line addition about how this was the result of "hate speech" and talked about how there was no place in society for what he deemed inappropriate discourse. Now of coarse Yaki didnt go on to define hate speech, but I dont think its such a great leap after reading his opinion piece that he would define it as anyone on the right who uses hyperbole to make their case. However, the logic in this is beyond faulty, are we to blame Hollywood for all the "inspiration" they've given previously deranged lunatics who have killed after watching a violent movie? How about the makers of Grand Theft Auto, should they be "reflected" upon? How about Black Sabbath - I seem to recall several years ago young killers saying they were influenced by their music, does this mean Yaki thinks we should examine Ozzy's lyrics? I believe the person responsible for these murders was a big pot smoker, does anyone think those in CA want to examine the influence of Pot on such killers? I am astounded (not really) at how many of the left wanted to make political hay out of something so tragic before the facts were ever in. But dont worry, if this guy turns out to be a lefty, as some reports have indicated, I wont blame liberals for his motives, you see I believe in personal responsibility and this guy was just nuts.

Posted by: belmontbob | January 10, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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