Friday, February 18, 2011


“Journalists developed automatic framing protocols generations ago because of the need to report quickly”

Leftist Civility
Its been just over a month since Congressman Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in a grocery store along with several other people. The rhetoric at the time was insultingly childish, blaming conservatives and Republicans for the actions without the slightest effort to find out the truth. When the facts came out and the lunatic who shot up the store was revealed to not only never have had anything to do with the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, or Sarah Palin, but as much as he was political was left leaning, the pundits barely broke stride.

Civility is what we need, they cried. We need to tone down the hostility and the violent rhetoric! They condemned words like "target" and "kill" in completely non violent contexts, and claimed that the "atmosphere of violence" was caused by right-wing spokesmen.

Ignoring the incredibly hate-filled, violent, and deliberately provocative rhetoric directed at President Bush for 8 years (well documented by Michelle Malkin), we still are able to find a wealth of incredibly hostile, virulent, and dare I say, uncivil rhetoric still pouring from the left, even as they told the right to calm down. Here are just a few of the lowlights in the last few weeks:
  • Jeff Fuller, one of the shooting victims, called for torture and a necklace made of the ears of various right wing pundits.
  • Richard Dreyfuss referred to an Ed Schultz death wish toward Dick Cheney as "beautifully phrased"
  • The Missoula Children's Theater put on a show which expressed a desire that Sarah Palin be beheaded
  • The Mercury Players put out a play about murdering right wingers
  • Politico, days after condemning Sarah Palin for putting out a map with targets on it, puts out a map with targets on it.
  • Leftist organization Common Cause put out a rally in which people cried for Justice Clarence Thomas to be lynched or turned out into the fields as a slave. The NAACP reacted by suggesting people be nicer when they talk.
  • Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin desperately trying to reduce their uncontrolled debt are getting visits from union thugs trying to intimidate them and regular death threats.
  • Meanwhile, Unions take to the streets with signs showing the governor's face with crosshairs on it. President Obama might call for civility and bipartisanship here but his own Organizing for America is working with the unions here.
Meanwhile the press seems to be determined to reinforce the right's characterization of them as biased and leftist.
  • The New York Times' Public Editor admitted that in the Giffords reporting they tried to "steer the coverage" toward portraying Giffords' shooter as a right wing extremist. Long after the lies and smears, he suggested that perhaps getting the facts before reporting would have been better.
  • An hour after Giffords was shot, a death threat was mailed to Representative Snyder (R-AZ). The man was a hard leftist attacking a conservative politician; no one in the news thought it appropriate to note or comment on this as applying to the situation.
  • When a man tried to blow up a mosque in Michigan, the press was sure they'd found their radical Islamophobe right winger, but he turned out to be a pot head Bush hater leftist.
  • Less than a month after Giffords was shot, a man who'd been mailing white powder to various government officials was arrested. Another right wing nut? No, he was an Obama-supporting son of a Democratic Party poll watcher and fan of Reverend Wright.
Matthews TargetOver and over the failure has resounded in the press, again and again they keep trying to find that lunatic Tea Partier who confirms their worst fears, and repeatedly the nuts end up being either just garden variety crazies, or left wing.

Its not that either wing of politics has a monopoly on lunatics and violence, its that the press and the left try so hard to say its only conservatives when the examples that show up again and again are in their own camp. Perhaps if they looked a little closer to home, they might find the source of all this violent rhetoric they condemn. Perhaps they'd rather not, after all Bill Ayers did suggest you blame your opponents for the very things you're doing. It makes you seem less radical.

*This was originally ran in slightly different form at the Examiner Opinion Zone.

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