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L.W. Baxter
01-12-2011, 04:09 PM
David Brooks came through in a big way with today's column. His is the best reasoned and least inflammatory take on the situation I have read in the major media or from the political leadership.

The following paragraphs match my own observations and opinions in every syllable:


...In short, the evidence before us suggests that Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it.

Yet the early coverage and commentary of the Tucson massacre suppressed this evidence. The coverage and commentary shifted to an entirely different explanation: Loughner unleashed his rampage because he was incited by the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, the anti-immigrant movement and Sarah Palin.

Mainstream news organizations linked the attack to an offensive target map issued by Sarah Palin’s political action committee. The Huffington Post erupted, with former Senator Gary Hart flatly stating that the killings were the result of angry political rhetoric. Keith Olbermann demanded a Palin repudiation and the founder of the Daily Kos wrote on Twitter: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” Others argued that the killing was fostered by a political climate of hate.

These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are extremely grave. They were made despite the fact that there was, and is, no evidence that Loughner was part of these movements or a consumer of their literature. They were made despite the fact that the link between political rhetoric and actual violence is extremely murky. They were vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness.

Yet such is the state of things. We have a news media that is psychologically ill informed but politically inflamed, so it naturally leans toward political explanations. We have a news media with a strong distaste for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, and this seemed like a golden opportunity to tarnish them. We have a segmented news media, so there is nobody in most newsrooms to stand apart from the prevailing assumptions. We have a news media market in which the rewards go to anybody who can stroke the audience’s pleasure buttons.

I have no love for Sarah Palin, and I like to think I’m committed to civil discourse. But the political opportunism occasioned by this tragedy has ranged from the completely irrelevant to the shamelessly irresponsible...

The whole column is available here (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/opinion/11brooks.html?_r=1&ref=davidbrooks).

Uncle Duke
01-12-2011, 04:16 PM
As a balance, let us also remember that the media went in that direction at least in part because of a recent and well-remembered interview with Giffords where she expressed concerns about violent rhetoric (particularly that rhetoric specifically pointed at her) leading to outsized actions...
In the heat of the moment, it must have seemed like a prediction...

L.W. Baxter
01-12-2011, 04:19 PM
In the heat of the moment, it must have seemed like a prediction...

I've never really cared much for seeming. I want to know what is and isn't true.

Uncle Duke
01-12-2011, 04:22 PM
I've never really cared much for seeming. I want to know what is and isn't true.
yeah - but you don't have 30 seconds to get something written and on the air....:D

Y Bar Ranch
01-12-2011, 04:37 PM
Pretty much captures my view exactly on the matter.


These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are ... vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness.

I have no love for Sarah Palin, and I like to think I’m committed to civil discourse. But the political opportunism occasioned by this tragedy has ranged from the completely irrelevant to the shamelessly irresponsible.

David G
01-12-2011, 04:40 PM
Lee,

I have an increasingly high opinion of Brooks. I agree with most of what he says in that column. I disagree in one small particular. Quoting myself on another thread:

Third - if one knows a bit about psychology and sociology, one knows that the zeitgeist can certainly affect behaviors. Not only of cultures, but of individuals. While it's quite unlikely that anyone will ever convince me that the Arizona shooter was directly motivated by "overheated right-wing rhetoric"... I remain quite convinced of the plausibility of the notion that the tenor of the times may have played a role in his psychodrama. To suggest that it's the primary cause is silly. To deny that it very possibly played a role is almost as silly.

elf
01-12-2011, 04:47 PM
Sure, David. But Brooks would never admit to that. He's an apologist for the Republican right.

nw_noob
01-12-2011, 04:48 PM
One of Loughner's friends was interviewed today.
(http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/jared-loughners-friend-says-suspect-did-not-watch-tv-disliked-the-news_b48040)
He said the guy didn't watch TV, didn't like the news, didn't listen to radio, and didn't identify with either the right or the left.

Tom Montgomery
01-12-2011, 04:50 PM
"...an offensive target map issued by Sarah Palin's political action committee."

I wonder what David Brooks found offensive about that map? I wonder how David Brooks would repond to WB Forumites who insist there was nothing offensive about that map? Since he found it offensive I wonder what were his concerns? Does David Brooks believe such offensive material issued by political action committees have negative consequences? If so, of what nature? Why does David Brooks think Congresswoman Giffords was alarmed by the offensive map issued by Sarah Palin's political action committee? Does David Brooks think Congresswoman Giffords was overreacting to the offensive map issued by Sarah Palin's action committee?

And I also wonder what David Brooks thinks of the violent, threatening rhetoric and displays of the Tea Partiers during the recent health care debate and the following election? I wonder what he thinks of the offensive posters, signs and open display of firearms at Tea Party events? I wonder if David Brooks thinks such ugly political speech has negative consequences? And if so, of what nature?

PhaseLockedLoop
01-12-2011, 05:03 PM
I've never really cared much for seeming. I want to know what is and isn't true.

Gee. And here I'd taken you for a right-winger. Sorry.

Milo Christensen
01-12-2011, 05:04 PM
yeah - but you don't have 30 seconds to get something written and on the air

Two of the first eight posts on this tragedy connected Sarah Palin's PAC "target" to the shooting, before we even knew the shooter's name. These connections were made by rbgarr and soundbounder within minutes of the news of the shooting. Who was ready with the information about the "target"?

PhaseLockedLoop
01-12-2011, 05:07 PM
One of Loughner's friends was interviewed today.
(http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/jared-loughners-friend-says-suspect-did-not-watch-tv-disliked-the-news_b48040)
He said the guy didn't watch TV, didn't like the news, didn't listen to radio, and didn't identify with either the right or the left.


Boy. That settles it.

Osborne Russell
01-12-2011, 05:18 PM
the evidence before us suggests that Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it.

Who's we? Brooks isn't down with NASCAR, Toby Keith guns and Jack Daniels, and certainly not with Beck, Limbaugh, etc or even the Republican Party.

"Politics as we understand it" was changed by the Southern Strategy and Reagan.

Brooks understandably locks this world out of his consciousness because it's truly disgusting.

Pugwash
01-12-2011, 05:19 PM
One of Loughner's friends was interviewed today.
(http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/jared-loughners-friend-says-suspect-did-not-watch-tv-disliked-the-news_b48040)
He said the guy didn't watch TV, didn't like the news, didn't listen to radio, and didn't identify with either the right or the left.

I'll bet he spent quite a bit of time on the internet though.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-12-2011, 05:23 PM
I understand the separateness of Loughner and the rhetoric of Sarah Palin. Frankly, I didn't think they were connected, nor did I ever say they were. That doesn't change the political price that Sarah Palin or anyone else that used gun rhetoric or images will pay in the near future. I doubt Sarah Palin will get the nod in 2012 for the Republicans as a result of this whole tragedy. When you say something in public, how you say it, particularly as a public figure has nothing to do with your itent. It has to do with how the public views it.

The other part of this is obvious to me: Despite the lack of a relationship between Loughner and Palin, it doesn't make her style of communication any less offensive. I think she's a hillbilly know nothing. The fact that she uses violent images to get her know nothing message across doesn't surprise me. It's still in incredibly poor taste at the very least. That goes for anyone that uses this style of communication. I would never ever ever support anyone that demonstrated this lack of intelligence.

As for anyone who suggests that an atmosphere of violence and hate doesn't contribute to societal problems, I have some ocean front property in Arizona they can buy for a great price. Maybe it wasn't this tragedy particularly, but America is right to consider how wrong this kind of campaigning truly is.

Osborne Russell
01-12-2011, 05:23 PM
Lee,
Quoting myself on another thread:

Third - if one knows a bit about psychology and sociology, one knows that the zeitgeist can certainly affect behaviors. Not only of cultures, but of individuals. While it's quite unlikely that anyone will ever convince me that the Arizona shooter was directly motivated by "overheated right-wing rhetoric"... I remain quite convinced of the plausibility of the notion that the tenor of the times may have played a role in his psychodrama. To suggest that it's the primary cause is silly. To deny that it very possibly played a role is almost as silly.

True, and silliest of all is to deny that if it wasn't this guy, this time, next time it will be a guy they who will be their champion, insanity notwithstanding -- as David Koresh, Randy Weaver, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin already are. Since when was insanity an impediment to being a Red? "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

Hot Air
01-12-2011, 05:37 PM
So you're wrong this time but you really are right because next time you might be right. Right?

nw_noob
01-12-2011, 05:39 PM
I'll bet he spent quite a bit of time on the internet though.

I can't comment on his usage, but from what little we know about his pet-issues, he probably stuck to some pretty fringe stuff. I doubt the many tweets of Palin, FOX news, or MSNBC headlines were even on his radar.

Unless people are advocating scrubbing the intertubes of all the stupid, the talk about violent rhetoric doesn't have much pertinence to this particular individual. Crazies will be crazy.

Tom Montgomery
01-12-2011, 05:41 PM
So you're wrong this time but you really are right because next time you might be right. Right?

Wrong.

nw_noob
01-12-2011, 05:42 PM
True, and silliest of all is to deny that if it wasn't this guy, this time, next time it will be a guy they who will be their champion, insanity notwithstanding -- as David Koresh, Randy Weaver, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin already are.

Two of these people wanted to be left alone. Three of them can't get enough attention. Big difference.

paladin
01-12-2011, 05:44 PM
Part of it, anyway......



Well, the one on the right was on the left
And the one in the middle was on the right
And the one on the left was in the middle
And the guy in the rear was a Methodist

Well, the one on the right was on the left
And the one in the middle was on the right
And the one on the left was in the middle
And the guy in the rear burned his driver's license

As thousands there were gathered to hear The folk songs of our land
But they took their politics seriously
And that night at the concert hall
As the audience watched deliriously
They had a free-for-all

Well, the one on the right was on the bottom
And the one in the middle was on the top
And the one on the left got a broken arm
And the guy in the rear, said, "Oh dear"

Now, the one on the left works in a bank
And the one in the middle drives a truck
The one on the right's an all-night deejay
And the guy in the rear got drafted

bobbys
01-12-2011, 05:45 PM
Dam the evidence and logic they have her on the cross and have lit the fires, This is no time for reason!.

http://theformofmoney.blogharbor.com/WitchBurningJoanOfArc.jpg

johnw
01-12-2011, 05:50 PM
The political environment in Giffords' district is so toxic, four people at the local GOP District office have resigned. The first to go said he loves the Republican party, but doesn't want to "take a bullet."

http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwatukee/articles/2011/01/11/20110111gabrielle-giffords-arizona-shooting-resignations.html

As for the shooter being a nut, that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask how the environment might have affected him, at least according to an academic who studies such things.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/mental_illness_expert_we_shoul.html

Tom Montgomery
01-12-2011, 05:55 PM
Dam the evidence and logic they have her on the cross and have lit the fires, This is no time for reason!.

http://theformofmoney.blogharbor.com/WitchBurningJoanOfArc.jpg



Hmmm...

This thread seemed to me to have generated a pretty reasonable discussion right up until your post.

By the way... the word is "damn." "Dam" has a different meaning altogether.

Tom Montgomery
01-12-2011, 06:05 PM
The political environment in Giffords' district is so toxic, four people at the local GOP District office have resigned. The first to go said he loves the Republican party, but doesn't want to "take a bullet."

http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwatukee/articles/2011/01/11/20110111gabrielle-giffords-arizona-shooting-resignations.html

This is what Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dubnik has said. And for his concern he was pilloried by right-wing extremist media pundits such as Rush Limbaugh.

Isn't it interesting how a gasbag occupying a radio studio in Miami, Florida knows more about the political atmosphere in Congresswoman Giffords' Arizona district than the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff?

paul oman
01-12-2011, 06:45 PM
I suspect that growing up with gun shooting video games probably influenced the guy more than any political talk...

He has been in trouble for drug use... should have been in jail for that, then he couldn't have shot anyone.

johnw
01-12-2011, 06:50 PM
What was the bust for?

Most drug addicts are thieves, not killers. You may be onto something with the video game thing, though.

Rob Hazard
01-12-2011, 06:56 PM
David Brooks is a clear thinking and well spoken commentator. I wish there were more like him.

Tom Montgomery
01-12-2011, 07:26 PM
He has been in trouble for drug use... should have been in jail for that, then he couldn't have shot anyone.

Interesting.

Rush Limbaugh sez:

"...mental health issues like [Jared Loughner's are] often caused by drug use."

ROTFLMFAO!

Of course, paul, dittoheads like you are completely oblivious to the humor in El Rushbo's remark.

johnw
01-12-2011, 07:50 PM
I suspect that growing up with gun shooting video games probably influenced the guy more than any political talk...

He has been in trouble for drug use... should have been in jail for that, then he couldn't have shot anyone.
We might be wrong on this one. This is certainly counter-intuitive:

http://notunlikeresearch.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f1fb8812970b0148c78d3e39970c-500wi

Osborne Russell
01-13-2011, 06:32 PM
So you're wrong this time but you really are right because next time you might be right. Right?

Your position requires you to maintain that Chimp Squad propaganda has no effect, because to the extent that it does, you already have blood on your hands, with more to come. So you have to insist that yours has no effect, while that of "the left" does, along with that of the Europeans, the Moslems and so on.

Ian McColgin
01-13-2011, 06:44 PM
The thought that Loughner's shooting was political actually made some sense in the Arizona political climate where even a Republican top official has resigned in fear. Even so, it's very clear that the extremes of left blaming the right and of right blaming the left were wrong.

Hot Air
01-13-2011, 06:48 PM
Don't spoil Osborne's righteous indignation - however ridiculous.

Ian McColgin
01-13-2011, 07:01 PM
Actually, people might re-read the first day of the original shooting thread again. Liberals predictably deplored violently polarizing imagery but absolutely seperated that climate from the simple cause for quite a while. Well down on the first page one person remarks that he'd not be surprised if it was a right-wing-nut but more we have the right reacting defensivly as if the charge that Palin caused it had actually been made. Re-reading the early press, this pattern seems to be generally true that most folk get the difference between a climate of inflamatory rhetoric and actual acts of violence. And we certainly see in the broad support Obama's speech has garnered from Republicans as well as Democrats that most of the nation is of that mind - the rhetoric did not make Loughlan do it, but it's well past time to dial it all back anyway.

Hot Air
01-13-2011, 07:07 PM
B.S.. It took 6 posts before Sarah Palin was brought into it.