Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
On Saturday, about the time of the shooting in Arizona, I was on my way to see a movie with my wife. When we returned, my wife opened up her laptop and said: “Oh, God.” She then read to me the tragic news the world had then learned.
I at first felt shock and great sadness — and I still do. But I could still not stop this next thought from entering my head: “No matter the truth, the MSM and the left are to pin this on the Tea Party.” And I hated myself for that thought even entering my mind so soon.
Yet, I knew that the nature of the MSM and the left was to do this. The only question was whether I would feel more shame for even thinking this, or the left and the MSM would feel such shame about exploiting this tragedy for political gain that they’d think again and hold back. It is a disgusting thing that the left and MSM won this contest in my mind.
Anyone who reads this blog has, by now, seen many examples of the left and the MSM pinning the blame for this on the Tea Party — which The Heartland Institute has proudly supported from the start. Readers have also seen where MSM/leftists say that Sarah Palin has, in these very words, has “blood on her hands.” No matter that the shooter was an insane “loner” who did not have any ties to the Tea Party, or Palin, or even the Republican Party. There was zero evidence of anything the left was peddling … yet they peddled. Talk radio is also, apparently, an unindicted co-conspirator — so far.
If you want an outstanding round-up that destroys the meme that “the right” exclusively peddles in “dangerous” rhetoric, you need to see this post by Michelle Malkin. The idea that Sarah Palin literally has “blood on her hands” because she made a map that “targeted” members of Congress for electoral defeat is too absurd to even discuss — yet the left and the MSM forces us to do so. I suppose the targets the left put out online don’t count.
This post could go on for many pages. But I’ll let the links (and your own research) speak for itself. But today, I wanted to hear what Dennis Prager — one of the best talk show hosts period, no matter your politics — had to say about what has transpired since this tragic, murderous event. Prager said in his opening monologue that the commentaries from the left — including such “esteemed” outlets like The New York Times, have been “beyond moral reproach.”
Yet Prager, a great student of the left, said this is what he expected: “There is no moral level to which the left will not sink to demonize the right.”
My heart hurts knowing Prager is correct.
UPDATE Jan. 12: Palin is getting a lot of flak for using the term “blood libel” in the remarks she delivered to respond to the calumny heaped on her and the Tea Party. She’s even been upbraided by allies. But I think it’s largely a bum rap, and others tend to agree.
I understand the history of that term — both ancient and modern — and I still think it was appropriate. When one’s political opponents stoop so low to say that you have blood on your hands, that you’re personally responsible, I think using the term “blood libel” is appropriate.
What’s that, Jim? You’re not Jewish? Who are you to say? Well, I believe Dennis Prager also used that term in defense of Palin while commenting on his program. And he is an observant Jew who teaches the Torah and lectures widely on the Jewish faith. And if you don’t want to take those examples as legit, you can read the politically liberal Alan Dershowitz:
The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.
An honest liberal. Thank you, Alan Dershowitz.
By the way, Palin’s address was outstanding.