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Author Topic:   Politicizing the AZ massacre
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 643 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


(1)
Message 1 of 185 (600180)
01-13-2011 9:39 AM


Seizing upon the moment like opportunistic vultures, the media has managed to politicize a tragedy. (Hang on, let me act surprised). MSNBC's Keith Olbermann gave a blistering and vitriolic diatribe about Sarah Palin's use of crosshairs on her website, seemingly suggesting that she's some kind of co-conspirator in the shooting. They also focused on the verbiage she uses, like "reload," to insinuate her violent nature towards political opposition.

As much as I couldn't possibly describe Palin as being any less of a qualified presidential candidate as I do now, I find the argument against her seriously lacking any credibility. Palin has been using speech like that many times when there are no political overtones attached, except the image she wants to project. She's obviously pro-hunting and strong gun right advocate, and on that basis she wants to identify with the NRA crowd. She's appealing to her demographic, which is not mentally disturbed, homicidal maniacs.

To the extent that she somehow coerced an insane man to commit murder is terribly asinine, and I find a bigger correlation between the media's lackluster ratings and their penchant to politicize anything. A cheap and lowly ploy, really.

I think any attempt to draw parallels does so on the pretense of a false dichotomy.

Your thoughts?


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
Replies to this message:
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 Message 9 by Rahvin, posted 01-13-2011 12:01 PM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 19 by crashfrog, posted 01-13-2011 1:07 PM Hyroglyphx has responded
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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 2 of 185 (600183)
01-13-2011 10:08 AM


The POTUS said:

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent mans mind.

So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.

But what we cant do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

Still political. Still capitalizing on tragedy. But, he is doing it in a way that actually works. As much as America hates Sarah Palin, they find it stupid and evil to lay any portion of the blame at her feet, regardless of her language or where the crosshairs were pointing on her campaign ad.


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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 643 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 3 of 185 (600184)
01-13-2011 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by ApostateAbe
01-13-2011 10:08 AM


Still political. Still capitalizing on tragedy. But, he is doing it in a way that actually works. As much as America hates Sarah Palin, they find it stupid and evil to lay any portion of the blame at her feet, regardless of her language or where the crosshairs were pointing on her campaign ad.

Obama's speech you quoted sounded impartial, which is what it should be when all the facts have not been analyzed as of yet. I agree with your assessment and the POTUS on this instance.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
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Cat Sci
Member
Posts: 9529
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 4 of 185 (600187)
01-13-2011 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
01-13-2011 9:39 AM


To the extent that she somehow coerced an insane man to commit murder is terribly asinine, and I find a bigger correlation between the media's lackluster ratings and their penchant to politicize anything. A cheap and lowly ploy, really.

I think any attempt to draw parallels does so on the pretense of a false dichotomy.

Your thoughts?

What dichotomy are you referring to? The Left/Right one?

Out of curiosity, if Palin had said that she wished someone would shoot the person, do you think she would then have some responsibility for it?

Or if she called supporters to shoot someone, how about then? There has to be some point where she is capable of having some responsibility, no?

Here's the "crosshairs image":

I don't think its that bad. Plus, how much input do you think Palin actually had on what this image looked like and whether or not it was used?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-13-2011 9:39 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12879
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 5 of 185 (600190)
01-13-2011 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
01-13-2011 9:39 AM


MSNBC's Keith Olbermann gave a blistering and vitriolic diatribe about Sarah Palin's use of crosshairs on her website, seemingly suggesting that she's some kind of co-conspirator in the shooting. They also focused on the verbiage she uses, like "reload," to insinuate her violent nature towards political opposition.

Olberman's a jackass, obviously.

What gave this traction was of course that Giffords had expressed concern about the crosshairs image before the shooting. Presumably this is what Palin meant when she referred to "seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults", or rather presumably this is what she would have meant if she'd spent five seconds thinking about what she was saying.

And yes, the rhetoric is violent. Does it have to be?

She's appealing to her demographic, which is not mentally disturbed, homicidal maniacs.

I'll grant you that most of them aren't homicidal ...

To the extent that she somehow coerced an insane man to commit murder is terribly asinine, and I find a bigger correlation between the media's lackluster ratings and their penchant to politicize anything. A cheap and lowly ploy, really.

Palin isn't above scoring a few cheap points herself.

Apparently if the media try to draw any connection between violent rhetoric and acts of violence, they will "incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn", presumably using their powerz of media magic.

In the same speech she denounces "finger-pointing".

The only reason I don't call her a hypocrite is that to truly achieve that distinction would require a degree of self-awareness which I doubt that she possesses.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 5273
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 6 of 185 (600200)
01-13-2011 11:27 AM


The first thing that Sarah Palin did after the tragedy was to scrub her Tweets and websites. That says a lot.
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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 643 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 7 of 185 (600202)
01-13-2011 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Cat Sci
01-13-2011 10:39 AM


Out of curiosity, if Palin had said that she wished someone would shoot the person, do you think she would then have some responsibility for it?

Or if she called supporters to shoot someone, how about then? There has to be some point where she is capable of having some responsibility, no?

Yeah, obviously, if she instructed people to kill her political opposition, she would be held liable to some degree. That's a non-point though. The point is that the crosshairs are references to Representatives supporting ObamaCare, not a "hit list" targetting people for assassination. The issue is with erroneous equivocation.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
This message is a reply to:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4765
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 8 of 185 (600209)
01-13-2011 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Cat Sci
01-13-2011 10:39 AM


Everyone does it
Here is the map put out during the 2004 election campaign by the Democratic Leadership Committee:

Nobody is encouraging violence with this type of map.

Illiteracy maybe (note the spelling of "mountain" in the bottom line).


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 9 of 185 (600215)
01-13-2011 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
01-13-2011 9:39 AM


Perhaps you and I didn't listen to the same Olbermann piece.

Olbermann specifically mentioned the violence-laden and gun-themed rhetoric of a variety of public figures. My "favorite" has always been the "second amendment solution," which is an absolutely clear call to resort to the use of firearms if political success is not achieved by working with the system.

He specifically mentioned right-wingers by name, but right-wingers are the ones who typically use gun terminology, because it appeals to the conservative base who is more likely to own a gun.

He also specifically mentioned himself, apologizing personally for having used violent terminology in the past. And he called not only on Republicans, but everyone to back the fuck down on violent rhetoric, and remember that there are nutjobs who will take a metaphor too far.

Olbermann is obviously a liberal. But liberal/conservative is irrelevant. What matters is the argument, and whether the position is based on fact, and whether the position would have a chance at achieving its stated objective.

The fact is that tea-party folks have used the term "second amendment solution." It is a fact that the second amendment refers to the keeping and bearing of arms. It is a fact that Glenn Beck has brought up the Jefferson quote referring to watering the tree of liberty with blood.

Some of this is hindsight bias. Looking back, it's obvious that using gun crosshairs to "target" political opposition brings the use of gun violence into the political discourse. I'm well aware that's not what Palin meant with it - she likes guns, her base likes guns, and it was just imagery that appealed to them.

But when you put "innocent" imagery like Palins together with blatantly not innocent things liek "second amendment solutions" and "watering the tree of liberty with blood," what do you think is going to be the image created in someone's mind?

I see exactly what happened. I felt that way before the shooting, too, so it wasn't hindsight bias in this case. I had just hoped that the American people were politically mature enough that we had given up on the age-old notion of assassinations and revolutions to accomplish our goals, and that modern security measures should keep away the insane.

Clearly, I need to revise that opinion. Apparently I had failed to take into account lax gun control laws combined with a mentally ill person unintentionally encouraged by violence-themed rhetoric.

As for Olbermann, I applaud his suggestion that perhaps everyone can calm the fuck down on the violence-themed words in our political discourse. I can't see how less talk of "second amendment solutions" would do anything but improve the nation as a whole.


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Cat Sci
Member
Posts: 9529
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 10 of 185 (600216)
01-13-2011 12:03 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Hyroglyphx
01-13-2011 11:38 AM


Yeah, obviously, if she instructed people to kill her political opposition, she would be held liable to some degree. That's a non-point though.

I was just establishing and making sure that you weren't taking the position that she wouldn't ever be responsible.

I found some ambiguity in these lines:

quote:
To the extent that she somehow coerced an insane man to commit murder is terribly asinine, and I find a bigger correlation between the media's lackluster ratings and their penchant to politicize anything. A cheap and lowly ploy, really.

I think any attempt to draw parallels does so on the pretense of a false dichotomy.


I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page...

The point is that the crosshairs are references to Representatives supporting ObamaCare, not a "hit list" targetting people for assassination.

Yup, I agree. I don't think the crosshairs are that bad.

Its interesting that the victim did mention them before hand though, and if Palin is deleting things she's put out there, then that does raise some red flags.


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Cat Sci
Member
Posts: 9529
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 11 of 185 (600217)
01-13-2011 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Coyote
01-13-2011 11:49 AM


Re: Everyone does it
Oh wow. I was going to joke that if the map had archery targets on it instead of "crosshairs", would that mean that she wanted people to go after them with bows and arrows.

I hadn't seen that before, thanks.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 5273
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 12 of 185 (600218)
01-13-2011 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Rahvin
01-13-2011 12:01 PM


But when you put "innocent" imagery like Palins together with blatantly not innocent things liek "second amendment solutions" and "watering the tree of liberty with blood," what do you think is going to be the image created in someone's mind?

They knew what was in the pot when they were stirring. Palin and others knew that there was a militia-like streak running through the Tea Party, and they played to it. I remember Tea Party sympathizers showing up to Obama rallies openly carrying fire arms and holding signs with overtly violent themes. I remember signs at Health Care protests with the line "Kill the Bill" above a picture of Obama climbing into a coffin.

You reap what you sow. The rooster has come home to roost. Pick your cliche, but I, like you, felt this coming.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12879
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 13 of 185 (600219)
01-13-2011 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Coyote
01-13-2011 11:49 AM


Re: Everyone does it
Nobody is encouraging violence with this type of map.

I think it has encouraged violence against ... uh ... these things ... what are they called? Oh, yeah, targets.

After all, they have been the victims of a spate of shootings.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 643 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


(1)
Message 14 of 185 (600224)
01-13-2011 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
01-13-2011 10:50 AM


Palin isn't above scoring a few cheap points herself.

Well, no kidding. I'm not defending Palin, she's an idiot. But the point I'm trying to make it that, even in light of her idiocy, it's really silly to try and draw parallels instead of placing the blame on, you know, the killer.

It is unclear whether Loughner ever visited Palin's website, let alone whether or not he interpreted it as a hidden message to kill Giffords. Though I'm sure his lawyers will attempt to deflect his actions by throwing Palin under the bus. Could make a convenient defense.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 643 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


(1)
Message 15 of 185 (600226)
01-13-2011 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taq
01-13-2011 11:27 AM


Putting it in to perspective
The first thing that Sarah Palin did after the tragedy was to scrub her Tweets and websites. That says a lot. The first thing that Sarah Palin did after the tragedy was to scrub her Tweets and websites. That says a lot.

I don't think so, given the nature of politicians. I think her campagin managers knew that vultures would capitalize on it and scrubbed it so nothing like this would happen. Of course, scrubbing it just made it worse.

You have to remember that Giffords pointed out ahead of time how something like that could be misconstrued. Palin and her staff, therefore, had prior knowledge of how it might look. And as soon as they realized she had been shot, they knew it would come back to haunt them... Which it did.

Her campaign manager is, I believe, lying. She claims that she took it down because it lost its relevancy... conveniently the day of the shooting. But this, I believe, is for the reasons I listed above, not because Palin embeds hit lists on her web page.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
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