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Bizarre Media Campaign to Link Sarah Palin to Tucson Shootings Actually Worked

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 21-01-2011

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There is a reason the “mainstream” media relentlessly bashes Sarah Palin, even blaming her for a tragic event that had absolutely no connection with her whatsoever — it works:

After days of relentless attacks by media across the fruited plain, Sarah Palin’s unfavorable rating hit an all-time high this week. …

From January 8 [the day of the Tucson Massacre] through January 16, CNN ran 80 stories that included the name of the former Alaska governor.

That’s roughly nine pieces per day, during which her name was mentioned approximately 664 times or over 70 times every 24 hours!

As few if any of these mentions were positive, is there any wonder a new CNN/Opinion Research poll found 56 percent of all Americans now have an unfavorable view of Sarah Palin — an all-time high?

Not many people watch CNN anymore. But adding in the numbers for NPR, ABC, CBS, and NBC, plus the prime time weekday numbers for MSNBC, there were 179 reports on Palin in 16 days, mentioning her name 1,485 times. Screaming her name over and over again in the aftermath of a tragedy will inevitably form a link in people’s minds, even if no rational connection has been proven or even suggested.

As moonbat congresscritter Steve Cohen might say, “repeat a lie often enough…”

When news of the shootings first broke, I warned, “Keep your eyes open; this will be exploited.” But I had no idea it would be this shameless. There truly is nothing beneath the vermin running the liberal media establishment.

PalinCrosshairs.jpg

On a tip from SR.

Moonbattery

Jon Stewart On Sarah Palin’s Response To The Arizona Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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Once again, The Daily Show nails it:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Petty Woman
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook




Outside the Beltway

Will the Arizona Shootings Prove a Turning Point for Obama, McCain and Palin?

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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Will the shocking shootings in Arizona prove to be a turning point for America? Whether they are or not, the assassination attempt and murders could be a turning point for three key American political figures: Barack Obama, John McCain and Sarah Palin.

In the space of a week, all three chimed in on the shootings. Obama’s and McCain’s unifying comments reminded voters why they originally supported them. Palin’s comments – made via two media venues within a week – reminded swing voters (and some Republicans) that she is a divisive force who shows no signs of going beyond attack or defense modes. And no sign politically maturing.

In Obama’s case, a lingering mystery is how someone who seemed so charismatic and such a great communicator during his 2008 campaign could seem so utterly boring and inept in communication once in office. But in his Arizona speech, Obama rose above a well-crafted speech to connect as a Head of State, Healer in Chief, husband – and, most of all, as a father.

I listened to his speech on XM radio while driving from Bakersfield to San Diego. And when he talked (sometimes haltingly) about the loss of 9-year-old victim Christina Taylor Green, I pulled over and wept. The shootings sickened me but Obama’s comments about how a trusting, idealistic little girl’s life came to a sudden and brutal end — and our duty as adults to make the world as young people dream it to be — hit a nerve.

Apparently my reaction was not isolated. A Washington Post/ABC poll found Obama’s approval rating up to 54% after the speech. Almost eight in 10 gave him thumbs up for his response. 71 percent of Republicans said they approved of his leadership following the shootings.

Meanwhile, John McCain showed signs that his 2000 bipartisan incarnation has not totally vanished. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, he reverted to his old persona by praising Obama’s Tucson shooting speech, defending Obama’s patriotism and suggesting regret for some of his own past statements. It suggested that the 2011 McCain may be somewhere between the 2000 version (maverick) and 2010 version (fierce partisan).

And Palin?

Go here to read the rest.


The Moderate Voice

Keith Olbermann Misrepresents CNN Poll to Tie Sarah Palin to Tucson Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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On Monday, Keith Olbermann cherry-picked a Daily Kos/PPP poll to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to America's elected officials.

On the following day's "Countdown," the MSNBCer misrepresented an Opinion Research/CNN poll to tie Sarah Palin to the Tucson shootings (video follows with transcript and commentary):

KEITH OLBERMANN: According to new polling out this week, nearly half of Americans think that harsh and violent political rhetoric was indeed to blame at least in part for the tragedy in Tucson, and more than half think it could easily cause a similar shooting in the future. In our third story, this puts a magnifying glass on the past rhetoric of several Republicans dipping their toes in the 2012 presidential pool. And if what we saw last night is any indication, it could take more than Sean Hannity to scrub the record.

Respondents to the Opinion Research/CNN poll were asked to assign degrees of blame to different factors leading up to the massacre. 35 percent thought Mrs. Palin’s infamous target map was a factor; 44 percent did not. A lack of resources for mental health care was identified as a big culprit, 70 percent said so. Asked about the use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors by politicians and commentators leading up to Tucson, the number was essentially split 48-49. But asked if harsh or violent discourse would quote “cause a future incident similar to the shootings in Arizona,” 54 percent said it was either very or somewhat likely.

Unlike Monday's disgraceful cherry-pick, what Olbermann and Company did Tuesday was play fast and loose with the data to make it seem that the number of folks that didn't feel Palin's map was a factor in the Tucson shootings was less than what the poll in question actually found.

Question 19 of the survey asked, "Overall, how much do you blame each of the following for the shooting in Arizona – a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?"

Here were some of the responses:

What Olbermann and Company did for the Palin option was add the "Great deal" responses to the "Moderate amount" ones to come up with 35 percent.

However, the "44 percent did not" comprised only those that said "Not at all." The "Not much" category was completely ignored.

As those familiar with poll reporting are well aware, if you're going to include "Moderate amount" with the "Yes" answers, it is customary to include the "Not much" replies with the "Nos".

What this means is Olbermann, if he was trying to be honest - I know that's a real stretch for this shill! - should have reported this datum, "35 percent thought Mrs. Palin’s infamous target map was a factor; 59 percent did not."

If he wasn't going to include the in-between responses, he should have said, "19 percent thought Mrs. Palin’s infamous target map was a factor; 44 percent did not."

I guess Olbermann didn't want his audience to know just how much respondents to this poll disagreed with him and the rest of the liberal media, especially those on MSNBC.

As further evidence of the intentional duplicity here, in the result Olbermann cited concerning the use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors by politicians and commentators, "Great deal" and "Moderate amount" were added together as were "Not much" and "Not at all."

Olbermann also included the "Moderate amount" total in what he reported were the number of people that felt a lack of resources for mental health was the culprit for the shootings.

And, as the "Countdown" host noted in the datum concerning the possibility of violent rhetoric causing a future incident, "54 percent said it was either very or somewhat likely."

As such, and quite hypocritically, only Palin's "Not much" numbers were omitted from Olbermann's report.

Since this follows the "Countdown" host cherry-picking a different poll on Monday to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to elected officials, one has to wonder whether MSNBC has any standards concerning the accurate reporting of data by its commentators.

Are folks like Olbermann free to cherry-pick and misrepresent anything they want with total impunity as long as it advances this network's political agenda?

Assuming the answer to this question is "No," one has to wonder if there are any disciplinary actions for offenders.

On the other hand, if the answer is "Yes," why does MSNBC get to refer to itself as a news network?

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Keith Olbermann Misrepresents CNN Poll to Tie Sarah Palin to Tucson Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

Tags: , , , , , , ,

0

On Monday, Keith Olbermann cherry-picked a Daily Kos/PPP poll to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to America's elected officials.

On the following day's "Countdown," the MSNBCer misrepresented an Opinion Research/CNN poll to tie Sarah Palin to the Tucson shootings (video follows with transcript and commentary):

KEITH OLBERMANN: According to new polling out this week, nearly half of Americans think that harsh and violent political rhetoric was indeed to blame at least in part for the tragedy in Tucson, and more than half think it could easily cause a similar shooting in the future. In our third story, this puts a magnifying glass on the past rhetoric of several Republicans dipping their toes in the 2012 presidential pool. And if what we saw last night is any indication, it could take more than Sean Hannity to scrub the record.

Respondents to the Opinion Research/CNN poll were asked to assign degrees of blame to different factors leading up to the massacre. 35 percent thought Mrs. Palin’s infamous target map was a factor; 44 percent did not. A lack of resources for mental health care was identified as a big culprit, 70 percent said so. Asked about the use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors by politicians and commentators leading up to Tucson, the number was essentially split 48-49. But asked if harsh or violent discourse would quote “cause a future incident similar to the shootings in Arizona,” 54 percent said it was either very or somewhat likely.

Unlike Monday's disgraceful cherry-pick, what Olbermann and Company did Tuesday was play fast and loose with the data to make it seem that the number of folks that didn't feel Palin's map was a factor in the Tucson shootings was less than what the poll in question actually found.

Question 19 of the survey asked, "Overall, how much do you blame each of the following for the shooting in Arizona – a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?"

Here were some of the responses:

What Olbermann and Company did for the Palin option was add the "Great deal" responses to the "Moderate amount" ones to come up with 35 percent.

However, the "44 percent did not" comprised only those that said "Not at all." The "Not much" category was completely ignored.

As those familiar with poll reporting are well aware, if you're going to include "Moderate amount" with the "Yes" answers, it is customary to include the "Not much" replies with the "Nos".

What this means is Olbermann, if he was trying to be honest - I know that's a real stretch for this shill! - should have reported this datum, "35 percent thought Mrs. Palin’s infamous target map was a factor; 59 percent did not."

If he wasn't going to include the in-between responses, he should have said, "19 percent thought Mrs. Palin’s infamous target map was a factor; 44 percent did not."

I guess Olbermann didn't want his audience to know just how much respondents to this poll disagreed with him and the rest of the liberal media, especially those on MSNBC.

As further evidence of the intentional duplicity here, in the result Olbermann cited concerning the use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors by politicians and commentators, "Great deal" and "Moderate amount" were added together as were "Not much" and "Not at all."

Olbermann also included the "Moderate amount" total in what he reported were the number of people that felt a lack of resources for mental health was the culprit for the shootings.

And, as the "Countdown" host noted in the datum concerning the possibility of violent rhetoric causing a future incident, "54 percent said it was either very or somewhat likely."

As such, and quite hypocritically, only Palin's "Not much" numbers were omitted from Olbermann's report.

Since this follows the "Countdown" host cherry-picking a different poll on Monday to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to elected officials, one has to wonder whether MSNBC has any standards concerning the accurate reporting of data by its commentators.

Are folks like Olbermann free to cherry-pick and misrepresent anything they want with total impunity as long as it advances this network's political agenda?

Assuming the answer to this question is "No," one has to wonder if there are any disciplinary actions for offenders.

On the other hand, if the answer is "Yes," why does MSNBC get to refer to itself as a news network?

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Video: The very dumbest political soundbites about the Arizona shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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Narratives.


A time capsule from Reason TV that’s way, way shorter than it could have been. I assume the video editor planned something longer but had to stop after two minutes from his sheer soul-crushing despair at the state of American punditry. Or maybe his mistake was limiting himself exclusively to video material. For instance, by [...]

View the video »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Sarah Palin Responds To The Response Over Her Response To The Arizona Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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The former Governor of Alaska took too the safe, unquestioning, air of Fox News Channel yesterday to respond one more time to the controversy that erupted in the days after the shootings in Arizona, as well as the controversy that erupted after her video message last week:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted Monday that she did know the definition of, and correctly used, the term “blood libel” in recently striking back at her critics.

“Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands,” Palin said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity.

It was Palin’s first interview since the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and the political fallout that followed. After catching flak for rhetoric that led some to pin blame for the shootings partly on her, Palin released an eight-minute video statement last week that denounced the mainstream media for having manufactured “a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

That led to reprimands from Jewish leaders for her use of the term, which has its roots in false, anti-Semitic charges from centuries ago that Jews would use the blood of Christian children to make Passover matzo.

Asked to respond to critics who questioned if Palin really knew what she was saying, the former governor responded: “I don’t know how the heck they would or wouldn’t know” if she understood the definition.

“It goes back to the Jewish people being falsely accused,” she said. “A group of people being falsely accused of having blood on their hands.”

As Palin defended the term by insisting that she has been unfairly targeted, the former governor declared that her response to the tragedy was not “about me.”

“My defense wasn’t self-defense, it was defending those who were falsely accused,” she insisted. “I was puzzled as to why, and before facts were even gathered, why the mainstream media was pointing fingers.”

And her sometimes inflammatory rhetoric, Palin said, has not crossed a line. “When I talk about being up in arms, I’m talking about getting to the voting booth,” she contended.

The question then becomes, of course, why she doesn’t just fire people up about getting out to vote instead of putting the entire thing in the context of references to guns, and violence, and confrontation. While I reject the notion that Palin’s rhetoric had anything to do with what happened in Arizona, I do have to wonder about the psychology of a movement that is so obsessed with this kind of imagery, and whether it is really an appropriate way to bring about political change in a pluralistic, democratic, society.

You can watch the three-part video, which I’ve embedded below, for yourself, but I think Frances Martlet at Mediaite pretty much hits the mark here:

Sarah Palin may be known as “Mama Grizzly,” a political lightning rod, a published author, and a reality TV star, but tonight on Hannity she was a woman scorned. Pupils shaking and voice struggling to remain steadfast, the former Alaska governor gave defending herself post-Tucson (and post-controversial video response) to Sean Hannity the old college try, but at some point it was hard to remember whether it was Palin or Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who took bullets two weeks ago.

(…)

Palin’s course of action during this interview was a perfect strategy from the perspective of a Fox News contributor- she sold her story, played the victim, and equated her suffering with that of the people she claims to represent (Hannity viewers among them). For the rest of America, however- especially swing voters- wallowing in self-pity when six people are dead and a Congresswoman is in the hospital cannot be expected to go over well. Her task tonight, should she be interested in the presidency, was to prove that in times of crisis she could keep her cool and address the situation while looking beyond herself and not getting in the way of the tragedy. Instead, she stood front and center before it, reminding Americans that she- and, vicariously, they- were the true victims of this massacre, not the people that were shot two Saturdays ago. As brilliant as her argument may be as a sales pitch for herself, it was far from presidential, and her enemies are not likely to resist the temptation of chewing on her political remains tomorrow morning.

As we’ve seen in the polling that has started to trickle out in the wake of the Arizona shootings and the controversy that followed, it is fairly clear that Palin did absolutely nothing to help herself over the past week, and may have actually fatally hurt any chance she might have had to redefine herself for independents and Republicans who are, to say the least, unsure about her.

No doubt, her interview with Sean Hannity will be lauded by her supporters, but, as David Zurwaik noted at The Baltimore Sun, the appearance was really more pep rally than serious journalism:

Hannity doesn’t really do interviews with her. He plays defense attorney asking about “criticisms” made of her, and then setting her up with graphics and loaded questions so she can attempt to refute the charges made by hateful people against her. He questions nothing, no matter how contradictory or screwy her answers might be.

Here is her answer when he asked her about allegations that she took down the image of crosshairs targeting the district of U.S. Rep Gabriel Giffords after the congresswoman was shot. The image was on the website of her PAC.

“You know, I believe that someone in the PAC — in fact, the contrac

“criticisms” made of her, and then setting her up with graphics and loaded questions so she can attempt to refute the charges made by hateful people against her. He questions nothing, no matter how contradictory or screwy her answers might be.

Here is her answer when he asked her about allegations that she took down the image of crosshairs targeting the district of U.S. Rep Gabriel Giffords after the congresswoman was shot. The image was on the website of her PAC.

“You know, I believe that someone in the PAC — in fact, the contract graphic artist — did take it down,” she began.

My goodness, I thought, almost a straight answer from Palin, even if she was distancing herself with the “contract graphic artist” language. But she was only beginning.

“And I have no problem with it being taken down,” she continued. “I don’t think it was inappropriate [that it was taken down] if it was going to cause much heartburn or even more controversy…. Knowing that it had nothing to do with an apolitical or perhaps even left-leaning criminal killing these innocents….I didn’t have a problem with it being taken down, if in fact it has been taken down.”

(…)

But a responsible interviewer might have asked her about the seeming contradiction between “it was taken down” and “if in fact it has been taken down.” He might also point out that folks are not interested in whether she had a “problem” with it being taken, they want to know why she or members of her team DID take it down. Was it because they were ashamed of it after the shooting?

Instead, Hannity showed an old bulls-eye map that the Democrats once had up and then offered a statement about how Bill Clinton had a “war room” and how “war analogy is very common in politics.” All of it was preamble to asking, “So, why do you think the left singled out you out, Governor?”

Again, this isn’t journalistic interviewing, it is what a defense attorney would do while questioning his client in an effort to refute charges against her.

There is much in an “interview” like this that is worthy of being mocked, and those people who aren’t already Palin (and Hannity) fans are unlikely to be impressed by her performance here. Palin ends the interview by saying she isn’t going to “sit down and shut up.” The thing is, most people aren’t saying that’s what she needs to do. Instead, they’re asking that she think about what she says before she says it, and that she realize that, most of the time, the story isn’t really about her.

Video:




Outside the Beltway

Sarah Palin Responds To The Response Over Her Response To The Arizona Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

Tags: , , , , , ,

0

The former Governor of Alaska took too the safe, unquestioning, air of Fox News Channel yesterday to respond one more time to the controversy that erupted in the days after the shootings in Arizona, as well as the controversy that erupted after her video message last week:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted Monday that she did know the definition of, and correctly used, the term “blood libel” in recently striking back at her critics.

“Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands,” Palin said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity.

It was Palin’s first interview since the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and the political fallout that followed. After catching flak for rhetoric that led some to pin blame for the shootings partly on her, Palin released an eight-minute video statement last week that denounced the mainstream media for having manufactured “a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

That led to reprimands from Jewish leaders for her use of the term, which has its roots in false, anti-Semitic charges from centuries ago that Jews would use the blood of Christian children to make Passover matzo.

Asked to respond to critics who questioned if Palin really knew what she was saying, the former governor responded: “I don’t know how the heck they would or wouldn’t know” if she understood the definition.

“It goes back to the Jewish people being falsely accused,” she said. “A group of people being falsely accused of having blood on their hands.”

As Palin defended the term by insisting that she has been unfairly targeted, the former governor declared that her response to the tragedy was not “about me.”

“My defense wasn’t self-defense, it was defending those who were falsely accused,” she insisted. “I was puzzled as to why, and before facts were even gathered, why the mainstream media was pointing fingers.”

And her sometimes inflammatory rhetoric, Palin said, has not crossed a line. “When I talk about being up in arms, I’m talking about getting to the voting booth,” she contended.

The question then becomes, of course, why she doesn’t just fire people up about getting out to vote instead of putting the entire thing in the context of references to guns, and violence, and confrontation. While I reject the notion that Palin’s rhetoric had anything to do with what happened in Arizona, I do have to wonder about the psychology of a movement that is so obsessed with this kind of imagery, and whether it is really an appropriate way to bring about political change in a pluralistic, democratic, society.

You can watch the three-part video, which I’ve embedded below, for yourself, but I think Frances Martlet at Mediaite pretty much hits the mark here:

Sarah Palin may be known as “Mama Grizzly,” a political lightning rod, a published author, and a reality TV star, but tonight on Hannity she was a woman scorned. Pupils shaking and voice struggling to remain steadfast, the former Alaska governor gave defending herself post-Tucson (and post-controversial video response) to Sean Hannity the old college try, but at some point it was hard to remember whether it was Palin or Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who took bullets two weeks ago.

(…)

Palin’s course of action during this interview was a perfect strategy from the perspective of a Fox News contributor- she sold her story, played the victim, and equated her suffering with that of the people she claims to represent (Hannity viewers among them). For the rest of America, however- especially swing voters- wallowing in self-pity when six people are dead and a Congresswoman is in the hospital cannot be expected to go over well. Her task tonight, should she be interested in the presidency, was to prove that in times of crisis she could keep her cool and address the situation while looking beyond herself and not getting in the way of the tragedy. Instead, she stood front and center before it, reminding Americans that she- and, vicariously, they- were the true victims of this massacre, not the people that were shot two Saturdays ago. As brilliant as her argument may be as a sales pitch for herself, it was far from presidential, and her enemies are not likely to resist the temptation of chewing on her political remains tomorrow morning.

As we’ve seen in the polling that has started to trickle out in the wake of the Arizona shootings and the controversy that followed, it is fairly clear that Palin did absolutely nothing to help herself over the past week, and may have actually fatally hurt any chance she might have had to redefine herself for independents and Republicans who are, to say the least, unsure about her.

No doubt, her interview with Sean Hannity will be lauded by her supporters, but, as David Zurwaik noted at The Baltimore Sun, the appearance was really more pep rally than serious journalism:

Hannity doesn’t really do interviews with her. He plays defense attorney asking about “criticisms” made of her, and then setting her up with graphics and loaded questions so she can attempt to refute the charges made by hateful people against her. He questions nothing, no matter how contradictory or screwy her answers might be.

Here is her answer when he asked her about allegations that she took down the image of crosshairs targeting the district of U.S. Rep Gabriel Giffords after the congresswoman was shot. The image was on the website of her PAC.

“You know, I believe that someone in the PAC — in fact, the contrac

“criticisms” made of her, and then setting her up with graphics and loaded questions so she can attempt to refute the charges made by hateful people against her. He questions nothing, no matter how contradictory or screwy her answers might be.

Here is her answer when he asked her about allegations that she took down the image of crosshairs targeting the district of U.S. Rep Gabriel Giffords after the congresswoman was shot. The image was on the website of her PAC.

“You know, I believe that someone in the PAC — in fact, the contract graphic artist — did take it down,” she began.

My goodness, I thought, almost a straight answer from Palin, even if she was distancing herself with the “contract graphic artist” language. But she was only beginning.

“And I have no problem with it being taken down,” she continued. “I don’t think it was inappropriate [that it was taken down] if it was going to cause much heartburn or even more controversy…. Knowing that it had nothing to do with an apolitical or perhaps even left-leaning criminal killing these innocents….I didn’t have a problem with it being taken down, if in fact it has been taken down.”

(…)

But a responsible interviewer might have asked her about the seeming contradiction between “it was taken down” and “if in fact it has been taken down.” He might also point out that folks are not interested in whether she had a “problem” with it being taken, they want to know why she or members of her team DID take it down. Was it because they were ashamed of it after the shooting?

Instead, Hannity showed an old bulls-eye map that the Democrats once had up and then offered a statement about how Bill Clinton had a “war room” and how “war analogy is very common in politics.” All of it was preamble to asking, “So, why do you think the left singled out you out, Governor?”

Again, this isn’t journalistic interviewing, it is what a defense attorney would do while questioning his client in an effort to refute charges against her.

There is much in an “interview” like this that is worthy of being mocked, and those people who aren’t already Palin (and Hannity) fans are unlikely to be impressed by her performance here. Palin ends the interview by saying she isn’t going to “sit down and shut up.” The thing is, most people aren’t saying that’s what she needs to do. Instead, they’re asking that she think about what she says before she says it, and that she realize that, most of the time, the story isn’t really about her.

Video:




Outside the Beltway

NY Times Reporters Defend Paper’s Coverage of Tucson Shootings, Dubiously Denies It Blamed the Right Wing

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

New York Times media reporters Jeremy Peters and Brian Stelter sounded a little defensive in Monday’s Business section story on the political blame game that immediately followed the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six others in Tucson. The confusing headline: “After Tucson, Blanket Accusations Leave Much to Interpretation.”

For every action in politics today, there’s an overwhelming and opposite reaction.

Last week, the reaction came from conservative politicians who bridled at suggestions in the media that Jared L. Loughner may have been influenced by right-wing rhetoric and talk radio when he killed six people and gravely wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords in a rampage on Jan. 8 in Tucson. In her video address on Wednesday, Sarah Palin said that journalists and pundits should not manufacture “a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.”

The question left unanswered: which journalists and pundits?

(If they're truly curious, they should hit NewsBusters and scroll down.)

The reporters modify the word "accusations" so they could argue that few in the media made “direct accusations” against conservative talk radio hosts for causing the shooting. Yet the Times put out many indirect accusations in the days following the shooting, implying conservative rhetoric had contributed to the toxic political atmosphere from which Jared Loughner emerged.

While there was plenty of debate in newspapers, and on radio and television about the effects of a toxic politic environment, most of the direct accusations against conservative talk radio and pundits were leveled by people online, not members of the mainstream media.

….

But on the Web, where anonymity often reigns, the blame game was much more pointed. In The Huffington Post, Gary Hart wrote about attacks on liberals and concluded that “today we have seen the results of this rhetoric.”

On Ms. Palin’s Facebook wall, thousands of supporters and detractors argued about whether she and other right-wing voices had any culpability in the shootings. Conservatives denounced Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the liberal blog Daily Kos, for writing on Twitter, “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin” and linking to the bull’s-eye map that featured Ms. Giffords’s district.

Stelter doesn’t point out that he himself linked to the bull’s-eye map on his Twitter feed as if egging on the cable news networks to put it up, writing on Saturday in a Twitter post forwarded over a hundred times: “For the record, there has been no mention of Sarah Palin's target map on any cable news channel.” An image of the map eventually appeared in the Times itself.

The reporters then leaped to an unusual defense of their own newspaper against attacks from the right.

Commentators on the right were quick to condemn their perennial adversaries, including The New York Times, for drawing a cause-and-effect relationship between overheated political rhetoric and the shootings.

“Besides the senseless violence, there is another disgusting display sweeping America, and that is the exploitation of the murders by political zealots,” Bill O’Reilly opened his show on Monday night. “The merchants of hate who are peddling this stuff should be accountable. So let’s begin with The New York Times.”

Mr. O’Reilly went on to cite a column by the Times Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman and a Times editorial as evidence that The Times and others were blaming Sarah Palin for the killings and portraying those on the right as “accessories to murder.”

The Times editorial did not actually blame the right for Mr. Loughner’s actions, saying, “It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members.” Mr. O’Reilly, who did not read that sentence on the air, did read the section of the editorial that said “But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger” that has produced an increase in the number of threats toward members of Congress and the judiciary.

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Three Exculpatory Facts the MSM Continues to Overlook in the Arizona Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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Mission accomplished?


Last night Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity’s show for her first interview since the Arizona shootings. During the exchange she quoted Martin Luther King Jr. who said “A lie cannot live.” If only it were so. But as Allapundit pointed out last night, a new poll shows that this particular lie-that Sarah Palin’s Facebook [...]

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CNN poll: Majority of Dems, 35% overall think Palin’s crosshairs map is at least partly to blame for Arizona shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 17-01-2011

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It’s come to this.


The perfect capper to a day that began with a story in the Times insisting that it wasn’t really “the media” that built this phony narrative, it was disgraceful moron Clarence “Supercop” Dupnik. Which is true, to some extent: Having the lead state investigator in the case mumbling about Rush Limbaugh every five minutes was [...]

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ABC News / WaPo Poll: 78 Percent Approve of Obama’s Response to Tucson Shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 17-01-2011

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A new poll released this afternoon by ABC News and the Washington Post shows that 78 percent of 1,053 adult Americans surveyed approved of the way President Barack Obama responded to the shootings a week ago Saturday in Tucson.

By contrast, only 30 percent approved of Sarah Palin’s handling of herself in the wake of the shootings. The news media fared a little better at 53 percent approval.

The poll also found respondents much more optimistic about the potential for bipartisan cooperation between Obama and Republicans in Congress than in a poll earlier this month. Fifty-five percent now feel optimistic that Obama and Congress can work together to get things done, as opposed to 48 percent a couple of weeks ago.

On the issue of the tone of political discourse, things are more complicated.

The public overwhelmingly sees the country’s political discourse as negative in tone; 82 percent say so, including three in 10 who say it’s “angry.” Still there’s a division, 49-49 percent, on whether it has created a climate that could encourage political violence.

On the Tucson shootings specifically, 54 percent of Americans do not think the political discourse contributed to the incident, while 40 percent think it did. Those who do see a connection divide on whether it was a strong factor.

The survey more generally finds blame for the political tone spread across a variety of groups. Half the public says the Tea Party political movement and its supporters, as well as political commentators on both side of the ideological divide, have “crossed the line” in terms of attacking the other side.

Forty-five percent say the Republican Party and its supporters have done the same; fewer, 39 percent, say so about the Democratic Party and its supporters, reflecting the Democrats’ continued broader allegiance overall.

I tend to think that President Obama’s adult and open-armed manner of dealing with the Tucson tragedy is mostly responsible for the boost in public optimism about the next two years of Obama’s term, especially given the huge approval marks. I wonder if this will mark the beginning of a subtle but significant shift in public sentiments politically in America.

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CNN Poll: No change on gun law opinions after Arizona shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 17-01-2011

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Washington (CNN) - Americans’ overall attitudes toward gun laws have not budged an inch in the wake of the shootings in Arizona, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that majority of the public favors restrictions on semi-automatic guns and high-capacity ammunition clips, as well as background checks and limits on the number of guns that can be purchased.

The poll indicates that the two sides of the gun debate are evenly balanced, with one in seven Americans opposing any restrictions on guns at all and one in seven saying that all guns should be illegal except for police and other authorized personnel. Roughly a third support minor restrictions and roughly a third support major restrictions.

“Those numbers are identical to the results of a poll taken in the summer of 2009, indicating that the tragic events in Tucson have not changed how the public feels about gun laws,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “This is a familiar pattern in polling - surveys taken after previous incidents like the Columbine shooting have shown little or no change in Americans’ attitudes toward guns.”

A total of 19 people were shot January 8 at the “Congress on Your Corner” event at a Tucson supermarket. Authorities believe Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was the target of the mass shooting that left six dead and another 13 wounded. Giffords was upgraded from critical to serious condition Sunday, eight days after being shot in the head at the public event. A 22-year-old suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody.

According to the survey, several restrictions, however, are widely accepted. More than nine in ten Americans favor background checks to determine whether a prospective buyer has been convicted of a felony. Six in ten favor a ban on semi-automatic assault guns, and on the kind of extended ammunition clips which Jared Loughner allegedly used in Arizona. Fifty-five percent questioned say they also favor limiting gun purchases to one per month.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


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CNN Poll On Arizona Shootings: The Public Gets It Even If The Pundits Don’t

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 17-01-2011

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CNN is out with the first real post-Arizona poll of public opinion and the results are quite interesting.

Washington (CNN) - Americans feel sadness, anger and shock in the wake of the tragic events in Tucson, Arizona, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates there’s plenty of blame to go around over the shootings, but two-thirds of the public is pessimistic that the government or society can prevent something like this from happening again.

Here are a few bullet points:

1. On the question of whether the shootings made respondents more or less likely to support increased gun control regulation:

  • More likely — 28%
  • Less likely — 3%
  • No change — 69%

2. On what factors respondents blame for the shootings

  • 52% place a “great deal” or moderate amount of blame on gun control law, 47% say gun control laws played little or no role in the shootings
  • 48% place a “great deal” or moderate amount of blame on harsh or violent political rhetoric, 49% believe that rhetoric played little or no role
  • 35% place a “great deal” or moderate amount of blame on Sarah Palin’s “target map,” 59% believe it played little or no role
  • 70% place a “great deal” or moderate amount of blame on the state of mental health care, 28% believe it played little or no role

3. On likelihood that harsh or violent political rhetoric could cause a future Tucson-like incident:

  • Very likely — 25%
  • Somewhat likely — 29%
  • Somewhat unlikely — 19%
  • Very unlikely — 26%
  • No opinion — 5%

The public doesn’t seem to be at all convinced of the “tone” arguments that some pundits made to try to assign blame for what happened in Tucson, and they seem to have a greater appreciation for the role that mental health issues play in cases like this. Perhaps the guys on CNN and MSNBC should get a clue.




Outside the Beltway

CNN Poll: Blame game in Arizona shootings

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 17-01-2011

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Washington (CNN) - Americans feel sadness, anger and shock in the wake of the tragic events in Tucson, Arizona, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates there’s plenty of blame to go around over the shootings, but two-thirds of the public is pessimistic that the government or society can prevent something like this from happening again.

A total of 19 people were shot January 8 at the “Congress on Your Corner” event at a Tucson supermarket. Authorities believe Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was the target of the mass shooting that left six dead and another 13 wounded. Giffords was upgraded from critical to serious condition Sunday, eight days after being shot in the head at the public event. A 22-year-old suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody.

Ninety-three percent of people questioned in the poll say that they personally felt sadness in response to the shootings, with just over seven in ten saying they personally felt anger, and two thirds saying they felt shock. Only 32 percent said fear was an emotion they experienced in response to the shootings.

The survey indicates that while a majority of Americans say that current gun laws deserve a great deal or a moderate amount of blame for the shootings in Arizona, seven in ten say that the incident does not make them more likely to support stricter gun control laws.

“That may not be surprising given the widespread pessimism that government can do anything to prevent an incident like this from happening again,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Two-thirds say that shootings like the one in Arizona will happen again regardless of any action taken by the government or society.”

According to the survey, just under half also blame the harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors used by politicians and commentators as a contributing factor behind the shootings, and 54 percent believe that harsh political rhetoric may lead to other shootings in the future.

“But while a large majority predict that tragedy in Tucson will lead to more civility in political debates, only one in ten think that change will be permanent,” adds Holland. “Seven in ten say politicians will tone it down in the short run but the change won’t last very long, and 18 percent think there will be no change at all.”

Seven out of ten blame the resources available to deal with people who may be mentally ill as a contributing factor to the shooting.

According to the poll, the public doesn’t blame Sarah Palin’s website for the incident in Arizona. Only a third of all Americans say that the website - which had an image that looked like the crosshairs of a gun marking Gifford’s congressional district - deserves a great deal or a moderate amount of blame. The former Alaska governor put the website up last year during the debate over health care reform, to highlight 20 congressional districts won by Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, where Democratic representatives were voting in favor of the legislation.

The survey also indicates that Americans are divided on Loughner’s punishment if he is found guilty in this case, with a small majority favoring the death penalty and 43 percent opting for life in prison with no chance of parole.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted January 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Check out CNN’s new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.


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