Best headline of the day, via The Daily Mail in Britain:

How America’s elite hijacked a massacre to take revenge on Sarah Palin

The substance of the article makes points you have heard before regarding the murderous rampage by Jared Loughner:

Rahm Emanuel, Mr Obama’s former chief of staff and a ­figure compared to Labour’s Alastair Campbell, once said: ‘You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.’

And those on his side of the political divide have clearly seen the Tucson tragedy as an opportunity to score points and settle scores.

None more so than with Sarah Palin, a politician who is almost as divisive as the President. The former Republican vice-presidential contender has become a spiritual figurehead for many Tea Party supporters, but is loathed by many on the Left.

While the column itself says nothing new, the headline articulates a feeling many of us have.

When I first heard of the shooting, I did not immediately take to blogging.  As with most people, I wanted to find out what had happened, who was killed or injured, and who the gunman was.
Even after my first blog post at 3:22, more than two hours after the news first broke (times in link are 2 hrs behind E.S.T.), all I did was post information regarding the shooting as it became available.
But almost immediately, it became clear that there was a full scale attempt in the left-blogosphere to blame Palin. 
As far as I can tell, Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress was the first person to spread the so-called Palin target map at 1:45 p.m.  [see update below] The now infamous Markos Moulistas “mission accomplished, Sarah Palin” tweet did not take place until 2:19 p.m.  Yglesias’ tweet was retweeted a total of 271 times and the image of the map he posted 883 times as of this writing.
By late afternoon on the day of the shooting, like much of the right-blogosphere, I began to address the Yglesias and Moulistas smears which were spreading like wildfire on the internet, and into the mainstream media.  Paul Krugman posted his column blaming right-wing hate speech and suggesting a Tea Party connection at 3:22 p.m., the exact minute of my initial informational blog post.
The massacre had been hijacked for political purposes not based on facts, but on a desire for retribution against Palin specifically, and the Tea Parties and conservatives in general.  A point I have made time and again, is that there was and is no evidence that the shooter ever saw the Palin map. 
The Palin connection was a complete fabrication created in the minds of Messrs. Yglesias, Moulitsas, and countless others with an axe to grind.
Rather than us focusing exclusively on people like Christina Green (image), the young girl murdered by Loughner, we had to deal with a full-out media assault intended to falsely pin the cause of the shooting on Palin, Tea Parties, and conservatives.
Of all the despicable aspects of this shooting, the conduct of the left-blogosphere and mainstream media in hijacking this event ranks just behind the murder and mayhem itself.

Update:  Here is a montage of anti-Palin death threats and other true vitriol spread throughout Twitter as a result of the false accusation that Palin’s electoral map was connected to the shooting (h/t):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgJKNpjSNI?fs=1]

Update 1-13-2011:  The Palin map was referenced in another persons tweet at 1:31 p.m. that day, but as far as I can tell Yglesias was the first one to spread the map. (h/t)

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