After a day of the media investigating James Holmes, the mass murderer at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, a profile is emerging of someone who did not have any overt political agenda or affiliation.
Yet once again, the Tea Party was injected into the crime through a media which immediately looked for a Tea Party connection.
In this case it was ABC News led by Brian Ross which linked the gunman to a Tea Party profile it found online of “Jim Holmes.” That Tea Party Jim Holmes was not, in fact, the gunman.
Perhaps what distinguishes this case is that there was no full-blown media attempt to link the murders to the Tea Party, unlike in the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords by the deranged apolitical Jared Loughner, and so many other cases. This time other networks and even most of the left-blogosphere did not jump on the ABC News bandwagon.
With good reason. There is a recent yet long history of false accusations in the minutes and hours after a high profile act of violence trying to link the perpetrator to the Tea Party and/or to the “right-wing,” including:
- Jared Loughner
- The Cabby Stabber
- The “killer” of Bill Sparkman
- Amy Bishop
- The Fort Hood Shooter
- The IRS Plane Crasher
- The Pentagon Shooter
Why look for a Tea Party connection? What violent crimes have been committed by Tea Party members, much less on behalf of or with the knowledge of Tea Party groups?
If there is a high profile act of violence, the Tea Party is the last place to which attention should be directed, as the list of false accusations of Tea Party involvement shows.
The most important list, of course, is the list of the victims of James Holmes. That list has not been released by the police as of this writing, but we do know some of the names, including Jessica Ghawi.
Update 7-21-2012 – A list of the victims was released this morning.