If you haven’t seen it yet, head over to College Insurrection for Rhode Island prof demands NRA chief’s “head on a stick”, regarding University of Rhode Island assistant professor Erik Loomis.
Loomis is outraged that he is being called out:
Oooh, the obligatory Glenn Reynolds attack on me for going after the NRA. How exciting. pjmedia.com/instapundit/15…
— Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) December 18, 2012
This comment to my post at CI brings up memories of the low cause-and-effect standard set up by left for rhetoric and imagery from the right:
Mark Reardon | December 18, 2012 at 10:25 am
Since I don’t Tweet, would someone tell Mr. Loomis that metaphor was explained to us very clearly when Sarah Palin was guilty of shooting Gabby Gifford because of the crosshairs on a campaign map. We’ve learned that lesson, why is he so upset we’re applying it?
For those of you who don’t remember, left-wing bloggers and ultimately the mainstream media drove the meme that Sarah Palin was connected to the shooting of Gabby Giffords by Jared Loughner because Palin had used an electoral map (similar to one previously used by Democrats) of the country with bullseyes on various districts, including Giffords’.
We now know that Loughner was insane, so much so that he initially was declared incompetent to stand trial, and there was zero evidence that Loughner was political, was conservative/Tea Party (if anything, he as liberal), or even ever saw the map.
Yet none of that stopped the media from blaming Palin for the murder.
I wrote about the sequence of events We Just Witnessed The Media’s Test Run To Re-Elect Barack Obama:
I previously posted about a CNN poll showing that 35% of all people (including 56% of Democrats and 34% of Independents) believe that Palin has a great deal or moderate amount of responsibility for the shooting. A PPP poll reflects that 26% of all people (including 45% of Democrats and 22% of Independents) believe Palin bears “at least some responsibility” for the shooting.
These are big numbers, considering that there is no evidence as of this date that Jared Loughner ever even saw the Palin electoral target map which put Palin at the center of attacks over the shooting.
The false connection of the Palin electoral target map to the shooting did not start in the mainstream media. As I have documented, that false connection started with bloggers at DailyKos and Think Progress using Twitter to push the issue into the mainstream media within hours of the shooting with the help of their followers.
The ruthless efficiency with which the left-wing blogosphere tied Palin to the shooting, and the success of their efforts in equating Palin with mass murder, is a lesson we should not forget.
Here’s what Loomis wrote at the time about Palin being unfairly blamed (emphasis mine):
From a political perspective, the big loser is Sarah Palin. Truthfully, the whole Tea Party movement loses here because a lot of Americans are flinching in the face of the violent rhetoric that propelled them to power. Many Republicans are defending themselves vociferously. Some, such as Rush Limbaugh, claim that Loughner was a liberal and a Democrat, but this just alienates most people at this time. But no one lost more than Palin.
Perhaps she was right to be irritated that people connected her with the shooting, but then again, she’s the one who had a target over Giffords’ district.
Palin never threatened anyone, and no one reasonably could have taken a standard electoral map as advocating violence. Yet for purely policital purposes Loomis and many others held Palin to account.
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