Media figures politicize Giffords shooting

Several media figures jumped at the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, as a way to further whatever political agenda they have.

Though the motive of accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner has not yet been determined, left wing bloggers are calling this a political assassination inspired by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement. Also, media figures and reporters immediately blamed Palin and the Tea Party movement, many before the name of the suspected shooter had even been released.

Left wing blog Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas tweeted, “If Palin’s crosshair effort was excusable, why has her PAC scrubbed her site of that page?,” trying to tie Loughner to Palin and the Tea Party movement. Moulitsas also tweeted, “How dare people ‘politicize’ a political assassination!”

Also, referencing Palin’s map of “targets” of congressional seats held by vulnerable Democrats during the 2010 midterm elections, on which Palin marks Giffords’ district in Arizona as one of them, Moulitsas tweeted, “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin.”

Moulitsas removed a post from his site shortly after the shooting that was published Thursday in which a blogger attacked Giffords from the left for being too conservative a Democrat. Though the post, titled “My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!,” has been removed, Google caches of it show that the blogger was upset at Giffords for voting against Nancy Pelosi for House minority leader and infuriated at Giffords for being too conservative.

At Slate magazine, former Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel immediately started tying Loughner’s actions into the Tea Party movement, before Loughner’s name was even released, and, via Twitter and his blog, Weigel railed against the Tea Party movement for supporting violence. Weigel also compared the shooting and its potential long term ramifications to the political effects after of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

“If you are a Republican politician, and you allow yourself a callow thought today, you flash back to 1995 and the Oklahoma City bombing,” Weigel wrote. “It occurred four months after Republicans took over Congress, and Republicans thought they heard President Clinton turning the tragedy back onto them in his remarks at the memorial service.”

Weigel then wrote that, “Like it or not, this is what our national conversation will now turn back to.”

That’s something Howard Fineman at The Huffington Post furthered, adding that President Barack Obama should learn from how President Bill Clinton handled the aftermath of the tragic bombing in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

“Clinton’s political resurrection began four days later [after the bombing — Newt Gingrich had swept into Congress with a new Republican majority in the House as result of the previous midterm election]. It had nothing to do with McVeigh, a former soldier who had taken a murderous turn from anti-authoritarianism to racist paranoia,” Fineman wrote. “The president was careful, as well he should have been, to avoid suggesting any link between his political foes and the event. Rather, in a short but eloquent address — now regarded as a classic of modern presidential rhetoric — he recalled his own roots in nearby Arkansas, invoked God and the Bible, and called not only for justice but also for tolerance, forbearance and love.”