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Poll: Most Americans see no connection between Ariz. shooting and political rhetoric

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Laura Donovan
Contributor

A majority of Americans don’t see a connection between vitriolic rhetoric and Jared Loughner’s shooting rampage in Tucson on Saturday, CBS reports in a poll it released today.

Overall, 57 percent of poll participants said the country’s harsh political tone was unrelated to the shooting, while 32 percent of respondents think there is some connection between the two.

The poll found that Republicans are more doubtful of a correlation. Sixty-nine percent of polled Republicans said rhetoric was not at fault, whereas only 19 percent felt it had a role. Democrats were more split: 49 percent saw no connection, and 42 percent said the opposite.

The telephone poll surveyed 673 adults across the country and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s shooting, which killed six, injured many, and left Ariz. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition, commentators were quick to fault politicians and pundits with inspiring Loughner.

Some people criticized former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for a map she unveiled in the run-up to the 2010 midterms. Giffords’ district was included on the map, which depicted rifle crosshairs over districts where liberal lawmakers were vulnerable as well as the instructions “Don’t retreat, reload.”

Palin quickly removed the map from her website, but the move didn’t go unnoticed. CNN’s Piers Morgan responded with a tweet, ”This now deleted image from Sarah Palin (sic) website will be reason this terrible shooting has huge political ramifications.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin, who has blasted the Palin family on numerous occasionstweeted in the shooting aftermath, “Congresswoman in AZ, who is ON Sarah Palin’s crosshairs map was SHOT in the head 2day. Happy now Sarah?”

But Palin isn’t the only political figure to take the heat for Saturday’s incidient.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann asserted that Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck were possibly to blame and should apologize on-air “for ever turning to the death-fantasies and the dreams of bloodlust, for ever having provided just the oxygen to those deep in madness to whom violence is an acceptable solution.” Olbermann suggested that if Beck and O’Reilly refused to apologize, their sponsors, viewers, and employer should repudiate them.

  • Tess_Comments

    There is too much hate out in the open.
    For an interesting look check out:
    The progressive “climate of hate:” An illustrated primer, 2000-2010
    By Michelle Malkin • January 10, 2011 03:19 AM
    http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

  • leilani

    I’d venture there is not a single ‘journalist’ asking the ludicrous question today whether or not Ms. Palin’s ‘violent imagery’ was a precipitating factor for this massacre who has not themselves used the terminology of warfare in the context of political elections just as Ms. Palin did – and has done every other pol on both sides of the aisle since rocks cooled.

    Is every idiot at CNN, CBS and the New York Times who’ve fraudulently attempted to suggest that the Barack “Bring a Gun and Get in their Faces to Punish our Enemies” Obama admirer Loughner was inexplicably susceptible to influence by figures from the very right-wing which he loathed, who has ever uttered or typed out the phrase “battleground state” ALSO responsible for every act of political violence ever committed in those specific geographical locations in the future?

    The absurd irony is that all the propaganda merchants masquerading as journalists who are currently trying to assassinate Mrs. Palin’s career and torpedo the Tea Party movement with this transparently partisan smear are themselves actively engaged in a blatant act of political warfare of their very own.

    Either that or they are the most ignorant, poorly-educated fools to ever graduate from an accredited J-school: the absurd notion CNN & Co are currently trying to peddle that Sarah Palin has somehow developed an otherworldly ability to induce diagnosable paranoid schizophrenics, particularly ones like Loughner who loathe her & admire her critics, to perpetrate harm against HER ideological opposition, is like saying the the authors of the 1980′s best-selling vegetarian classic Moosewood Cookbook somehow influenced Jeffrey Dahmer’s menu choices in the same decade.

    According to some journalists, an anti-american afficianado of Barack Obama & Hugo Chavez and an avowed marxist 9/11 truther was nonetheless compelled long distance by the former Governor of Alaska and her uber-capitalist uber-patriotic Tea Party compatriots to do harm to those on the left who advocate AGAINST the politics of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party on the right.

    EXIT QUESTION: So who’s crazier?

    Dahmer, Loughner or the bogus journalists at CNN, CBS and the New York Times who are trying to market this preposterous non sequitur?

    • Barkhorn

      I like your style madam.

  • Barkhorn

    Poll: “Most Americans see no connection between Ariz. shooting and political rhetoric.”

    Hardest hit:
    - Any remaining MSM credibility
    - Soros ** functionaries

    **Didn’t Churchill opine that Hitler was worth 2 divisions to the Allied war effort? I am beginning to believe that Soros is as valuable to Conservatives. Who could have thunk that two years after the “Hope and Change” singularity Conservatism is on the march and the Left has become increasingly shrill – and increasingly ineffective? That’s it, keep effin’ that chicken George.

  • southernandproud

    Who care’s what Kathy Griffin or Keith Olberstink think about anything? They are both lunatics and so green with envy they can’t see straight.

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  • Joe Astroturf

    The 32 percent that saw a connection also think that Elvis is alive and was glad his daughter married the gloved one so he could be near his grandchildren.